ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – After trading down, the Buffalo Bills still landed the player they desired, selecting Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel with the 16th pick in the NFL draft.
Manuel became the first quarterback selected Thursday, and filled a big need for a Bills team that’s rebuilding under new coach Doug Marrone. Manuel was the most accurate passer at Florida State, where he completed nearly 67 percent of his passes.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 237 pounds, Manuel has a strong arm, is mobile and went 25-6 in four years with the Seminoles.
Before making their first selection at eighth overall, the Bills swung a trade with St. Louis. Aside from swapping first-round picks, Buffalo also acquired the Rams’ second- and seventh-round selections (46th and 222nd overall). The teams also exchanged third-round picks.
A year ago, quarterbacks went with the first two picks: Stanford’s Andrew Luck to the Indianapolis Colts and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III to the Washington Redskins.
Roll, Tide, roll
Alabama’s dominance once again carried over to the NFL draft.
The two-time defending national champions became the first college team to produce three consecutive first-round picks since the common draft started in 1967.
The New York Jets selected cornerback Dee Milliner with at No. 9, then guard Chance Warmack promptly went to the Tennessee Titans and San Diego picked tackle D.J. Fluker.
STATS Inc. says the back-to-back-to-back picks from one team had only happened once before.
Southern California’s Stanley Havili, David Ausberry and Malcolm Smith went with seventh-round picks 240-242 in 2011.
The Crimson Tide had four first-rounders each of the previous two years. Tailback Eddie Lacy and defensive lineman Jesse Williams have a chance to at least match that number.
A study conducted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute says there’s more value for second-round draft picks than first-rounders.
The analysis of the past 13 seasons shows that second-rounders provide 70 percent of the production of first-round picks but at just 40 percent of the salary.
“That’s a significant value and it tells me that general managers should give more value to second- and third-round picks,” said Craig Wills, the head of WPI’s Department of Computer Science.
The study by WPI students Casey Barney, Anthony Caravella, Michael Cullen and Gary Jackson, also concluded that the Pittsburgh Steelers have been the most cost-effective team in the drafting since 2000.
The Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers are next, while the St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns ranked as least efficient.
- For photos from the 1st round selections, click here.
Experience at No. 51
The Washington Redskins don’t have a selection until the No. 51 overall pick today during the second round.
But coach Mike Shanahan is familiar with the No. 51 pick.
Three times in a row, he was in that position with the Denver Broncos. The 2001 and 2003 selections were utterly forgettable, but no one has as problem recalling his choice in 2002.
“Sometimes when 51 comes up, you have your guy,” Shanahan said. “One of those guys was Clinton Portis.”
Shanahan chose right. Portis had a pair of 1,500-yard rushing seasons with the Broncos and finished his career with nearly 10,000 yards.
Shanahan can only hope to choose as wisely today when the Redskins are on the board in the second round of this year’s draft.
“It’s called a three-piece, right?” Yes, Luke Joeckel, and by the way, nice blue checks with that vested suit at the NFL draft.
The Texas A&M offensive tackle led top prospects with a little bitty accessory that screamed loudly from Radio City Music Hall: the pocket square.
Joeckel’s was a neat horizontal in a matching check worn with a striped tie, stripes being the other style memo received by the big guys in Thursday night’s first round.
Nobody took that memo to heart quite so, um, intensely as Eddie Lacy, the Alabama running back in a wide-stripe tie, striped bluish jacket and, yes, a pocket square.