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Florida State's E.J. Manuel: Philadelphia Eagles
State of the position: The Eagles' quarterback situation is in flux with Michael Vick scheduled to receive an enormous bonus payment and salary -- if he isn't released -- despite diminishing returns over the past few seasons. Complicating matters is the fact that his replacement, Foles, doesn't appear to be an ideal fit in Chip Kelly's spread offense. Although Kelly has suggested that he will tailor his system to fit the talents of the Eagles' personnel, it is hard to imagine the offensive mastermind deviating away from the high-energy, zone-read offense that took college football by storm. Given that premise, the Eagles need to find a young, athletic quarterback with the capacity to drive the offense as a dual-threat playmaker.
Why it would work: Manuel is the premier athletic quarterback in the 2013 draft class. He possesses the size, arm talent and movement skills that coaches covet in dual-threat playmakers. As a senior at Florida State, he passed for 3,392 yards, rushed for 310 and totaled 27 combined touchdowns. Most importantly, Manuel guided the Seminoles to a conference title and BCS bowl win on the strength of his athleticism and playmaking ability. Manuel enters the NFL with invaluable experience directing a pro-style offense that also featured elements of the zone-read. From making calls and adjustments at the line of scrimmage to reading defenders on zone-option plays, Manuel is familiar with key elements of Kelly's system, putting him well ahead of the competition in the 2013 class. In addition, he is a capable runner with the ability to thrive on predetermined quarterback runs or movement passes. Looking at the diverse nature of the Oregon Ducks' offense under Kelly, Manuel's skills and playmaking ability would appear to be an ideal fit in Philadelphia. In fact, it is quite possible that Manuel could give the Eagles a Cam Newton-like playmaker and rival the impact/production of RG3 in Kelly's unique system.
Will the New York Jets dip into the USC quarterback pool again and draft Matt Barkley? Which QB would best suit the Arizona Cardinals? Bucky Brooks plays matchmaker with five top prospects.
Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.
IMO, he's going to have trouble being durable enough to be a reliable starter in the NFL. Not sure running as much as he would have to under Kelly will help things. However, I had the same Durability concerns with Ponder and he seems to be making it ok.
He actually was not the best decision maker when we ran zone read. But I think under Kelly's tutelage, he could become more efficient at it. He was very good at running the option here.
Kelly could grab a top OL or DL at the top of the 1st and grab Manuel early in the 2nd so it would work out
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