2013 Draft – Overall Pick # 16
17 games started, 6-11 record, 3,502 passing yards, 19 TDs, and 15 INTs
In 2013 the Buffalo Bills only had one pick in the first round. While it was fairly high, this was deemed a weak year for QBs. The Bills would trade back into the first round to try to match value and draft position. Their selection was EJ Manuel out of Florida State, who featured an impressive collegiate win-loss record.
Outgoing GM Buddy Nix had one objective, which was to select the future franchise QB before he retired. The problem was, it one of the worst years in NFL history to pick a quarterback. There was a strong opinion that there wouldn’t be any quarterbacks selected in the first round.
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Nix determined EJ Manuel was the best quarterback in the 2013 class. The Bills were savvy and traded backwards to better match value with the selection.
This move was both smart and mildly puzzling. Smart that they didn’t reach. Puzzling, because IF this is your franchise QB, how do you let the opportunity to pick him pass?
Arguments can even be made that the Bills did in fact did pick the best QB of the 2013 draft. Yet, this class was so poor in quarterback talent, that it was still a poor decision.
EJ Manuel started off decent, but was probably rushed into starting after Kevin Kolb tripped walking onto the practice field. Like Losman, inconsistency early lead to losses, which left Manuel on the outside looking in once Rex Ryan and Tyrod Taylor arrived.
The best feature Manuel would end up possessing as a Bill would be a strong hard count that led to several offsides.