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 on Thursday and filled a big need for a Bills team that is 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.
Manuel met with reporters Friday afternoon at One Bills Drive, saying he is happy to be a member of the Bills. Manuel talked about the emotion of having his family with him when he was drafted, including his mother, who is recovering from cancer.
"To go out across that stage and see her when I came back...it meant a lot to me. She's made a lot of sacrifices, just as my dad has too. This is not just an E.J. win, it's a whole family win," Manuel said.
Manuel has a connection to a Hall of Fame player from the team's Super Bowl years. His father is close friends with Bills great Bruce Smith.
"I met Bruce when I was a kid," he said "The fact that I'm playing for a team that he had such a great legacy with means a lot to me."
Manuel says he looks forward to getting to know his teammates and learning more about the city. He says he met some fans this morning.
"I took some pictures and signed some autographs and mini helmets and things like that. I saw, I think, Lake Erie this morning. It was a clear day outside and it was good to get around the city," Manuel said.