Last year about this time we heard the rough story of Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, who got pranked by someone calling him pretending to be a team selecting him in the draft.
And with Manti Te'o in the 2013 NFL Draft, everyone was on high alert for a prankster. But poor Bills quarterback EJ Manuel still got got. Only it was by the NFL -- Manuel told the Dan Patrick Show on Friday that someone from the league called the wrong hotline looking for Dion Jordan when the Dolphins were picking third.
"It's funny, though. I think the third or fourth pick, when Dion Jordan got selected, someone called my hotline phone that was there at the draft and I think they were looking for Dion. I got excited because I heard it ring," Manuel said.
Patrick asked Manuel if he was confused and, well, of course, he was. He picked up the phone, and some random dude yelled "Hey, congratulations, buddy!"
"Yeah, because someone was like, 'Hey, congratulations, buddy!' and I was like, 'Oh, thanks. Who is this?' and he was like, 'Is this Dion?' and I said, 'No, sir,'" Manuel said laughing. "And then he was like, 'Oh,' and then he hung up. But I got picked later, so it was all good."
Manuel's first round was a lot better than most folks' (ahem, Geno Smith). And the quarterback sure sounded like Buffalo was on him from the get-go -- he said he was confident with the Bills sitting at 16 and that he was never worried about being in the green room and facing the possibility of a deep drop while the cameras watched.
"It was a good mood. I'm sure my parents were probably more anxious than I was. Knowing that Buffalo had the 16th pick, I knew that if they picked someone else or didn't go quarterback there was a chance where I probably end up going the next day, but they took me at 16 and I was excited," Manuel said.
Many people were less enthused. Pete Prisco dropped a F- bomb on the Bills for grabbing Manuel at 16. I named Ryan Nassib a "loser" in my winners-losers post, but the point there was also that I don't care for the Bills' pick. But Manuel seems like a good kid, and he handled the situation in the green room -- as well as all the criticism -- with aplomb.
Todd McShay of ESPN ripped him after the pick for having "slow eyes," and Patrick asked Manuel about that criticism specifically; Manuel laughed it off.
"I don't know, man. Slow eyes. I haven't heard that one yet," Manuel said. "Hopefully, my eyes will quicken up."
There are a lot of people who consider Manuel a project quarterback. Maybe the Bills see him as that, too (Manuel said he planned on going in "to compete" right away, for whatever that's worth). It's obvious they see him as the top quarterback in this draft and a potential goldmine for them. Otherwise, they don't make the pick. If they're right, they'll end up looking pretty crafty indeed.