Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Feb 2013

The Kaepernick Project: FSU QB E.J. Manuel

The attitude towards the term “project” is often a glass half-full/half-empty proposition. Colin Kaepernick was the glass half-full. Terrelle Pryor was the glass half-empty. Which one is Manuel? In light of the Alex Smith deal, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kansas City Chiefs has an eye on Manuel as a project to develop behind Alex Smith ala Kaepernick.

Posted by: Matt Waldman on 27 Feb 2013

12 comments, Last at 04 Mar 2013, 1:59pm by Mikey Benny


by Insancipitory :: Thu, 02/28/2013 - 1:20am

this career path worked out ok for Steve DeBerg

by Theo :: Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:36am

"Glass half-full/half-empty".
That phrase is used to describe someone's perception on something.

The phrase you're looking for could be "flip of the coin", "shot in the dark" ... or something.

[edit] ah ok, after actually reading the article (for most part) I get what you mean.

by Podge (not verified) :: Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:06am

I was just about to pull you up on that until I saw the edit!

by Jerry F. (not verified) :: Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:51am

Bringing in a quarterback that resembles the one who just stole Smith's job does not seem to be a great way to build his confidence. I can certainly see having a quality backup, but I wouldn't want one likely to undermine the psychological stability of the guy I've just invested heavily in.

by markus (not verified) :: Fri, 03/01/2013 - 1:02pm

I've always wondered why that thinking only applies to quarterbacks. If they drafted a RB, not a word would be said about the possible impact on Charles' "psychological stability."

And in Smith you're talking about a guy who'd been labeled as a bust prior to putting things together, so he's obviously not some wilting flower. Is there no point where he'd be deemed strong enough to be able to face competition for his job?

by sundown (not verified) :: Fri, 03/01/2013 - 2:56pm

Stranger still is that standard only applies to the STARTING qb. The backup is expected to enter the game cold on two seconds notice ready to throw lasers into coverage, then happily take the bench again when the starter has recovered.

by zenbitz :: Thu, 02/28/2013 - 2:52pm

Actually he's projected as a 2nd rounder. Maybe the Niners take him as a Kaep lite/backup project.

by markus (not verified) :: Fri, 03/01/2013 - 1:05pm

That makes much more sense to me than assuming the Chiefs would take him. If you're going to run the read-option, you'd better be prepared for your QB to get hurt and having a backup who can run the same offense as the starter is useful.

by CoachDave :: Thu, 02/28/2013 - 7:22pm

"What I like most of all about Manuel is his pocket presence"

"Manuel has lot of good quarterbacking fundamentals that don’t need to be broken down and built back up for him to eventually thrive in the NFL"

Are we talking about the QB from FSU? Is there another QB named Manuel in the draft that I'm not aware of?

As I posted in the Lewin forecast article, I've never seen a kid make more dumber, more mindblowingly stupid, "WTF-was-he-thinking" in the pocket decisions than this kid.

And his pocket presence is terrible. He stares down wideouts, he runs too quickly, he routinely runs outside of his coverage and you can tell FSU had his audible options on a tight leash.

And fundamentals? How many sort-of-average NFL QBs have a reoccurring hitch in their delivery like this kid has? He can't throw deep accurately because the hitch throws his deep ball timing off and his ball sails...that's why his deep accuracy sucks.

I'm not going to be surprised when he goes high in round two because his athletic ability and his arm are ridiculous and GMs love potential, but the descriptions in this article IMO are way off base.

Again, 100% my opinion...but wow, to be almost diametrically opposed to the article seems whacky...

by Mikey Benny :: Mon, 03/04/2013 - 1:59pm

Several-year FSU season-ticket holder here. I agree with you completely. Christian Ponder was much more NFL-ready than Manuel, and Ponder has been subpar to be generous.

by 757BeachFan (not verified) :: Fri, 03/01/2013 - 1:22pm

E.J. Manuel gets no credit from some FSU fans, but I will tell you that kid was God sent and has brought FSU back. He is an awesome athlete and has quite a few outstanding stats,MVP awards, wins(5 bowls!) and to top it all of he interviews like a pro already! He's GOOD!

by vmania :: Sat, 03/02/2013 - 10:31am

I am befuddled by EJ Manuel. I have no idea how he will turn out, could be as good as McNabb, could be as bad as Tavaris Jackson....he had games where he looked like a legit 1st rounder, and he had games where he looked like a 7th rounder.....about the only things I know about this years QB class is Landry Jones is the next John Friesz, a total stiff, seeing him shrink up after one hard hit from Teo confirmed my beliefs on him, he has Blaine Gabbert's heart, which isnt a good thing.....I think Tyler Wilson is the toughest, Tyler Bray has the best arm and Matt Barkley is the best from the neck up, but they all have holes in their games too.....I knew Luck and RG3 would be studs, but I wouldn't make bank on any of these guys developing into franchise QB's.