2015 NFL Draft Preview: QB Sean Mannion
The Sports Quotient’s annual Draft Preview series returns! Over the course of the 10 weeks leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft, we will take a look at the top NFL prospects at each position. This ninth week, the focus is on quarterbacks. Our second QB is Sean Mannion from Oregon State.
Sean Mannion started four seasons for the Oregon State Beavers, really opening eyes in his 2013 redshirt junior campaign as WR Brandin Cooks emerged as his favorite target. In 2013, Mannion completed 66.3% of his passes for 37 TDs and 15 INTs. Mannion was lucky enough to have Cooks in 2013, and in 2012 his favorite target was current Pittsburgh Steeler Markus Wheaton. He owns 18 passing records for the Beavers.
Standing at 6'6" with long arms and reasonably sized hands, Mannion already gels with the pro-style offense. His footwork is adequate and he can frequently hit his target when the pocket gives him time. Given the right circumstances, his accuracy is among the best in college football. Mannion has an above-average ability to read defenses and adjust his offense on the fly.
Ball security is perhaps the biggest issue, as he fumbled 30 times and threw 54 INTs in his career at Oregon State. He is comfortable in the pocket, but once he has to move, his eyes drop and he fails to extend plays. If the pocket has collapsed, his passes usually don't have as much power behind them and this issue led to a lot of errant throws during his college career. He has not yet learned when to throw away the ball on failed plays.
Mannion isn't quite there yet. He definitely has NFL potential but he lacks the predictability and confidence expected out of an NFL starting quarterback. His arm isn't great, but it is definitely good enough for him to succeed in the NFL in a backup role for the first few years of his career.
In terms of developing him as a future quarterback, the best landing spot for Mannion would be a place like Baltimore. The Ravens have their established signal-caller in Joe Flacco, but not every "elite" QB plays his whole career for the same team. It may be worth a 5th rounder by the Ravens to pick up some solid depth at the most important position.