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2013 NFL Draft Prospect Evaluations – Feb. 11

E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State, 6-foot-5, 235 pounds

Big, strong, faster than stats indicate, both in the open field and in the pocket, good arm. He looks like a starting quarterback.

CONS: Quite simply, a lot. He looks like
a quality prospect, but the on field performance is spotty, at best. Accuracy, decision making, mechanics all inconsistent. Not just game-to-game, but half-to-half and drive-to-drive, also. There will be a few coaches that think they can correct the flaws, will they be successful? Who knows, but, in a draft class full of uninspiring options, I think he will be a late riser due to sheer need so he will be given a shot.

He is not usually talked about as a day one option right now, but I see that changing after the Combine and Pro Day. I’ll bet scouts are higher on him than the draft community thinks they are right now.

Forget about it, given all of his issues with decision making and throwing the ball he’d need to be a 500-plus yard runner on a team void of a goal-line running back to be a possible option even with a starting job. Right now, no reason to believe he can do that either.

He is nothing more than a roll of the dice right now. Absolutely could change if he becomes the Round 1 pick I think he will, but he isn’t mentioned much when discussing the Top 20-25 skill position prospects available. I think he slips to Day 3, and, if so, he is definitely worth the gamble at that point, late Round 2 as well. Not a great bet to pan out, but if he does the return will be very high.

Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State, 6-foot-4, 185 pounds

Red zone asset, he is tall and plays tall as well, good open field speed, strong hands, tougher than most would think – can take a hit and bounce back, Day 1 talent.


May struggle getting off the jam
against more physical corners, but above all else the way in which he left Washington State raises the most red flags. Interviews will be very important.

Truly unknown at this point given the looming cloud over his exit at Washington State. Would be surprised if he falls out of Day 2, but how early on Day 2? Possibly even day one? Depends on those interviews.

2013 OUTLOOK: A name to monitor this offseason
once we know where he lands. Given his skill set in the right role on the right team, he could be an instant contributor. Big play ability and loads of scoring potential. Certainly a candidate to be an end of the bench flier.

DYNASTY OUTLOOK: I seem to be more optimistic than most. Given
his former coach’s past issues with players, if I had to bet who is more at fault for his departure from the team I lean toward his former coach, Mike Leach. Regardless, he looks like a tremendous Round 2 roll of the dice in rookie drafts. Most guys drafted at that time either do nothing or are just average enough to stick around the roster. Guys with long term starter upside like Wilson just usually are not available. The risk/reward at that price makes him a strong buy in my mind.

Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA, 5-foot-10, 205 pounds

Advanced receiving skills at this
stage of development, has shown willingness to block, acceleration noticeable once loose, not many negative plays, decisive patient runner.

Lacks a top gear, inconsistent reading blocks, nothing ‘special’ about his game.

DRAFT BRIEFING: From the sounds of it,
may not be selected until Day 3. If true, he presents tremendous value at that spot. He’s not a difference making running back, but he can be an asset on all three downs.

2013 OUTLOOK: Not a name to keep in the back of
your head on draft day, but depending on where he ends up he has midseason waiver gem potential. Think, Vick Ballard 2012, only with passing game skills.

DYNASTY OUTLOOK: Won’t ever be a Top 10 running back, but in an
organization that believes in him enough to give him meaningful touches he is more than just a volume play like BenJarvus Green-Ellis or Cedric Benson. With his skills in the passing game he could be a very good RB2 if given at least the plus side of a committee.

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