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Johnny Manziel: Swan Won't Return His Calls

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Jul 9, 2013
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Johnny Football

Position Rank, Overall Rank

3rd, 17th - CBS, Rob Rang
5th, 33rd - CBS, Dane Brugler
3rd, 20th - ESPN, Mel Kiper
2nd, 12th - WalterFootball, Charlie Campbell
2nd, N/A - NFL, Mike Mayock
2nd, 12th - NFL, Daniel Jeremiah
1st, 1st - NFL, Gil Brandt
1st, 1st - SI, Doug Farrar
2nd, 13th - SI, Chris Burke
2nd, 7th - Drafttek


2013 Season: 3,706 passing yards, 295-434 (68.0 completion %), 26 passing TDs, 9 INTs - 1,410 rushing yards on 201 carries (7.0 YPC), 21 rushing TDs

2014 Season: 4,114 passing yards, 300-429 (69.9 completion %), 37 passing TDs, 13 INTs - 759 rushing yards on 144 carries (5.3 YPC), 9 rushing TDs

2012 AP Player of the Year
2012 Davey O'Brien Award Winner
2012 Heisman Trophy Winner
2012 First Team All-American QB
2013 Second Team All-American QB

All-Time SEC Leader in Completion Percentage
10th most total yards in SEC history
7th highest Passing Efficiency Rating of all-time

Gil Brandt on Johny Football:

I first learned about Johnny Manziel a few years back from Tom Rossley, who was Texas A&M's offensive coordinator under then-head coach Mike Sherman and the coach responsible for recruiting Manziel to A&M. Manziel was an exciting player in high school, but there were questions about what kind of passer he was going to be because he was one of those guys who won more games with his feet than his arm.

The story goes that Rossley was so enamored with Manziel that, during a recruiting meeting, he got up on the table to explain what he felt Manziel could mean to A&M.

Manziel was redshirted in 2011 at A&M because Ryan Tannehill -- who went on to become the Dolphins' first-round pick in the 2012 draft -- was the starting quarterback that season. I was present at Manziel's second college start, against SMU in Dallas on a hot afternoon, and before the game started, Chris Polian, the former Colts executive, came up to me on the field and said, "You're in for a treat today."

I quickly realized that he was right. Manziel led the Aggies to a 48-3 win that day and made some of the most unbelievable plays with his feet and his arm. When you consider how hot it was that afternoon, you just marveled while watching him run around on the field and make those incredible plays. Remember, too, that this was a new coaching staff that he was playing for -- A&M had fired the Sherman/Rossley group, so Manziel was starting under a completely new coaching staff and directing a new offense. That made his performance that day, as far as I'm concerned, even better, because he was doing something he'd just learned.

Later that year, I watched Manziel against Alabama on the road, and he led the team to victory over the No. 1 team in the nation, a team that went on to win the national championship. Manziel finished his first season in the 2012 Cotton Bowl by leading A&M to a 41-13 win over a very good Oklahoma team. His performance that night was unbelievable, both running and passing.

I think Manziel came to Texas A&M as a running-type QB, but quickly became a very good passer. I've said many times that he reminds me of Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton when he played in the NFL, only I think Manziel has better athletic ability.

I will be at Manziel's workout Thursday and feel that people will be surprised at how well he passes that day, both in terms of accuracy and also when they see his arm strength.

Manziel is going to be an outstanding NFL player for many years, for three reasons: He's one of the great competitors of all time out of college; he's an exceptional athlete; and he has the ability to bring your team from behind and win games when you're hopelessly out, like he did against Duke in this year's Chick-fil-A Bowl.

This guy is something special, and I'm excited to watch him in person Thursday.

Greg Cosell on Johny Football:

He’s a great example of how you try to project a transition from college to the NFL. I try to think of it this way – what do you hang your hat on when you think of Johnny Manziel? Watch him play, what stands out? Let’s say you’re watching TV, Ross. What stands out about Johnny Manziel? Making plays outside of structure, correct? So the question becomes for NFL people you’re the offensive coordinator, you’re the quarterbacks coach. You spend all week breaking down the opposing defense. You spend all week putting together your game plan. Isn’t that what they do? If your quarterback goes out and does not execute that and steps outside of structure when he does not need to, and that’s the critical point because that’s what you see when you watch Johnny Manziel on tape is how many balls he does not throw to open receivers. In fact I would make a reel of those and show him those if I was a team and have him explain the plays to me. But when you don’t do that and then you step outside of structure when you don’t need to, if that’s the basis for why you believe he’ll be a great NFL quarterback, based on my experience I would struggle with that as a reason for someone being a great NFL quarterback. I think it’s very hard in the NFL to live on the edge when you don’t need to live on the edge. If you live on the edge too often you will fall of the cliff, and that’s my view in the NFL.

I think there’s a balance between this idea that you have to be mobile to play in the NFL which has some validity with defenses and the pressure concepts. I think we all understand that. No one is saying that movement is negative in the player, but it’s when do you move and how do you move. I think Russell Wilson is a great example of someone whose movement is almost structured and that might sound contradictory, but I think when it’s third and six if Russell Wilson sees he can run for eight yards and get a first down, he just runs for eight yards and gets out of bounds. There’s a purpose to his movement. Now I’m interpreting Johnny Manziel on film, but quite frankly when he moves I see a guy who moves and then tries to figure it out and I’m not sure that it works in the NFL.

Scouting Report:

Career Highlights:
Re: Johnny Manziel

I just want to make it known that Colt McCoy was actually a better decision than Brandon Weeden?

I mean... obviously we could quote for days but... I never seen so much suck from one player than I did Brandon Weeden.

Hopefully we can come to peaceful terms...
Re: Johnny Manziel

Browns must do whatever it takes to get Johnny Football.
Re: Johnny Manziel

Browns must do whatever it takes to get Johnny Football.

Right, right. What about the same Colt McCoy that I was trying to prove against this same Brandon Weeden. Is anyone trying to argue that Weeden is better than Colt?

The chickens have come home to roost baby. What say you?
Re: Johnny Manziel

I don't give a flying fuck about Colt but ALL you motherfuckers were wrong about replacing Colt with Weeds. Admit it now or forever hold your peace.
Re: Johnny Manziel

Was Weeds better than Colt? Hell no!
Re: Johnny Manziel

The heck are you on about? Isn't this a Johnny Football thread?
Re: Johnny Manziel

I went ahead and deleted some OT posts. Also, please refrain from posting one after another to make a point.
Re: Johnny Manziel

This years #4 pick, #26, and 2015 first rounder for #1 overall from Houston. Get it done Ray
Re: Johnny Manziel

If only there was a quarterback prospect thread where QB prospects can be shamelessly promoted on laurels having little to do with talent.
Re: Johnny Manziel

I created the thread because it seems like he's easily the most divisive top QB out there, and IMO there's a good chance he'll be the Browns pick at #4. I think if put in the right system he could be an immediate impact player in the NFL, and I think Cleveland has the very pieces and coaching staff to accommodate his unique skills.

Only way I'd have any small chance of wanting to move up is if another team is making a run at trading up to #2, leaving us without a shot at one of the big 3 of Bridgewater, Bortles, and Manziel. Even then, I'd probably just sit at 4 and draft Clowney. The guy's easily the most talented player in the draft, and would be nearly unblockable when paired with Mingo on the other side.

It seems I'm not nearly as turned off about his size as other posters. He'll be short for a QB (5'11 3/4''), especially when you're looking at Blake Bortles (6'5'') and Teddy Bridgewater (6'2''). But his hands are massive, measuring in at 9 7/8 inches. That's bigger than Bortles (9 3/8) and much bigger than Bridgewater (9 1/4). That's key for Johnny, it's imperative smaller QBs to be able to hold on to the ball, and having enormous mitts is vital. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, the only good QBs in the NFL around Johnny's size, both had enlarged paws (10 1/4) as well.

I think he'll bulk up to around 210-215 by the time he starts playing this year, more than enough to make it through the majority of an NFL season. He's probably a good bet to miss a couple games every year, but I'll take that slight trade-off if his reckless playing style equates to a more dangerous, versatile offense. Ben Roethlisberger only played a complete 16 game season twice in his ten year career, Donovan McNabb only played four complete seasons in thirteen years, and Michael Vick only made it through full one season in eleven years of professional football. It didn't make them any less effective when they were on the field though, it just drove their fans crazy when they ran.

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