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Official Johnny Manziel Thread - participates in Fan Controlled Football: 'Feels like I'm super washed up'


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RIP

His argument is pretty ridiculous, but there's really no reason to bring up Ferguson or the I can't breathe protests in response. Pretty poor taste here guys.

There have been years Kiper shuffled the deck in the top 10 picks so often I seriously thought he did this so no matter who went where, he could say he had the player going in that spot in his mock.

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Connor Shaw is a better version of Maziel IMO. Probably won't even get drafted.

How does a facsimile ever outshine the original? Just looking for a reference point, but in your case, the reference point keeps moving.

Well JF is supposed to be Russel Wilson like.. They have a lot in common. Shaw is a better passer. No one cares because TMZ wasn't at his last party with cameras.

Common opponents in 2013 (Missouri, Miss State, Arkansas, Vandy) comparison:

73.3% Comp. Pct., 12 TD/4 INT, 11.8 yards per completion, 34.5 ry/pg, 0TD = Manziel

66.0% Comp. Pct., 13 TD/0 INT, 12.2 yards per completion, 24.8 ry/pg, 1 TD = Shaw

And he is taller, bigger with no character flaws. Some things about the NFL I will never understand.

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Rotoworld:

NFL.com's Gil Brandt ranks Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel as the top prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft.

"Manziel (6-0, 205 pounds) is a unique athlete who produced 10,000 yards of offense in two seasons with the Aggies. He has great vision at quarterback," Brandt writes. Manziel is a possibility with the No. 1 overall pick, and plenty of media members who cover the draft have said he will not fall out of the top 10 picks. Brandt's next quarterback is Teddy Bridgewater at No. 5.
Source: NFL.com
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This guy may be a great QB, i am not sure

i am pretty damn sure he is a major ###

you can learn to love an ### who wins for your team, but nothing is worse than an ### who doesn;t win for your team

at this point the winning or not is unknown, but the ### part is a constant

given that, i want him no where near any team i like

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Rotoworld:

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has Texans A&M QB Johnny Manziel going to the Texans at No. 1 overall in his initial mock draft.

Readers should know that mock drafts are little more than a thought exercise at this stage of the game, but it's notable nonetheless. Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater is still the most popularly mocked player to the Texans at No. 1, but Manziel's hype has grown. NFL.com's Gil Brandt ranked Manziel as his No. 1 overall prospect on Wednesday. Manziel is sure to polarize between now and May, but the odds appear slim that he slips out of the draft's first 10 picks.
Source: ESPN.com
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I really would like the Jags to draft him, it would give me a reason to watch their games.

Clowney would be tempting, but he could easily be gone by 1.3, he seems to be a near unanimous pick as the most talented prospect in the draft. If Manziel were there (he also could be gone), he might remind HC Bradley somewhat of Wilson (though different intangibles).

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I really would like the Jags to draft him, it would give me a reason to watch their games.

Clowney would be tempting, but he could easily be gone by 1.3, he seems to be a near unanimous pick as the most talented prospect in the draft. If Manziel were there (he also could be gone), he might remind HC Bradley somewhat of Wilson (though different intangibles).
If the Jags come out with either Manziel, Clowney, or Bridgewater, I'll be a happy man.
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I really would like the Jags to draft him, it would give me a reason to watch their games.

If they get that weapon or whatever he was called and Ace to run around while their big WRs get it done....that could be fun to watch. Their short players are quite dynamic runners.

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NFL.com scout Daniel Jeremiah has my favorite scouting profile of Manziel so far, in his top 50 prospect list released 1-15-14. It resonates with some on the board who have said he is one of the best at evading the rush since Tarkenton, and that his arm strength and accuracy are better than some may think. Also, he will need to tone down the running beyond the LOS.

"Manziel is the most creative quarterback I've evaluated in the last 10 years. He has an uncanny ability to feel pressure, escape the pocket, and make accurate throws on the move. He is also very skilled from inside the pocket. He has a live arm and is very accurate to all three levels despite throwing from a variety of platforms and arm angles. As a runner, he is sudden and is able to make defenders miss without gearing down. His lack of size and aggressive running style is the main concern. He seeks out contact as a runner. That has to change at the next level."

http://www.nfl.com/top50

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I am guessing everyone has seen this documentary on Manziel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsJJSEDISbo

George Whitfield believes he can succeed at the next level and Whitfield opinion matters because he has worked with Cam and Luck. I can't deny that the kid is super competitive and willing to put in the work to succeed.

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I am guessing everyone has seen this documentary on Manziel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsJJSEDISbo

George Whitfield believes he can succeed at the next level and Whitfield opinion matters because he has worked with Cam and Luck. I can't deny that the kid is super competitive and willing to put in the work to succeed.

I didn't see this. Thanks for posting it. I have a problem with this style, because I'm afraid he won't last taking hits from the big dogs in the NFL. His height is also a concern, despite other people jumping out of their pants to cite Brees, I understand that Brees is the exception not the rule. He's a d-bag, but I don't care about that as far as imagining his pro prospects. It's nice to see how driven he is. That's great!

Does anyone know if he's ever played in bad weather? Rain/snow?

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Raiders shooting for playmaker like Johnny Manziel, GM says

By Dan Greenspan

College Football 24/7 writer

After another shambolic season at the quarterback position, the Oakland Raiders will be looking for an upgrade there with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. General manager Reggie McKenzie knows as much, and his endorsement of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel reflects it.

"He's a playmaker," McKenzie told SFGate.com. "Whether it's him or one of these other guys, when you can add a playmaker, that's what you shoot for."

The unquenchable swagger and freewheeling style of Manziel would fit in with the historic image of the team famously described as the "Autumn wind" by Steve Sabol and NFL Films, but based on the initial mock drafts from NFL media analysts Daniel Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks, and Charles Davis, Manziel will be gone before the Raiders are on the clock.

Davis has Manziel going third to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Jeremiah and Brooks both have Manziel coming off the board with the fourth pick to the Cleveland Browns.

Jeremiah has the Raiders taking Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, with Brooks tapping Blake Bortles of UCF. Davis sees the Raiders selecting USC wide receiver Marqise Lee.

With an enormous amount of dead money coming off the books, the Raiders will have the salary cap flexibility to consider putting together the package of draft picks necessary to move up for Manziel and still upgrade the overall talent level through free agency.

McKenzie also said he would prefer to sit a quarterback during his rookie season and give him and the team additional time to develop. That approach would be a reversal of a recent trend across the NFL, where rookie quarterbacks have been starting immediately.

Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III all found immediate success by taking their teams to the playoffs in their first season. The returns were mixed for the likes of E.J. Manuel, Geno Smith, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden over the last two campaigns.

And while it might make sense to give Manziel or any other rookie quarterback a chance to get settled in before starting, the dearth of talent at the position may force the Raiders to turn to the newcomer. After all, that's why the Raiders will be looking for a quarterback in the draft in the first place.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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Johnny Manziel could be pocket passer, according to statistics

By Dan Greenspan

College Football 24/7 writer

Technically the Houston Texans are on the clock, but really, that distinction goes to new head coach Bill O'Brien. Whoever is the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft will provide an intriguing glimpse into how O'Brien views the quarterback position.

O'Brien said the Texans are "a long way from a decision" on how to use the selection, adding that he has yet to begin evaluating Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and other top prospects.

"I think I've only seen him on TV twice, but I think he's a very exciting player, one of the better college players to come along in a long time, and I'm looking forward to studying him as a player," O'Brien said in an interview with ESPN that was subsequently transcribed by the Houston Chronicle.

There are two fundamental questions facing O'Brien, whether he believes a franchise signal-caller is necessary for success. If the answer is yes, then it comes down to whether Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Blake Bortles of UCF, or Derek Carr of Fresno State meet those qualifications.

O'Brien saw first-hand the impact a superstar can have on a team as an assistant coach for the New England Patriots. But O'Brien was also around when the Pats won 11 games without Tom Brady at the helm, relying more on the offensive line and defense to assist a caretaker quarterback in Matt Cassel.

NFL Media analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks each see the Texans going with the latter approach, adding South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to an already stout front seven in their initial mock drafts. Charles Davis has Bridgewater going No. 1 overall.

If the Texans do go with a quarterback, history would seem to be against Manziel. O'Brien favored the conventional approach in his time at Penn State, best exemplified by freshman Christian Hackenberg, a prototypical pocket passer at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds. And no one would ever mistake Brady for the often frenetic, always exciting Manziel.

But Manziel might be better suited to operate O'Brien's offense than his freewheeling style might suggest. Manziel attempted the highest percentage of passes covering 20 yards or longer among the consensus top four quarterback prospects, a whopping 18.69 percent of his throws, according to Greg Peshek of Rotoworld.

Manziel completed 55.84 percent of those shot plays, also the top mark and better than Bridgewater, Bortles and Carr.

Whether O'Brien agrees with that assessment will determine how the draft shakes out.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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Connor Shaw is a better version of Maziel IMO. Probably won't even get drafted.

How does a facsimile ever outshine the original? Just looking for a reference point, but in your case, the reference point keeps moving.

Well JF is supposed to be Russel Wilson like.. They have a lot in common. Shaw is a better passer. No one cares because TMZ wasn't at his last party with cameras.

Common opponents in 2013 (Missouri, Miss State, Arkansas, Vandy) comparison:

73.3% Comp. Pct., 12 TD/4 INT, 11.8 yards per completion, 34.5 ry/pg, 0TD = Manziel

66.0% Comp. Pct., 13 TD/0 INT, 12.2 yards per completion, 24.8 ry/pg, 1 TD = Shaw

And he is taller, bigger with no character flaws. Some things about the NFL I will never understand.

Yes, TMZ is the determining factor between a possible #1 overall, and a guy fighting to hear his name called at all. :yes:

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Connor Shaw is a better version of Maziel IMO. Probably won't even get drafted.

How does a facsimile ever outshine the original? Just looking for a reference point, but in your case, the reference point keeps moving.

Well JF is supposed to be Russel Wilson like.. They have a lot in common. Shaw is a better passer. No one cares because TMZ wasn't at his last party with cameras.

Common opponents in 2013 (Missouri, Miss State, Arkansas, Vandy) comparison:

73.3% Comp. Pct., 12 TD/4 INT, 11.8 yards per completion, 34.5 ry/pg, 0TD = Manziel

66.0% Comp. Pct., 13 TD/0 INT, 12.2 yards per completion, 24.8 ry/pg, 1 TD = Shaw

And he is taller, bigger with no character flaws. Some things about the NFL I will never understand.

Yes, TMZ is the determining factor between a possible #1 overall, and a guy fighting to hear his name called at all. :yes:

Ever here of a joke?
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Connor Shaw is a better version of Maziel IMO. Probably won't even get drafted.

How does a facsimile ever outshine the original? Just looking for a reference point, but in your case, the reference point keeps moving.

Well JF is supposed to be Russel Wilson like.. They have a lot in common. Shaw is a better passer. No one cares because TMZ wasn't at his last party with cameras.

Common opponents in 2013 (Missouri, Miss State, Arkansas, Vandy) comparison:

73.3% Comp. Pct., 12 TD/4 INT, 11.8 yards per completion, 34.5 ry/pg, 0TD = Manziel

66.0% Comp. Pct., 13 TD/0 INT, 12.2 yards per completion, 24.8 ry/pg, 1 TD = Shaw

And he is taller, bigger with no character flaws. Some things about the NFL I will never understand.

Yes, TMZ is the determining factor between a possible #1 overall, and a guy fighting to hear his name called at all. :yes:

Ever here of a joke?

You are referring to the bolded I assume?

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Connor Shaw is a better version of Maziel IMO. Probably won't even get drafted.

How does a facsimile ever outshine the original? Just looking for a reference point, but in your case, the reference point keeps moving.

Well JF is supposed to be Russel Wilson like.. They have a lot in common. Shaw is a better passer. No one cares because TMZ wasn't at his last party with cameras.

Common opponents in 2013 (Missouri, Miss State, Arkansas, Vandy) comparison:

73.3% Comp. Pct., 12 TD/4 INT, 11.8 yards per completion, 34.5 ry/pg, 0TD = Manziel

66.0% Comp. Pct., 13 TD/0 INT, 12.2 yards per completion, 24.8 ry/pg, 1 TD = Shaw

And he is taller, bigger with no character flaws. Some things about the NFL I will never understand.

Yes, TMZ is the determining factor between a possible #1 overall, and a guy fighting to hear his name called at all. :yes:

Ever here of a joke?

You are referring to the bolded I assume?

moving on
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Rotoworld:

According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the Browns are "willing to trade up" to land Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel in May's draft.

Reports connecting the Browns and Manziel have come so fast and furious since the regular season ended that we're beginning to smell a smokescreen. Cleveland does hold two first-round picks and could make a move up the board if GM Mike Lombardi so wanted. We suspect the Rams would jump at the chance to deal the No. 2 overall pick for the Browns' selections at Nos. 4 and 26.
Related: Broncos
Source: CBS Sports
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Rotoworld:

According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the Browns are "willing to trade up" to land Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel in May's draft.

Reports connecting the Browns and Manziel have come so fast and furious since the regular season ended that we're beginning to smell a smokescreen. Cleveland does hold two first-round picks and could make a move up the board if GM Mike Lombardi so wanted. We suspect the Rams would jump at the chance to deal the No. 2 overall pick for the Browns' selections at Nos. 4 and 26.
Related: Broncos
Source: CBS Sports

Does Johnny need a coach?

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Rotoworld:

LSU S Craig Loston revealed some of the team's gameplan when facing Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel.

"Our plan was to try to keep him in the pocket, make him beat us from the pocket," Loston said. "We did a pretty good job of keeping him bottled up throughout the whole game... he caught us in a couple of errors, but I think our D-line did a great job of collapsing things around him and forcing him into some pressure throws." The note is important, as these two games against LSU might have been two of Manziel's worst performances in his career.
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Rotoworld:

LSU S Craig Loston revealed some of the team's gameplan when facing Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel.

"Our plan was to try to keep him in the pocket, make him beat us from the pocket," Loston said. "We did a pretty good job of keeping him bottled up throughout the whole game... he caught us in a couple of errors, but I think our D-line did a great job of collapsing things around him and forcing him into some pressure throws." The note is important, as these two games against LSU might have been two of Manziel's worst performances in his career.

LSU was excellent two years in a row holding Johnny in check, but this last game I felt the weather may have had as much to do with it as anything else.

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Rotoworld:

According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the Browns are "willing to trade up" to land Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel in May's draft.

Reports connecting the Browns and Manziel have come so fast and furious since the regular season ended that we're beginning to smell a smokescreen. Cleveland does hold two first-round picks and could make a move up the board if GM Mike Lombardi so wanted. We suspect the Rams would jump at the chance to deal the No. 2 overall pick for the Browns' selections at Nos. 4 and 26.
Related: Broncos
Source: CBS Sports

i don't believe it.

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Excerpt from Peter King's MMQB:

Gil Brandt on Manziel. A few league people raised their eyebrows when the godfather of the draft, Gil Brandt, put 6-0 Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel No. 1 on his first draft board. I asked Brandt why he did it. “I do have a tremendous belief in him,” Brandt said. “You are going to get 110% out of this guy every day of his life, every play of his life. If you don’t have a quarterback, and you want one, I believe this guy has a great chance to be good for a long time. This guy had an inferior team. And he beat Alabama, he beat Oklahoma. He’s down 29 to Duke in the last game of his college career, and he’s on the sidelines saying, ‘There is no way we are going to lose.’ This guy’s a better version of Fran Tarkenton.” About Manziel’s love of the parties, Brandt said, “He’s had a chance to do some things, at age 18, 19, 20 and 21, because of the financial backing of his grandfather, but the more I’ve looked into him, I just don’t believe it’s going to hold him back from being really good. The one thing coach [Tom] Landry told me a long time ago is you look for the good, not for the bad.”

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Rotoworld:

Former NFL exec Greg Gabriel believes Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel will be a very good player at the next level.

"Overall, Manziel is unique. He is not for everyone," Gabriel writes. "The team that drafts him has to have a plan and play to his strengths. He is not nor will he ever be a conventional pro style drop back passer." Gabriel then added he sees bits of Russell Wilson, Brett Favre and Drew Brees in Manziel's game. Our own Josh Norris believes Manziel's pocket movement is his gift and curse. The quarterback's development will be fun to watch.
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Excerpt from Peter King's MMQB:

Gil Brandt on Manziel. A few league people raised their eyebrows when the godfather of the draft, Gil Brandt, put 6-0 Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel No. 1 on his first draft board. I asked Brandt why he did it. “I do have a tremendous belief in him,” Brandt said. “You are going to get 110% out of this guy every day of his life, every play of his life. If you don’t have a quarterback, and you want one, I believe this guy has a great chance to be good for a long time. This guy had an inferior team. And he beat Alabama, he beat Oklahoma. He’s down 29 to Duke in the last game of his college career, and he’s on the sidelines saying, ‘There is no way we are going to lose.’ This guy’s a better version of Fran Tarkenton.” About Manziel’s love of the parties, Brandt said, “He’s had a chance to do some things, at age 18, 19, 20 and 21, because of the financial backing of his grandfather, but the more I’ve looked into him, I just don’t believe it’s going to hold him back from being really good. The one thing coach [Tom] Landry told me a long time ago is you look for the good, not for the bad.”

Will the Texans really spend the 1st overall pick on this guy? I think he has potential but the 1st overall pick?

Might as well trade down, he may fall, no?

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Excerpt from Peter King's MMQB:

Gil Brandt on Manziel. A few league people raised their eyebrows when the godfather of the draft, Gil Brandt, put 6-0 Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel No. 1 on his first draft board. I asked Brandt why he did it. “I do have a tremendous belief in him,” Brandt said. “You are going to get 110% out of this guy every day of his life, every play of his life. If you don’t have a quarterback, and you want one, I believe this guy has a great chance to be good for a long time. This guy had an inferior team. And he beat Alabama, he beat Oklahoma. He’s down 29 to Duke in the last game of his college career, and he’s on the sidelines saying, ‘There is no way we are going to lose.’ This guy’s a better version of Fran Tarkenton.” About Manziel’s love of the parties, Brandt said, “He’s had a chance to do some things, at age 18, 19, 20 and 21, because of the financial backing of his grandfather, but the more I’ve looked into him, I just don’t believe it’s going to hold him back from being really good. The one thing coach [Tom] Landry told me a long time ago is you look for the good, not for the bad.”

Will the Texans really spend the 1st overall pick on this guy? I think he has potential but the 1st overall pick?

Might as well trade down, he may fall, no?

i won't believe it until i see it.

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Russ Lande breaks him down.

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/67254668/nfl-%20prospect-profile-quarterback-Johnny-Manziel

January 30, 2014

Prospect Profile: Johnny Manziel By Russ Lande

Leading up to the Super Bowl, Sports on Earth will be offering up an introduction to five players who we are confident will be selected within the top 10 picks of the 2014 NFL draft, what NFL teams know about them and what they want to find out. We started on Monday with a look at University of Buffalo defensive end/outside linebacker Khalil Mack, then on Tuesday we focused the spotlight on Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. On Wednesday, we took aim at UCLA defensive end/outside linebacker Anthony Barr, and today we take on the "elephant in the room," Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

When you watch a football game on television, it is usually easy to get an impression as to whether a quarterback has the tools to play in the NFL. With Manziel, however, it takes a lot more time studying film and breaking him down to determine what his NFL future holds. I have spoken with numerous respected NFL scouts about him, and it's an understatement to say that opinions are split. A few have told me they feel he is the best quarterback in the draft, which is high praise indeed. But on the other hand, others have actually said they would not draft him. Needless to say, opinions split that drastically on a player are rare.

The first thing that grabbed my attention is that Manziel definitely has what scouts call a "plus arm," which means he can make every NFL throw with ease. While he often looks like he is playing schoolyard football, he has consistently shown quickness in getting rid of the ball and can make throws to lead receivers that few other passers can. Both in the pocket and on the move,

Manziel's ability to throw accurately 16-plus yards downfield is outstanding, and you can see from watching film that he has spent a lot of time working with his receivers, as their timing on back-shoulder throws is remarkable. Although some of his moves to escape sacks will get him killed in the NFL, he does possess a rare ability to avoid pressure and sacks to buy himself a second chance that can extend plays longer than any quarterback I have ever evaluated.

Having to throw as many passes as he did, it's also impressive that Manziel throws few, if any, passes that defenders can get their hands on. Of the top five quarterbacks I have evaluated so far (Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, Bridgewater, Zach Mettenberger and Manziel), he has the lowest error/interception rate of any of them. Not only does Manziel have the passing skills to succeed in the NFL, but his ability to lead his team and carry them on his back to comebacks consistently has been incredible.

After evaluating film, I was shocked by how good Manziel is as a passer, but that's often not what people associate with him when his name comes up. Despite the media reports, nearly everything I have been able to dig up on Manziel's character has been positive. (Having worked for two NFL teams, I completely understand that scouts lie to media all the time to deceive and hide intentions, but I have tremendous confidence in my sources on this subject.) No one I spoke to will deny that Manziel can act like a spoiled kid who is still maturing as a young man, but none expressed great concern about his true character, with the consensus being that football is very important to Manziel and that he consistently does more than is asked to make sure he is successful.

Manziel is viewed within the program as a rare competitor who will do anything to succeed, and this shows in his willingness to play through pain and confront teammates when needed as leaders must do. One thing that shocked me when speaking to scouts is that prior to practice and games, Manziel actually goes through the process of making tough throws from awkward positions when he cannot set his feet and this shows up in his ability to make great throws despite terrible positioning. Not that his raw footwork is good when he has a clean pocket or time and space to reset feet, but it clearly pays dividends when outside the pocket.

Apart from positive character reports, scouts definitely expressed some real concerns that he must address in order to be as successful in the NFL as he was in college. High on that list is Manziel's tendency to overstride when trying to put extra zip on the ball, which leads to passes sailing on him. When he goes through progressions in the pocket and tries to make short (5 to 15 yard) throws quickly, his accuracy is inconsistent and too often his passes dip in front of the receiver. One issue that I found very concerning on film and addressed with NFL people is Manziel's tendency to vacate the pocket out the back, which rarely works in the NFL and can lead to major errors. He will need to become much more consistent stepping up in the pocket to avoid deep pressure if he hopes to become a successful NFL passer.

The last thing scouts raised as an issue is that Manziel is not especially large for a quarterback and needs to learn to get down or out of bounds when running with the ball. Otherwise, he will expose himself to too many violent hits, which will cause his body to break down if he does not learn to better protect himself. (Russell Wilson is a great example of a player who gains yards scrambling with the ball, but is so smart that he rarely takes a hard hit.)

Despite all of the analysis and my thorough charting out of Manziel, the debate about his likelihood for success in the NFL will likely continue until he proves himself or fails. Whatever team drafts him better have a smart offensive coordinator whose ego is not so big that he will force Manziel to fit his system. He will need to be willing to tailor an offense around Manziel's very unique skill set in order for them both to be successful.

* * *

Russ Lande writes about college scouting and the NFL draft for Sports on Earth. He is GM jr. scouting and college scouting director for the CFL's Montreal Alouettes and the Big 10 Network. He is a former scout for the Cleveland Browns and former scouting administrator for the St. Louis Rams. You can follow him @RUSSLANDE.

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Russ Lande breaks him down.

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/67254668/nfl-%20prospect-profile-quarterback-Johnny-Manziel

January 30, 2014

Prospect Profile: Johnny Manziel By Russ Lande

Leading up to the Super Bowl, Sports on Earth will be offering up an introduction to five players who we are confident will be selected within the top 10 picks of the 2014 NFL draft, what NFL teams know about them and what they want to find out. We started on Monday with a look at University of Buffalo defensive end/outside linebacker Khalil Mack, then on Tuesday we focused the spotlight on Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. On Wednesday, we took aim at UCLA defensive end/outside linebacker Anthony Barr, and today we take on the "elephant in the room," Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

When you watch a football game on television, it is usually easy to get an impression as to whether a quarterback has the tools to play in the NFL. With Manziel, however, it takes a lot more time studying film and breaking him down to determine what his NFL future holds. I have spoken with numerous respected NFL scouts about him, and it's an understatement to say that opinions are split. A few have told me they feel he is the best quarterback in the draft, which is high praise indeed. But on the other hand, others have actually said they would not draft him. Needless to say, opinions split that drastically on a player are rare.

The first thing that grabbed my attention is that Manziel definitely has what scouts call a "plus arm," which means he can make every NFL throw with ease. While he often looks like he is playing schoolyard football, he has consistently shown quickness in getting rid of the ball and can make throws to lead receivers that few other passers can. Both in the pocket and on the move,

Manziel's ability to throw accurately 16-plus yards downfield is outstanding, and you can see from watching film that he has spent a lot of time working with his receivers, as their timing on back-shoulder throws is remarkable. Although some of his moves to escape sacks will get him killed in the NFL, he does possess a rare ability to avoid pressure and sacks to buy himself a second chance that can extend plays longer than any quarterback I have ever evaluated.

Having to throw as many passes as he did, it's also impressive that Manziel throws few, if any, passes that defenders can get their hands on. Of the top five quarterbacks I have evaluated so far (Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, Bridgewater, Zach Mettenberger and Manziel), he has the lowest error/interception rate of any of them. Not only does Manziel have the passing skills to succeed in the NFL, but his ability to lead his team and carry them on his back to comebacks consistently has been incredible.

After evaluating film, I was shocked by how good Manziel is as a passer, but that's often not what people associate with him when his name comes up. Despite the media reports, nearly everything I have been able to dig up on Manziel's character has been positive. (Having worked for two NFL teams, I completely understand that scouts lie to media all the time to deceive and hide intentions, but I have tremendous confidence in my sources on this subject.) No one I spoke to will deny that Manziel can act like a spoiled kid who is still maturing as a young man, but none expressed great concern about his true character, with the consensus being that football is very important to Manziel and that he consistently does more than is asked to make sure he is successful.

Manziel is viewed within the program as a rare competitor who will do anything to succeed, and this shows in his willingness to play through pain and confront teammates when needed as leaders must do. One thing that shocked me when speaking to scouts is that prior to practice and games, Manziel actually goes through the process of making tough throws from awkward positions when he cannot set his feet and this shows up in his ability to make great throws despite terrible positioning. Not that his raw footwork is good when he has a clean pocket or time and space to reset feet, but it clearly pays dividends when outside the pocket.

Apart from positive character reports, scouts definitely expressed some real concerns that he must address in order to be as successful in the NFL as he was in college. High on that list is Manziel's tendency to overstride when trying to put extra zip on the ball, which leads to passes sailing on him. When he goes through progressions in the pocket and tries to make short (5 to 15 yard) throws quickly, his accuracy is inconsistent and too often his passes dip in front of the receiver. One issue that I found very concerning on film and addressed with NFL people is Manziel's tendency to vacate the pocket out the back, which rarely works in the NFL and can lead to major errors. He will need to become much more consistent stepping up in the pocket to avoid deep pressure if he hopes to become a successful NFL passer.

The last thing scouts raised as an issue is that Manziel is not especially large for a quarterback and needs to learn to get down or out of bounds when running with the ball. Otherwise, he will expose himself to too many violent hits, which will cause his body to break down if he does not learn to better protect himself. (Russell Wilson is a great example of a player who gains yards scrambling with the ball, but is so smart that he rarely takes a hard hit.)

Despite all of the analysis and my thorough charting out of Manziel, the debate about his likelihood for success in the NFL will likely continue until he proves himself or fails. Whatever team drafts him better have a smart offensive coordinator whose ego is not so big that he will force Manziel to fit his system. He will need to be willing to tailor an offense around Manziel's very unique skill set in order for them both to be successful.

* * *

Russ Lande writes about college scouting and the NFL draft for Sports on Earth. He is GM jr. scouting and college scouting director for the CFL's Montreal Alouettes and the Big 10 Network. He is a former scout for the Cleveland Browns and former scouting administrator for the St. Louis Rams. You can follow him @RUSSLANDE.

Interesting read. Total x factor in the draft - at least right now.

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Russ Lande begins by stating that 'opinions are split' on Johnny Manziel and the comments made on Manziel show that their not a consensus opinion of him.

John McClain is on-top of the QB chatter. He feels the Texans will take a QB with the top pick and he thinks that 3 of the QBs will be gone in the first 4 picks. He also seems to think the Rams won't trade-down but will take OT Jake Mathews and I think that makes a lot of sense.

The one point that McClain makes is that teams have not set their boards yet. He mentions how RG III shot up draft boards when he blew everyone away at the Combine during the interview proccess.

Really ineresting set of tweets from McClain this morning.

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John McClain@McClain_on_NFL1 hr

Gil Brandt on Manziel: "He's like Tarkenton. Only better." Uh, Gil, Fran Tarkenton is in the Hall of Fame. "I know. And I mean what I say."

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Alex Riley@alexriley19951 hr

@McClain_on_NFL @RapSheet He's WAY off on his analysis.

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John McClain@McClain_on_NFL47m

It's interesting how many think they have the QBs already ranked when there's so much more to go in the scouting process.

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John McClain@McClain_on_NFL47 mins

I remember few thinking RG3 would be a high No. 1 pick until he blew away everyone with a magnificent pro day and his stock soared.

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John McClain@McClain_on_NFL46 mins

I think the top 3 QBs will be gone by the 4th pick. And Rams take OT Jake Matthews.

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Waldman just posted a thorough analysis of Manziel with an interesting comparison to Muhammad Ali.

Detailed article with videos to provide examples before Matt gives his analsis so go to the link for the full-read and vdieo accompanyment.

Some teasers of the body of the article.

http://mattwaldmanrsp.com/2014/02/02/boiler-room-qb-johnny-manziel-and-why-i-think-of-ali/

Boiler Room: QB Johnny Manziel and Why I Think of Ali
By Matt Waldman

48 mins ago

Manziel isn’t as haphazard and reckless as you think. The question is will the quarterback’s style become haphazard and reckless at the elevated level of pro football

... If he fails to produce in the NFL, Manziel will be written off as a player whose style is too wild and unruly to work in the NFL. If he succeeds, analysts will say that Manziel is one of those exceptional players scattered throughout NFL history “who does everything wrong, but it works.”

... The upright style belies Manziel’s athleticism. It suckers defenders into thinking that he has the marginal quickness, footwork, and ball-carrying savvy of most quarterbacks until they try to tackle him. Still, a high pad level and loose ball security will have opposing NFL defenders changing “fresh fish,” as soon as Manziel enters the Sunday yard.

... Regardless of how you see it, Manziel’s movement towards the middle draws the corner tighter to the inside and the quarterback’s spin to the left leaves the defender on the ground without getting a hand on Manziel

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Rotoworld:

Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay says NFL evaluators might be more split on Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel than any other prospect in the draft.

"Those who like him focus on his special improvisational skills that allow him to create after the initial play breaks down," McShay writes. On the flip side, some question if he can hold up for 16 games, can he absorb NFL coaching regarding his decision making, and what is he doing "when he leaves the building" and if it will affect his preparation. McShay calls him a late first-round talent.
Source: ESPN
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Rotoworld:

On a conference call on Thursday, ESPN's Mel Kiper disclosed Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel is the "consensus" No. 1 QB in NFL circles.

"For Cleveland, to see Manziel there would be a surprise to me," Kiper said. "When you talk to people in the league, he's the consensus No. 1 QB." We are a bit surprised by the news, since there are very few "consensus" top players at each position. We still would not be surprised to see Blake Bortles at No. 1 overall.
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Rotoworld:

Wade Phillips told Texans owner Bob McNair the team should draft Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel during his interview for the head coaching job, the former coach said during a radio interview.

"When I did the interview with the McNairs (in late December), I told them they ought to take Johnny Football," Phillips, the team's former defensive coordinator, said. "That's what I told them, and I'm sitting here now." The last line was likely said tongue in cheek, and Manziel will likely be a possibility at No. 1. However, if we had to guess who the pick will be at this moment, we would bet on Blake Bortles.
Source: CBS Houston
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Doesn't sound too averse to working with him. Hopefully they like him enough to trade up. :)

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  • Faust changed the title to Official Johnny Manziel Thread - participates in Fan Controlled Football: 'Feels like I'm super washed up'

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