The 2014 NFL Draft wrapped up this weekend at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Draft ran from Thursday May 8-10, 2014. This was the first time the Draft had been moved back from late April to early May, due to a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall.
While this year’s draft was more excited than most, the biggest storyline featured Texas A&M quarterback, Johnny Manziel, aka, “Johnny Football”. The controversial A&M quarterback was selected with the 22nd overall pick by the Cleveland Browns.
More than the Michael Sam story (the first openly gay football player drafted in the NFL); the media was all over this story. This was partly because Manziel was the most controversial, prolific-talented QB in this year’s draft class. He was the most talked about, possibly the most criticized prospect in the draft. Leading up to the draft, there were concerns about Johnny Manziel, ranging from his off-the-field persona, to his unorthodox style of play, and being undersized as a prototypical NFL quarterback.
My concerns with Manziel are whether his successes in college will translate into success at the professional level. I don’t believe he will be successful in the NFL. Manziel will be a mediocre pro quarterback at best. He lacks the physical attributes required of an NFL pro, and also the skill of being a great pocket passer. Whenever his offensive line show sign of collapse, his first instinct is to scramble and take off running. Make no mistake about it, Manziel’s playmaking and improvisational skills are impressive. However, at the NFL level, the game requires the quarterback to be poise, discipline and patient within the pocket—intangibles Manziel lacks. He has a low efficiency passer rating completing passes over 20 yards. The NFL game is a lot quicker than the college game.
For Manziel to be regarded as a legitimate-franchise quarterback in the NFL, he will have to demonstrate he possesses the leadership, patience and grit week after week—and I don’t believe he will. The question isn’t whether the Cleveland Browns will give him a shot, because they will. Instead the question is, will he take advantage of the opportunity and prove his doubters wrong—I don’t think so. At the end of his career, however short it is, he just might join that list of “NFL first round Busts”.
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