On Thursday night, with Day one of the 2013 NFL Draft commencing from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, who knew that history was going to be made for at least one franchise?
When the Buffalo Bills selected quarterback E.J. Manuel with the 16th overall pick, franchise history was made as he became the first quarterback in the Bills’ 54-year existence to be taken with the team’s first draft selection.
Manuel is coincidentally linked to the Bills since birth, as Hall of Famer and legendary Bills defensive end Bruce Smith is, in fact, his Godfather.
While he wasn’t a four-year starter for the Florida State Seminoles, Manuel played in games all four seasons of his college career. He is well educated, having graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in communications, and is finishing up his masters in international relations.
Also, unlike other quarterbacks in this class, he can also make teams miss by taking off, as he had a 4.65 40-yard dash time. So if a play breaks down, he can escape trouble and make opposing defenses look foolish by beating them with his feet.
Some more good news for the Bills is that despite being selected in the first round, the team doesn’t have to rush him into the starting lineup as they have veteran Kevin Kolb as the current starter. Manuel can learn as a backup as so many quarterbacks have learned in recent years, as opposed to being put through a baptism by fire.
All and all, the signs are looking better for the Bills compared to last season’s huge let down.