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Old 04-22-2013, 02:02 PM    (permalink
Caulibflower
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Default EJ Manuel vs Cam Newton

One of the interesting things coming out of the rumor mill lately is that Chud has compared Manuel to Newton. I do think Manuel has a similar kind of physical upside, and if you were just to watch him against Clemson or something, you'd probably be inclined to agree. When Manuel's at his best, a Cam Newton comparison really isn't far off. Additionally, Manuel seems a bit more mature and composed than Cam, but he also isn't quite the athlete, and makes fewer splash plays with his legs.

the obvious question is if there's enough there to draft Manuel at #6 overall. There were plenty of people who thought #1 was way too high for Cam, although I wasn't one of them. With Manuel, I think he looks like a #1 overall pick in some games, but then doesn't in others. Cam pretty much dominated from start to finish at Auburn. I also think Cam's accuracy was consistently underrated in college, and his ability to come through in the clutch was impressive, and I haven't seen that degree of clutch yet with Manuel.

What are people's thoughts? Are there people who have Manuel rated higher this year than they had Cam rated two years ago?
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:29 PM    (permalink
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For all of Manuel's positive traits he just doesn't have good QB instincts. There's very little natural feel there at all. If someone just dropped Cam Newton into a huddle and said just draw up plays in the sand, I think he'd still engineer a drive. Manuel wouldn't come close. Maybe he'd work out in a certain system, but I just couldn't take him high lacking those QB instincts.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:32 PM    (permalink
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I was never as low on EJ as many (3-4th round many had) but never as high as many. With that said, I think he's a relatively good QB, probably has more knowledge of the game than Cam did coming out, FSU as a whole was a huge disappointment, it wasn't just EJ. But with that said he hasn't lived up to the hype.

He's got some running ability, but he's not Cam Newton running the ball. I kind of see a Daunte Culpepper with less arm strength when I watch him. With the needs on QBs I think he will likely end up a top 10-15 selection, but I still think he's a step down from Cam as a prospect.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:40 PM    (permalink
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I was never as low on EJ as many (3-4th round many had) but never as high as many. With that said, I think he's a relatively good QB, probably has more knowledge of the game than Cam did coming out, FSU as a whole was a huge disappointment, it wasn't just EJ. But with that said he hasn't lived up to the hype.

He's got some running ability, but he's not Cam Newton running the ball. I kind of see a Daunte Culpepper with less arm strength when I watch him. With the needs on QBs I think he will likely end up a top 10-15 selection, but I still think he's a step down from Cam as a prospect.
Pretty much spot on. I do feel like EJ is very close to Cam when it comes to running with the ball though but just has not been in an offense to showcase that.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:15 PM    (permalink
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For all of Manuel's positive traits he just doesn't have good QB instincts. There's very little natural feel there at all. If someone just dropped Cam Newton into a huddle and said just draw up plays in the sand, I think he'd still engineer a drive. Manuel wouldn't come close. Maybe he'd work out in a certain system, but I just couldn't take him high lacking those QB instincts.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:18 PM    (permalink
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Not even close.

I think Brett Hundley is closer to Newton than Manuel is. Though I actually compare Hundley to Culpepper.

Manuel looks way too mechanical with his motion. Pushes the ball instead of whipping it like Hundley does.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:20 PM    (permalink
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I don't even think it's close. I didn't love Cam but he was just a considerably better football player than Manuel. Cam picked up Auburn and carried it to a national title through the SEC. FSU disappointed even with their talent with Manuel at QB. There is a lot to like about Manuel in terms of tools and character, but I just don't think he is that great of a QB. Manuel is a 2nd/3rd rounder and Cam was a top 5/10 player.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:23 PM    (permalink
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Manuel?....he just uhh, has the same size and is athlete I guess?

Cam is 10x the football player, though.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:30 PM    (permalink
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Ill preface this by stating that I am a life-long FSU fan and I watched every game of EJ's career.

It becomes a question of what you see in a workout, how he tests and what you hear about him = all positives, has the right build, strong arm, ability to run, smart/mature.

Then you turn on the tape and more often than not you scratch your head at the decision making and the lack of "putting it all together" which is what scares me as a NFL.

Does EJ have nearly everything I would want out of a QB? Basically. He has repeatable mechanics, great build, arm talent, threat to run, multiple years starting, has shown at least marginal growth from year to year - but then I go back to the tape and I am confused as it doesnt seem to add up.

Do I understand why people like him? Yes. Does he worry me, especially as a first round pick? Absolutely.

As a 49ers fan I would be excited because I trust Harbaugh to develop him in our offense. If I am a fan of another team who doesnt have the track record of development I would hold my breath and hope for the best.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:42 PM    (permalink
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Not close.

About the closest aspect of their game is size. Newton is much more quick and fleet afoot.

As a passer, Manuel isn't close to Newton -- even in college. I actually was not down on him as a passer and saw him make a lot of NFL quality throws at that level.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:56 PM    (permalink
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Ill preface this by stating that I am a life-long FSU fan and I watched every game of EJ's career.

It becomes a question of what you see in a workout, how he tests and what you hear about him = all positives, has the right build, strong arm, ability to run, smart/mature.

Then you turn on the tape and more often than not you scratch your head at the decision making and the lack of "putting it all together" which is what scares me as a NFL.

Does EJ have nearly everything I would want out of a QB? Basically. He has repeatable mechanics, great build, arm talent, threat to run, multiple years starting, has shown at least marginal growth from year to year - but then I go back to the tape and I am confused as it doesnt seem to add up.

Do I understand why people like him? Yes. Does he worry me, especially as a first round pick? Absolutely.

As a 49ers fan I would be excited because I trust Harbaugh to develop him in our offense. If I am a fan of another team who doesnt have the track record of development I would hold my breath and hope for the best.
Great post. Manuel just isnt the sum of his parts right now. If he went to the right team with the right coach he could be a fantastic player possibly. But I could also see him never putting it together in a lot of situations. Kaepernick is an somewhat example of a success in this way. He had a bunch of great tools coming out but it was hard to see how he fits the NFL. He lands with Harbaugh who give him a little time to develop and puts him in an offense that works on his strengths and doesnt force him to do too much early on. He is now on his way to bing a great QB, but if Kaepernick landed in a less stable environment he could have also easily flopped.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:59 PM    (permalink
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Poor man's Cam in pretty much every way. I'm not saying that to knock E.J. but he's similar in the way he plays but he just has a little less arm strength and is not AS good a runner as Cam. But he's close enough to warrant a first round pick.

I also don't believe the upside is there. That's probably where they differ most. Cam has more upside than any player in the NFL IMO.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:05 PM    (permalink
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Poor man's Cam in pretty much every way. I'm not saying that to knock E.J. but he's similar in the way he plays but he just has a little less arm strength and is not AS good a runner as Cam. But he's close enough to warrant a first round pick.

I also don't believe the upside is there. That's probably where they differ most. Cam has more upside than any player in the NFL IMO.
He also has mastered the "Towel over Head" technique better than any player I've ever seen.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:07 PM    (permalink
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You've also got to remember just how much the NFL offenses have evolved just in the short time since Cam entered the league. We are seeing rookie QBs play better than ever because of it.

With the success of Cam, RG3 and Kaepernick (among others), it's easy to see why Manuels draft stock may soar. He and Smith are the two closest QBs to the 3 I mentioned earlier.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:42 PM    (permalink
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EJ Manuel = Mix between Jason Campbell and Tavaris Jackson.

I don't think he reaches the stardom level of Cam. I doubt he could put a team on his back and really carry them. I'm way down on EJ.

...but that just might mean he reaches stardom with my negative endorsement! lol. *still eating crow on Kaepernick bashing*
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:32 PM    (permalink
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As a passer, Manuel isn't close to Newton -- even in college. I actually was not down on him as a passer and saw him make a lot of NFL quality throws at that level.
Yeah, despite having relatively few throws, I always thought Cam looked like a really natural thrower. His such a great athlete, he just looked like he was doing whatever he wanted on the field, whether running with the ball or throwing it.

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Manuel just isnt the sum of his parts right now.
Think that's the right way to put it.

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If he went to the right team with the right coach he could be a fantastic player possibly. But I could also see him never putting it together in a lot of situations. Kaepernick is an somewhat example of a success in this way. He had a bunch of great tools coming out but it was hard to see how he fits the NFL. He lands with Harbaugh who give him a little time to develop and puts him in an offense that works on his strengths and doesnt force him to do too much early on. He is now on his way to bing a great QB, but if Kaepernick landed in a less stable environment he could have also easily flopped.
I kind of like the Kaepernick comparison, too. I wasn't a big fan of Kaepernick, but thought he went to a great situation and in the right frame of the draft, so if something similar happens with Manuel I can see him matring into a nice player, too. But I think #6 overall would be a little foolish. Maybe Chud really thinks he's the reason Cam had so much success down in Carolina, and if that were the case it might bode well for Manuel in Cleveland, but I think Cam to Carolina was more the case of a perfect player falling into a coordinator's lap. Can you even imagine Cam playing in San Francisco? That would be nasty.

My thought is that Manuel has pretty much everything you'd ask for, but doesn't have that seamless, intuitive grasp of the game that allows him to just play without analyzing himself. I think he slows himself down a bit, and if something surprises him it's almost like he's trying to figure out what to do as he runs toward the sideline, instead of having an instinctive reaction like Cam and some others do. I think if a coach can get that out of Manuel, and coach him up so that he always sets his feet correctly, you could end up with a starter. I have been concerned about Manuel's accuracy, but I don't know how much I should attribute it to lapses in footwork. I've seen some pretty ugly balls, and that's another thing you didn't see too often with Cam. I remember writing about Cam that he threw really nice swing passes and that his running backs could always catch the ball in stride alongside the defense and get downfield in a hurry. I have seen Manuel throw some absolutely ugly ducks over and behind his running backs in the flat, and that's a personal red flag for me. I really have to question a quarterback who has trouble with swing passes.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:52 PM    (permalink
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I've recently taking a liking to Manuel and think he may be the best QB from this draft at the end of the day. Never been a fan of Geno and while I like Barkley a lot we all know his upside is limited.

As for the comparison to Cam, like most say he is a poor mans Cam. Physically they a very similar but Cam is freak athlete that has unlimited upside and will be as good as he wants to. EJ doesn't have the pure speed and arm(strong arm, not Cam's arm) but will still develop nicely in the NFL and likely get to sit at first unlike Cam.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:25 AM    (permalink
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EJ Manuel is closer to Steve McNair than Cam Newton, in that he's very athletic but a massive project who will have to lean on that athleticism for his first few years in the league, and it'll take some great coaching for him to pan out as a legitimate quarterback in this league.

People are way too quick to seek out comparisons to recent players when there's often much better comparisons from the recent past if you just look for them.
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