Sean Mannion was a good prospect coming out of high school. A four-star recruit out of California, he was offered scholarships by a bunch of west coast schools before picking Oregon State. He actually grew an inch while in college (now 6’6"), and bulked-up a bit (229 lbs.) and also grew as a QB.
He has decent arm strength and accuracy (more on that below), started for four seasons at OSU, and finished his career with multiple school and Pac-12 records. Sure, his completion percentage isn’t the best, but when watching him as much as I’ve watched him, he throws it deep a lot which doesn't help you in that department.
Another problem leading to a lower completion % was the inconsistent (and frankly bad) play by the offensive line, mostly due to injuries. He also lost Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton, the best wide receivers OSU has had since T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chad Johnson and Mike Hass. Still, Mannion did a good job mentoring younger players like Victor Bolden and Jordan Villamin and left a legacy at OSU.
One thing helping Mannion get a leg-up on the competition is he played in pro-style systems in high school and throughout his college career under Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley. Learning plays and making adjustments should be easier for him as opposed to guys who ran a spread offense. A huge point to make is that Mannion's TD-INT ratio increased throughout his career at OSU, but plateaued in 2014 - he was also sacked 36 times. Thirty-six. The man needs some protection if he is going to succeed.
When he was drafted by the Rams in the 3rd round, I figured he was the future replacement for Foles, maybe even in 2016. Now there are rumors of Rams signing Foles long-term. What does that mean for Mannion? Career Rams back-up? Will they let him play in garbage time, build his resume, and ship him off for a draft pick like the Pats seem to do every couple seasons? It’s all speculation at this point. Interesting to see how this will play out.
His main competition will be Austin "noodle arm" or "25-step drop" Davis and Case Keenum. My guess is that the Rams will keep three QBs on the roster this season. So it’ll come down to Keenum vs Davis for the last spot, with Mannion just sitting in the corner reading the playbook and flipping through pre-snap/post-snap photos of the defense.
Keenum was traded back to the Rams for a seventh-round pick, and Davis won several games with 12 TDs, nine INTs, and had a 63% completion rate. That’s a better battle to pay attention to.
As mentioned earlier, Mannion's job is going to be learning the playbook and adjusting to the speed of the NFL. He's being groomed for the future, so don't expect much in the way of stats - unless Foles tanks/gets injured, which we are all crossing our fingers to avoid.
Chances of Making Final Roster (8.5/10)
Here I’m being a little conservative. Fisher isn’t going to cut a QB taken in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft. I should probably bump that to 10/10.