Here's a link to a NFL Network discussion on Manuel
. Casserly takes the side of Doppelganger
& TexansSeminole, that Manuel is not a 1st round QB. Former Bronco GM Ted Sundquist makes Vinny's case that Manuel is a 1st round QB, and has what a team is looking for in a QB in today's NFL.
I can see both sides. I watched every pass and run from Manuel in the 2011 bowl games versus Notre Dame (a good college defense). The cons were that Manuel didn't really feel the rush and made some poor decisions with the ball (that didn't cost him, fortunately). The pros were that he showed he could make every throw and NFL QB needs to make, and kept his poise and led the team to a comeback win.
Right now, I don't think Manuel is as good as Matt Barkley. By 2015, Manuel could very well be better than Barkley. As Sundquist pointed out, Manuel didn't have the weapons around him that QBs like Geno Smith, Tyler Bray, and Barkley had. In that Notre Dame bowl game, he had several freshman o-lineman blocking for him. Put Manuel in that West Virginia or USC offense, and maybe he's the one getting top 10 consideration.
BTW, Texan GM Rick Smith tutored under Sundquist in Denver, so it wouldn't be surprising if he (and Kubiak) evaluated Manuel in a similar fashion. And even if the Texans are not considering him with their pick at #27, it would be wise to bring Manuel in for an interview. There aren't an teams behind the Texans in the 1st round that are likely to go QB with their pick. And if the Texans want to generate interest for teams like the Eagles, Cards, or Jets to trade up, showing interest in E.J. would be the smart move.