Originally Posted by raphael
Manuel's completion rates in his four seasons were 65.1, 69.9, 65.3, and 68.
His passer ratings 153.3, 151.2, 156. Each year he won a Bowl Game. Where is the "inconsistency"? As for attributing it to all that "talent" around him, none of the offensive players there his final season were there his first season. He played the same throughout his career, pretty much, regardless of who was around him.
The inconsistency is not season-to-season necessarily, but game-to-game, and within the the game. I like Manuel more than most, but he wouldn't have had that high comp % for just any team. When Manuel had to throw over the middle of the field or throw with touch, he did struggle at times. He threw to an awful lot of stationary targets and seemed very uncomfortable when pressured. His accuracy was much better when he was stationary.
Manuel's struggles against better teams are also troubling (Oklahoma '11, Florida '11, Florida '12). While it certainly makes sense that a player would do worse when they faced a good defense, Manuel did clearly benefit from all the talent surrounding him and is probably not quite as good as his stats would generally indicate. Geno Smith has some of the same problems, but Smith's overall body of work is more impressive, Smith has had some good games against decent defenses, and Smith has shown the ability to throw with a level of accuracy Manuel does not possess.
I think Manuel is probably a 3rd-4th round guy who could go earlier who would fit best on a team that runs a lot of play action. Manuel has a pretty nice arm when things don't break down, and his athleticism adds a nice dimension to his game, but he just lacks the accuracy/ball placement to likely be an instant contributor or a starter in the short term.