ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — When the Bills selected EJ Manuel with their first round draft pick last week, it immediately sparked the question - how soon will he become the starting quarterback?
We've seen rookie QB's have success of late. You have to look no further than last season when Andrew Luck (Indianapolis), Robert Griffin III (Washington) and Russell Wilson (Seattle) all led their teams to the playoffs.
"I expect to learn, I expect to compete," said Manuel. " But to me the biggest thing is to come in and earn the respect of my teammates. I think the best way to do that is to not do a lot of talking, just come in and try to learn as fast as possible."
Many analysts consider Manuel a work-in-progress, so it remains to be seen if he can have that same type of impact right away. If the Bills want to take their time and let Manuel develop, they do have the option of starting Kevin Kolb or Tarvaris Jackson under center.
Bills' Hall-of-Fame quarterback Jim Kelly weighed in on the subject:
"The good thing I see with this is you have a guy like Kevin Kolb that they brought in, that the pressure's not on him right away to go in and play," said Kelly. "Everybody says that think the best way to learn is to throw him in right away. I don't always think that's the right thing to do."
That process gets rolling on May 10th when the Bills open rookie mini-camp. That's when we expect to get our first look at Manuel and the rest of the draft class together in Orchard Park.