Draft Buzz: EJ Manuel On the Rise?

If the Eagles don’t use their first-round pick on EJ Manuel, they are not going to land him. That’s the feeling of one league source close to the situation, who says a couple teams are showing significant interest in the Florida State signal-caller.

“I think the media is pretty far off as far as where they have EJ right now,” the source said.

Many analysts believe Manuel will be taken in the second round. There are no shortage of mocks that predict he will be the Eagles’ selection at 35. But this is a quarterback class (and therefor, a draft) that has been very hard to pin down. There is no consensus on how these QBs will come off the board, or when.

Two teams believed to have eyes for Manuel are the Bills and Jets. The Bills hold the eighth overall selection, while the Jets pick at both nine and 13. Cleveland, which holds the No. 6 pick, worked out Manuel on Saturday.

Both Buffalo and New York will almost certainly be hunting for a quarterback. But who, and when? Many are making the Bills-Ryan Nassib connection given that former Syracuse coach Doug Marrone is now the head man for Buffalo. The latest report suggests that the Bills are concerned that the Jets may be in pursuit of Nassib, which could force them to pull the trigger at eight. Geno Smith could still be in play at this point as well.

There are plenty of variables, and a lot of misdirection going on right now. But don’t rule out Manuel’s name being called Thursday night.

I spoke to a league insider today with ties to a projected top-10 pick. He said the uncertainty surrounding the top of the draft is unprecedented.

“I cant believe it’s the day before and I have no idea where he’s going,” he said. “It’s shocking to me.”

One name that seems to have crept into the top-five conversation is BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah. From NFL.com:

Ansah has received much more top-five attention in the last few days, NFL.com’s Albert Breer reported. The Lions, with the No. 5 pick in the NFL draft, could be the landing zone if tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are picked beforehand. Defensive line coach Jim Washburn is in the Ansah camp, according to Breer.

Breer noted there are teams interested in moving up and could make a deal with the Eagles at No. 4 to jump in front of the Lions.

The Eagles wouldn’t deny Washburn his man, would they?

The Baltimore Sun writes that the Ravens are considering moving up from the No. 32 spot to land tackle Lane Johnson. That’s a far climb, with Johnson potentially going in the  top five, but they are armed with 12 picks.

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