News: The Bills official team website reports that new general manager Doug Whaley was asked in an appearance on the NFL Network about the chances of rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel being ready to start Week 1 of the regular season. Whaley didnt rule out the possibility. Time will tell, said Whaley. He does have the work ethic and the leadership qualities that hell have a chance. But we believe competition brings out the best in everybody. Between him, Kevin Kolb, Tarvaris Jackson, even Jeff Tuel, were excited to see who comes out on top of that position battle. Buffalos season opener is a home game against New England.
Analysis: We'd like to see Manuel start from Week 1 because he presents the most upside of the quarterback group in Buffalo. Keep an eye on Manuel's progress this offseason, and he has the chance to be a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback in standard leagues. In rookie-only drafts, Manuel should be considered a Top 15 overall selection.
News: The Bills' official team website reported from the first day of minicamp that the offense "was snapping the ball after just 12 to 14 seconds came off the 40-second play clock." This hurry-up tempo was what coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett ran at Syracuse last season with positive results. First-round pick E.J. Manuel was one of three quarterbacks to work with the first-team offense during the practice.
Analysis: Over the practice Manuel hit fellow rookie Da'Rick Rogers with a long touchdown pass. Both Manuel and Kevin Kolb looked good, setting the stage for a competition for playing time this summer. We suspect Manuel will get pushed into the starting lineup first, though that does not mean he'll be a fantastic Fantasy option. Manuel should be considered a low-end No. 2 Fantasy quarterback in seasonal leagues, and he's a late first-round/early second-round pick in rookie-only formats.
News: In the biggest shock of the first round of the NFL Draft the Bills selected former Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel with the No. 16 pick. To say that this was a surprise is putting it mildly though the Bills' brain trust is confident in the pick. The 6-foot-4 5/8, 237-pound Manuel threw for 3,397 yards and 23 touchdowns with 10 interceptions as a senior with the Seminoles, completing 68 percent of his passes and finishing his four-year career with a 66.9 completion percentage. He also rushed for a total of 11 scores over four seasons with four scores, 310 rush yards on 103 totes last year. "I think that if we can develop this guy, he has the talent to take you to the dance," Bills general manager Buddy Nix said.
Analysis: Manuel has a pretty strong arm with a track record of being accurate and excellent mobility. The Bills love his size and leadership skills and while there seem to be no indications of the Bills moving into a read-option offense they will use elements of it with Manuel, meaning he and rusher C.J. Spiller will cause a lot of problems. Manuel has the smarts to run the Bills' hurry-up offense and should beat Kevin Kolb for the job out of training camp. Manuel should be considered a low-end No. 2 Fantasy quarterback in seasonal leagues, and he's a late first-round/early second-round pick in rookie-only formats.
News: Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel told the Cleveland Plain Dealer new Browns coach Rob Chudzinski favorably compared him to Cam Newton, the passer Chudzinski worked with for two seasons with the Panthers. Manuel is one of three or four quarterbacks rumored to be in the mix for first-round consideration in this week's draft.
Analysis: Manuel is a good-sized quarterback who threw for 3,397 yards and 23 touchdowns with 10 interceptions as a senior with the Seminoles. He's got a pretty strong arm and excellent mobility though his accuracy has been an issue at times (he did complete at least 65 percent of his passes annually at FSU) as is his ability to stand in the pocket and deal with pressure. We wouldn't call him the next Cam Newton but do see him as a near close to Josh Freeman. That's to say there's potential for him to post some good numbers eventually. Assuming he doesn't fall into a starting job you'll find Manuel with a mid- to late-round pick in deeper dynasty/keeper league drafts and the third round in rookie-only drafts.