• Hyping Manziel



    Where was I when Johnny Football became a top 5 pick? Seriously. Last time I checked he was a 2nd round talent that would probably slide into the late first. Now everything I read has him going in the top 5. Did I miss a meeting? Did he grow 5 inches and mature 10 years in that meeting? I haven't been this confused since a took a long nap in the 80s and when I woke up everyone had simultaneously decided that it was ok to eat raw fish.

    One of the Pulitzer prize winners over at bleacher report wrote
    "He is seen, one general manager told me, as the 21st-century Brett Favre".
    I don't even know where to start with that one. The 21st century Brett Favre? I didn't major in calendar reading in college but I'm pretty sure that Brett Favre is the 21st century Brett Favre. Next, they are not similar players. Favre had a huge arm, Manziel has an adequate arm. Favre scrambled, Manziel runs. Favre is a good ole boy with maturity issues and .... ok, there are a few similarities. To be fair, the article said 'one general manager', not 'one NFL general manager'. I suppose the GM of the Lansing Lugnuts might find Favre and Manziel indistinguishable.

    Don't misunderstand, I'm not trashing Manziel, ok I'm trashing him a little, but primarily I'm trashing the hype. Is this all just the result of 2nd rate writers assuming he'll be a top pick because he's one of 7 college football players that they've heard of? He can't really be a top 5 pick, can he? Taking a QB in the top 5 is a landmark for a franchise. You have to play him. You can miss on a top 5 CB or OT, but not a QB. I'm not saying that he has no chance to succeed in the NFL, he does. But there are too many question marks to take him that high. Even without the off the field issues and character questions, he's certainly not your prototypical NFL QB.

    He's a winner
    Can we put this argument to bed once and for all? There are 126 division I schools (I just made that up, am I close?). There are a lot of college players that are winners. Tim Tebow was a winner. Colt McCoy was a winner. Next.

    He has a Heisman trophy
    Who doesn't? Jason White won a Heisman. Gino Torreta won a Heisman. I won 2 Heismans (Archie Griffin is a really bad poker player).

    I'll admit, I haven't done my due diligence here. I've seen him play but I haven't studied him. As we all know, I start studying tape for the draft 9 minutes before the first pick (the Colts took who? is he related to Danny Manning?). So is it me? Am I in the wrong on this one? Is Johnny Football a top 5 pick?

    Comments 27 Comments
    1. brauneyz's Avatar
      Nice to have you back in from the ledge, Freeland, and causing some giggles.

      Can't help you with Johnny Football. Seen him a few times (OK, kinda exciting, but what do I know?), but my impression after listening to the 'experts' concurs with yours. 2nd to 3rd round talent. And yes, Heisman, Schmeisman.

      Also under the impression that Teddy Bridgewater is the QB we should be discussing, but again, what do I know? I do know that the legend of Brett Favre should never be used in conjunction with any punk coming outta college. Suck on that bitter old Packer fans! Haha!
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Johnny Manziel, IMO, is not a top five who will be a top five pick. I saw him make throws that were NFL-type throws against Alabama. I do believe that there are players that GMs fall in love with every year for crazy reasons that allow them to ignore the tape. I saw some Twitter stuff about Blaine Gabbert and how GMs fell in love with him from watching the Gruden Camp video. The yellow pants at Mizzou must have masked the urine produced from any pass rush. After seeing Blaine's career, it's crazy enough to be true.

      The truth about Manziel is what everyone should be fear. The injury. He is a 5' 10" guy listed as 6' who has an average to slightly above that arm who breaks the pocket too early and may not be able to take the ball from center. So, he is a smaller version of Vick without the arm. Still, the fear that some GMs will have is that he will be able to bring that excitement from the college field to the NFL field. The fear of missing out on that will be why Johnny Manizel is now named on the this as Future Browns Quarterback Johnny Manziel up until the draft. I think FBQB Manziel will work as an acronym.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      I think the Favre comparisons begin and end with his liver. He is as great a risk of drinking his career away, suggesting that Green Bay mifht be the best place for him to land.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      I should add that I have never seen him play and have only seen highlights, but those highlights show late throws over tha middle. Born to be oopsy.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottDCP View Post
      Born to be oopsy.
      I'm getting that tattooed on my arm
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Rich Gapinski View Post
      The truth about Manziel is what everyone should be fear. The injury. He is a 5' 10" guy listed as 6' who has an average to slightly above that arm who breaks the pocket too early and may not be able to take the ball from center. So, he is a smaller version of Vick without the arm. Still, the fear that some GMs will have is that he will be able to bring that excitement from the college field to the NFL field. The fear of missing out on that will be why Johnny Manizel is now named on the this as Future Browns Quarterback Johnny Manziel up until the draft. I think FBQB Manziel will work as an acronym.
      I've watched him a fair amount and I think you have it right. Aside from his slight body and short stature, his problem in the NFL will be discipline. Can he play under center? Can he sit in the pocket long enough to run the offense? He does a good job of reading the whole field and going through whatever progressions Sumlin's offense has. With regard to that, at least, he's ahead of Griffin. But he'll want to bolt. He may have to learn the hard way that they're a lot faster and hit a lot harder in the NFL.

      He really needs to go to the right team, the right offense, to have a true chance at success.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      I pity the team that takes Manziel.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeland View Post
      I'm getting that tattooed on my arm
      On this arm or the other one?

    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      As Rich pointed out, the Browns are widely believed to be the team most likely to draft Johnny Manziel at #4. Last year, Andy wrote basically the same article about the guy they took at #6, Barkevious Mingo.

      [Typing ends. Long pause.]

      ...so, I'm glad I bought beer last night.
    1. xmenehune's Avatar
      sure he's a winner, but there's a winner sitting behind Stafford and he looked ok in the preseason.

      Media hype, I guess we should keep a record of it every year and try to pass some form of judgement a yr or two down the road (if we remember, lol). Second rate writers? yeah most likely since they really don't want to write down anything that a football person would tear up for the blatant nonsense and so they speculate, because that's what get's eyeballs, tongues a waggin' and ear's a sting'g.
      I just turn a deaf ear, a blind eye and become mute for it just isn't worthy. FBQB? If they do, poor dog pound fans.
      You win at the college level due to better recruitment and not necessarily better football.
      At the NFL level, if you can't coach, we all will know soon enough, if you can't get buy in w/your players, your leadership will be in question, if the staff you hired can't make in game adjustments, you become suspect. If the GM or person who makes personnel decisions picks inferior talent again and again, the team, the players the fans will continue to suffer.
      Sadly head coaches take most of the blame for players not playing up to their potential, but I really think some of these historically bad teams, really need to change, the GM and supporting scouting staff. In fact instead of making it a mystery of who picked who, every team should reveal, who picked every pick.
      Maybe that will give the 2nd rate writers something to crow about. The NFL should forget the rule of media access for every player. The media should ask for accountability from team personnel decision maker.
      If we had done this earlier, I don't think their would be any question that Manziel is not worthy of a top 5, maybe not even a top 50.
      So who really is making personnel decisions at CLE? Trading RB Richardson in season now seems to be not such a bad thing, maybe cutting Chud after one year isn't so bad and letting Weeden sit isn't such a bad idea.

      Every team needs to reveal, who is picking who, even if it's a group consensus, the fans deserve to know, the media can sure use it and the old leather heads would like to know as well.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by mkocs6 View Post
      As Rich pointed out, the Browns are widely believed to be the team most likely to draft Johnny Manziel at #4. Last year, Andy wrote basically the same article about the guy they took at #6, Barkevious Mingo.

      [Typing ends. Long pause.]

      ...so, I'm glad I bought beer last night.
      rereading that article, I think I was pretty close on Mingo. Talented, athletic, 34 OLB, not a great pass rusher, worth a 1st round pick but not a 10 pick.
    1. tubbs1518's Avatar
      I'd absolutely take Manziel top 5. He can do everything you need your quarterback to do.

      http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/cf...conundrum?pg=2

      That is a pretty good article talking breaking down the throws each of the big four quarterbacks threw this past year.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      As long as Brandon Weeden never plays again, I really don't care.

      Manziel in Cleveland means one of two things:

      (1) it works, and we're pretty good;
      (2) it fails spectacularly and everyone associated with it gets fired.

      I think I can live with either of those things, since--whatever the ratio you assign to each--there's probably about a 100% chance of one of those two things happening.
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by tubbs1518 View Post
      I'd absolutely take Manziel top 5. He can do everything you need your quarterback to do.

      http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/cf...conundrum?pg=2

      That is a pretty good article talking breaking down the throws each of the big four quarterbacks threw this past year.
      I'll have to respectfully disagree here tubbs. Manziel isn't worthy of a top 15 pick IMO, much less a top 5. There are too many red flags to say otherwise.

      He's super short, AND super small. His production is largely dependant on his movement skills. Those things can't be coached. He gives you what he is limited to in those regards. You can't coach him to be taller! He can hit the weight room to get bigger, but is that really going to help him be a better qb?? He runs and moves around to get the production he does, but those movement skills will all but evaporate in the NFL.

      This is before we even begin to breach the off field disaster that manziel has been. He's crazy immature. That's fueled by his father's coddling of the dumb stuff he's done or said.. sound familiar redskins fans??

      The short qbs who many point to being successful in the NFL as comparisons to manziel, aren't one iota a real comparison. Short qbs who have done well are mature qbs, with lots of experience, and great footwork combined with great read and recognize ability. All of that combined with a great offensive mind to make it happen.

      Russell Wilson and drew brees were full term, exhausted eligibility qbs in college. 6 years for Wilson, as a matter of fact. Brees didn't really break out until his second pro contract with the perfect OC/hc to bring that to fruition. While manziel may have read through his progressions, as he extended the play in college, how he did it screams he should NEVER be compared to Wilson or brees.

      Brees has excellent footwork (haven't seen enough of Wilson to say that, but his stats suggest it). Both have a high football iq. Wilson is the baby here with ONLY 8 years of pro/college experience. Wilson and brees have a super high release point, one manziel doesn't. That's the understated point here. Manziel is probably the shortest, and smallest of the 3. We will find out for sure at the combine. That said, brees and Wilson have a high point release. It's like a normal release for a 6'2" qb. Manziel exhibits a normal release for a qb, making it a 5'10 or 11' release. Making his movement skills, that will be negated all that much more salient in the NFL.

      Why would I burn a top pick to acquire a super immature, crazy small qb who relies on his movement skills to create space when the NFL has shown that doesn't work so great. Especially when the two guys who have gotten past the "too small" label did so 8+ years into their careers?? Especially when the two who have have good footwork and crazy mature football minds??

      Sorry, but sandlot only works in the NFL when you're the size of big Ben, or cam Newton, and its nearly impossible to tackle you. All the while you have a cannon to fire a pass off to a target that may not be the most opportune..


      While that chart of the qbs throws was cute tubbs, it doesn't capture who they were playing, or who manziel was throwing to. Here's a breakdown about those things:

      "What stood out most in an evaluation of Manziel was the degree to which he relied on wide receiver Mike Evans.

      Against Missouri, Alabama and LSU, Manziel completed just over 60 percent of his pass attempts—a perfectly respectable rate.

      However, on passes thrown more than 10 yards down the field, he completed just 47.1 percent (24 out of 51)—an unacceptable rate for a supposedly elite college quarterback.

      To further put that number into perspective, consider the fact that Geno Smith has completed 46.8 percent of his passes 10 or more yards down the field this season, nearly the exact same rate as Manziel against his toughest competition.

      While that number raises some doubt about Manziel's NFL future, a closer look brings a terrifying fact to light: Manziel is nothing without Mike Evans.

      When targeting Evans, Manziel completed 67 percent of his passes thrown beyond 10 yards, but when targeting any other receiver, that number plummeted to 38.9 percent.

      A fair response to that stat might be to point out that Manziel will be surrounded by more talent at the next level, thus making his potential closer to the Evans portion of that statistic. But this is where stats and scouting need to blend together.

      When Manziel targets Evans, the vast majority of the throws are simply jump balls. These take only a marginal amount of skill to throw and any quarterback on an NFL roster should be able to loft one up for an elite receiver to pluck from the sky"

      So basically manziel was hot garbage over 10 yards in the air to anyone who wasn't the hulking Evans, who's most likely to be a top 15 pick. I SOOOOO hope Evans is there at 15 for us to pick. Our offense is downright scary/unstoppable with a big dude who high points balls, fights for them, and is excellent at scrambling when the play breaks down, like Evans is. Evans across from AB?? Be afraid, very afraid! Evans bailed him out many, many times. Especially vs top teams (what he's about to face on a weekly basis).

      Waayy too many questions to even consider him top 5, IMO. I'll look forward to your reply, as to why you think otherwise... Perhaps you saw something I haven't...
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by mkocs6 View Post
      As long as Brandon Weeden never plays again, I really don't care.

      Manziel in Cleveland means one of two things:

      (1) it works, and we're pretty good;
      (2) it fails spectacularly and everyone associated with it gets fired.

      I think I can live with either of those things, since--whatever the ratio you assign to each--there's probably about a 100% chance of one of those two things happening.
      This ^^ seems like what its like to be a browns fan.

      6, you are among my top tier for respect of football knowledge.

      You're absolutely correct though. Manziel will be a beast, or the entire organization is getting fired. I'd place 5% on manziel, and 95% the fifth hc hiring in a row in the afcn will be by the Browns. How does that affect the coaching hire?? Knowing your team is selecting said qb, and you can't change it. Knowing if he isn't a beast you're fired!! How does that change the search?? How many say, "thanks, but no thanks".

      What puzzles me about saying that is knowing your knowledge. I'm certain in your heart or hearts, manziel has too many obstacles to being great. It's a complete crap shoot. You're not a craps guy, but the performance of your team has forced that. Maybe it's because you're sick and super cold!
    1. darvon's Avatar
      I am looking forward to seeing Manziel in the NFL. If he fails, he fails. But he was fun to watch in college.

      I remember that the MOST fun I had in chat at FP was with the death-defying, logic-bending escapes from three quarters of futility that were Tim Tebow games a couple of years back. They were a HOOT.

      And although I don't have enough football expertise to analyze Wilson, my old addled memory does seem to recall a few nay sayers about ol' Shorty at Madison and Seattle.

      And let us not forget the classic Brees arguments.

      So come on Johnny Football. Let's see what you can do.

      And about JF NOT being a "21st Century" Brett Favre and only worth of a 2nd round pick.... Wasn't the 20th Century Brett an early 2nd Round pick? Cause he was obviously not worth a first round QB pick. After all, he was no Dan McGuire...
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Johnny Football may be nothing more than Chase Daniel or a poor man's Doug Flutie. He also may be Fran Tarkenton. Let's face it. Pick a QB in the top five is a total crapshoot. But at least the days of the albatross contract have passed. Some team in dire need of a QB will reach up and grab Manziel. If nothing else, the kid will sell some tickets.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      This is not a Talent issue. This is a supply and demand issue.

      There is Demand for talent at the QB position.
      There is Demand for hope at the QB position.

      The supply is very low. Take for example the fact that Dalton is the League average QB (by either DVOA, QBR, Passer Rating, YPA, ANYA etc.., he ranks between 14 and 20th). Think about that. The kid everybody is ready to crucify in his 3rd year is a league average QB. If that doesn't highlight the Supply issue, nothing does.

      So we have high demand for a scarce good (made even scarcer by adding "proven winner" into the mix. And now we have cheaper rookie contracts that don't kill your cap if you take a 1st round draft flyer on a QB.

      The final nail in the coffin is the draft system, that awards the highest picks to the worst teams. Look at the bottom 8 in the league, and except for Atlanta and Texans, you find the same usual suspects. The dysfunction of Cleveland, Vikings, South Jacksonville High, Washington, Oakland and Buffalo is nothing new this last decade. So the people with the highest opportunity are also the ones with the most incentive to take high risks.

      Manziel might be a 10% chance of being a franchise QB? That is a made up number, but whatever it truly is, for some team the risk is worth the reward. Because he not only might have the Talent, but he does provide hope and exitement.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      I've watched a lot of Manziel tape and count me among those not buying the hype.

      Arm: He doesn't have a cannon, but it's not at all weak either. He won't be launching any Aaron Rodgers laser beams, but he has enough strength to get it down field and into tight windows. That being said, in order for those things to be true, his mechanics have to be right. Which leads us to:

      Mechanics: Inconsistent to say the least. When he sets his feet and makes a throw, he's fine. However, that doesn't happen nearly often enough. He's Gabbert-esque in his willingness to stand and deliver. His feet are bouncing constantly as he seems almost always looking to run. When he's bouncing around, he doesn't set his feet and he throws a ball like I would. He does have a nice quick release, even when moving.

      Pocket Presence: Almost nil. Manziel is a runner first, and thrower second. Is this by design? Maybe, but regardless, it has stunted his growth. At the first sign of a defender, he's gone. Obviously, this is exciting and has led to great success at Texas A&M, but in the NFL, he's gonna get RGIII'd. He can't take the punishment Cam Newton takes. Newton is a monster. Manziel is not. He will need a ton of coaching in this area.

      Accuracy: His accuracy is a plus for the most part. He will hurry and throw the occasional bad ball, but that's often more of a bad decision under duress than an inaccurate pass. He also maintains surprising accuracy on the run to either side. His receivers, Mike Evans in particular, made this easier, but he was good at throwing across his body or while moving in general.

      Other: Obviously, maturity is a factor. Manziel is spoiled and has a sense of entitlement. His partying lifestyle is also a concern. I'd prefer to not have my QB hanging out in clubs and making front page news holding liquor and girls. He has to grow up a lot. It's certainly possible that things will click, but am I willing to risk a top 5 pick on it?

      Overall: Manziel is this year's Tebow. He's the most polarizing player in the draft, and maybe ever at this point. He's a ridiculously talented kid, but that doesn't make an NFL quarterback. He has a foundation of things to build on, but is lacking several areas. He's gonna go early, but he's a risk/reward guy. If he goes at 4 to Cleveland, they will either instantly become a contender, or they'll be firing AGAIN this offseason.

      Grade: For me, he's an upper 2nd round guy.
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      I am not convinced he can play at the next level. But if I am Cleveland or Jacksonville, I would certainly take a flyer on him. Either he is a big success or a big bust.