It was just one year ago that the Buffalo Bills made a bold move by selecting former Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. Manuel was not projected to be the first signal-caller selected, and the only quarterback taken in the first round, but the Bills had faith in him and made the reach.
Unfortunately for the Bills -- and fortunately for Manuel who was in a weak quarterback class that benefited him financially -- former NFL general manager and current NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly says that Manuel would not be one of the top seven quarterbacks in this year's class.
Casserly made his comments on Thursday's Path to the Draft.
"I've got a lot of guys rated ahead of [Manuel] based on their college career and based on Manuel's college career," Casserly said. "[Teddy] Bridgewater, [Blake] Bortles, [Johnny] Manziel, [Derek] Carr, [Jimmy] Garoppolo and [AJ] McCarron -- I've got them all rated ahead of EJ Manuel coming out a year ago. And you know what, LSU quarterback [Zach] Mettenberger, I've got him ahead of Manuel, too."
When you select a quarterback in the first round, it is because you have a major need at the position and have hopes that the player can be your quarterback of the future. That may mean you are passing up on more talented players at other positions and making a reach, which doesn't always work out. The Bills will hope that Manuel can improve on his disappointing rookie campaign, one that was hindered by a knee injury. But if he struggles again and seven quarterbacks from the 2014 end up being better pros, the team will be wishing it could have a mulligan on its decision.