BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills have taken Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel with their first pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Manuel threw for 3,392 yards and 23 touchdowns in his senior season with the Seminoles.
The Bills selected Manuel 16th overall after trading their first round pick to the St. Louis Rams. Manuel was overcome with emotion when the Bills selected him. His mom battled breast cancer but in February she was told she was cancer free.
In exchange for the number eight pick, the Bills get the Rams #16 pick, and added the Rams 2nd and 7th round picks. The teams also swapped 3rd round picks.
Bills GM Buddy Nix said "We felt like we knew them about as well as you could from a distance. This guy to us has got the upside to be whatever you want him to be. All these quarterbacks had good qualities. We said that from the start. This is a guy that can do both. We are not talking about...how Coach Marrone and his staff use him is his business. It is up to him now. The guy is capable of doing both."
Nix said Manuel has the arm strength to play in any conditions. "I think you need to be able to play in the wind and the cold. He has got huge hands. He is really strong. As far as arm strength, he might depend on that a little too much. He may need some refining as far as some touch and stuff. As far as arm strength there is no question. He is a huge man."
Bills head coach Doug Marrone said about Manuel's arm. "I think it is important and I think you have to have it. Obviously you talk about the weather and wind, but one of the things that is important for that position that E.J has shown is the intangibles we have talked about and his ability to work. I think that is the most important thing. When you have that desire to work and become better, those are the things that came out when I was speaking to him. And those are the things I appreciate because I think at the end of the day he works hard, earns the trust of the players and he learns the system. He can be an outstanding quarterback in this league." Along with his arm Marrone said he liked Manuel's ability see the field. "I thought that he did a very good job at keeping his eyes downfield. I thought he did an excellent job of knowing when to run and when not to run. I thought he did a great job when he did run, creating plays and keeping the chains going. That's what I saw on film."