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Inside The Bills

Manuel’s numbers tell story

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2013 – 12:47 pm

While the world of draftniks panned the Bills pick of EJ Manuel as being far too early, Bills GM Buddy Nix and his scouting staff had all the proof they need, and if outside observers didn’t have the time to do all the travel, interviewing, tape watching, research and background checks then all you need to do is look at the numbers.

ESPN.com put together a comprehensive set of figures related to Manuel’s play and checked how it compared to the rest of the quarterbacks in the draft class. Here are just a couple of examples that should get Bills fans excited.

He can throw the football vertically down the field
Manuel improved his completion percentage on passes of 20 yards or longer in his junior and senior seasons. In 2012, Manuel completed 49.2 percent of his passes of 20 yards or longer, the highest completion percentage of any of Scouts Inc.’s top six quarterback prospects.

He can get himself out of trouble
In 2012, Manuel completed 55.8 percent of his passes when under duress, a higher completion percentage than Geno Smith (49.3), Matt Barkley (49.3) and Landry Jones (37.1).

These are two big areas where the quarterback play had been lacking, plays under pressure and deep throws. Add in that Manuel’s completion percentage actually went up last year when he threw from outside the pocket (66.8 to 70%) and add in his 81% figure for passes on target and you can see why the Bills saw him as the best quarterback in the draft.


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Posted in Inside the Bills