Johnny Manziel Takes on The Draft

The 2014 draft is looking to be one of the strongest that the NFL and its fans have seen in years.

Especially after last year as we were forced to settle with an unsatisfying lot of college players.

In fairness there were a handful of diamonds in that rough like ex-LSU Tiger Tyrann Mathieu who preformed incredibly during his rookie debut for the Arizona Cardinals (albeit suffering from a torn ACL towards the end), and Alabama’s Eddie Lacy, now the starting running back for the Green Bay Packers.

Aside from seeing a few talented players get drafted last year it was still difficult to get excited for a draft where the first two picks were offensive tackles. Not the best move for a floundering franchise looking to rebuild their team but I digress.image

This year however NFL teams will each get their chance to grab a real big name. One of the most electrifying players in this year’s draft is the ever controversial Johnny Manziel. Not only lighting it up on the field with his run and gun play style Manziel lit things up off the field as well, sparking countless debates over the rights and freedoms of collegiate athletes.

Known as a party animal the sports world was flooded with risque pictures and stories of Manziel attending parties, consuming copious amounts of alcohol, and taking part in other typical college activities. These are the things that college students do and if this were Johnny Frat Boy no one would even think twice about these activities, but this is Johnny Football, a star in the sports realm and therefore stands on an elevated platform in plain view of the public eye.

The image of Johnny Manziel off the field has been ridiculed by the media, painting him as a delinquent party-boy. These off field accusations have been translated to his on-field personality as well, being called selfish and indecisive, too quick to scramble instead of throwing the ball to an open receiver.

These accusations of unwholesomeness are even more exaggerated when compared to Alabama’s star pocket passer AJ McCarron. McCarron has been exalted for his playing ability and good-boy demeanor. These comparisons are fairly biased however and ultimately useless as there is one thing in football that doesn’t lie and that is the numbers.

The 2012 season was good to Manziel as he put up incredible numbers in both the passing and running game racking up 3706 passing yards with 26 touchdowns, and 1410 rushing yards with 21 touchdowns. Manziel threw for 773 more yards than McCarron that year and scored 16 more all-purpose touchdowns.

Manziel’s efforts did not go unrewarded that year as he took home the Heisman trophy. In 2013 Manziel vastly improved his passing game throwing for 4114 yards with 37 touchdowns. Manziel clearly felt more comfortable in the pocket seeing as he had only rushed for 759 yards and only scored 9 rushing touchdowns, considerably less than the previous season.

McCarron had almost the same season statistically as in 2012 except going without a perfect season and without a BCS championship after losing a nail biter of an Iron Bowl in the final seconds against Auburn knocking Alabama off their number one spot.image

Johnny Manziel is a top prospect in this year’s NFL draft and there has been much speculation as to which team will select him. Many believe he will fall into the hands of the Cleveland Browns, the quarterback graveyard.

Cleveland has had an astonishing 20 starting quarterbacks since drafting Tim Couch in 2001. So for Manziel fans and likely for Manziel himself, Cleveland is their worst nightmare. However Cleveland has recently acquired some more talented receivers who could serve Manziel well, including the 2013 phenom Josh Gordon. The concern is if the Browns as an organization will finally be able to build on a franchise rookie quarterback.

Now Manziel’s ideal team is the Houston Texans. Manziel would stay in his home state and retain the support of his fan base, and would be playing for the most well suited worst team in the NFL. Manziel would inherit a talented defense, experienced and still talented wide receiver Andre Johnson, Pro-Bowl tight end Owen Daniels, and All-Pro running back Arian Foster.

Replacing Matt Schaub (Schaub whose own fans have voiced their distaste for) Manziel would be a welcomed new commander of Houston’s offense. Hate him or love him, Johnny Manziel is in position to be one of the NFL’s most entertaining and potentially successful quarterbacks ever.