Throughout the offseason, the “big three” quarterbacks, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel, have played Chutes and Ladders on every expert’s draft boards.
Make no mistake, the whirling dervish known as Johnny Football out of Texas A&M; is the best prospect for teams looking for a signal caller.
But Manziel is too small, he’s going to get killed in the NFL. Or so say the “experts.”
People nitpick about height too much. Russell Wilson, who just won a Super Bowl by 35 points three months ago, is 2 inches shorter than Manziel.
Manziel is not frail, either; he played two years in the toughest conference in college football (you know, the one with Jadeveon Clowney and Kony Ealy chasing quarterbacks) and never missed a game because of injury.
What’s next on the list of grievances for Manziel is his off-the-field reputation. I say off the field because on the field, he was the unquestioned leader of that football team and a fiery competitor. His party-going reputation does raise some concern for NFL teams — maturity problems have derailed NFL careers before.
The truth is, Manziel has not let distractions off the field affect his play on it. He threw for more yards and touchdowns than Bridgewater and Bortles last season and had a higher passer rating.
He’s in another universe in terms of running with the football compared to the other two, rushing for 2,169 yards and 30 touchdowns in his two years at Texas A&M.; Those are similar numbers to what Robert Griffin III totaled in four years.
Manziel’s passing mechanics aren’t perfect, but it’s nothing that an NFL coaching staff can’t help him correct. Any team looking for a quarterback and a reason for its fans to be excited, such as Jacksonville and Cleveland, should look no further than Johnny Manziel.
Reach the columnist at HKossodo@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @HKossodo