The Buffalo Bills selected Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel with the 16th overall
selection in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was the first quarterback to be picked.
The 6-foot-5, 237-pound Manuel led the Seminoles to a 25-6 record as a starter and won four bowl games during his career. He threw for 7,736 yards and amassed a total of 8,563 yards under center for the Seminoles.
As a senior in 2012, Manuel also led the Seminoles to their first ACC championship since 2005 and their first BCS Bowl victory since 2000.
"His knowledge of the game was further further along than most (other QBs in the draft)," Buffalo general manager Buddy Nix said. "The guy has leadership qualities and he is smart."
Manuel, who attended the draft in New York with his family and FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher, had tears streaming down his face during a TV interview shortly after he was selected.
He talked about his mother Jackie, who battled breast cancer during the 2012 season, and what it felt like to finally reach professional football.
"It's been tough because as a football player, you want to focus on football and when your mother is sick -- she's doing better now -- but you think about the journey man," Manuel said. "From when I was a kid, the ups and downs, everything. When this moment comes, when you get that call, it's amazing. I'm just so happy."
Manuel impressed scouts throughout the process leading up to the NFL Draft. He won MVP honors of the 2013 Senior Bowl and turned in strong performances at both the NFL Combine and FSU’s Pro Day.
He became the second FSU quarterback in three years to be selected in the first round. Christian Ponder went 11th overall to the Vikings in 2011.
"(Manuel) is a tremendous young man who has been a great representative of Florida State University," Fisher said. "He’s one of the main reasons that this program has been able to get back to national prominence,"
Manuel said he wasn't surprised that he was the first quarterback selected, but he may have been the only one. West Virginia's Geno Smith was expected by most to be the first QB off the board.
I did (expect to be picked first)," Manuel said. "I didn't know how the draft was going to work out. I knew Buffalo liked me a lot."
Out of Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside, Manuel was a 247Composite five-star, ranked as the No. 27 overall prospect and No. 2 dual-threat
"I'm just so happy to be a Buffalo Bill, and I'm ready to get started," he said.
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