Dec 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A
Today Sport DFW will discuss Johnny Manziel and his impact in the NFL – and potentially the Cowboys. This is the first of three burning questions on Johnny Manziel that will be addressed today. Joining me in the conversation is Texas A&M expert and Sport DFW Staff Writer, Justin Thomas.
Burning Question 1
We have to know – Will Johnny Manziel be a star in the NFL and what exactly do you expect from him?
-He has a strong arm which allows him to deliver the football to multiple planes on the field.
-This past year, he relied less on running and more on staying in the pocket and surveying down field.
-He managed to stay healthy for 2 years despite his small stature.
-He has a little magic in his game.
-He was never voted a team captain. That’s a huge red flag.
-He has terrible ball protection skills while on the move.
-He rides the highs and lows of a game. He would struggle with a 16 game NFL schedule.
Johhny Manziel can succeed like Cam Newton and Collin Kaepernick did in their first seasons. The problem is
that the NFL will catch up with him in his second year. As he struggles, his lack of mental maturity may get the best of him and you will see interceptions and general immaturity problems. You will also see fumbles if he does not change the way he holds the ball when he runs. He will wow you in moments during his rookie year but will need to grow mentally. That growth may take another 2 or 3 years.
I think Manziel has clear positives that make him desirable and clear negatives that prevent him from being a “sure thing”. But the reality is, there really aren’t very many sure things in the draft – EVER – especially at QB. The last two sure things at QB I can think of was Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning.
While I admit the flaws and limitations in Manziel’s game, I truly believe he will one day be a Top 10 NFL QB. I see his career resembling that of Tony Romo – the good and the bad. Much like Romo, Manziel’s value will be seen in his escapability and play-making ability.
But the Romo comparison starts to fade when we discuss ball-security and big-game plays. Manziel plays very carelessly with the ball and will have considerably more turnovers than Romo. On the good side, Manziel seems to thrive under pressure and may be able to have postseason success at the next level.
Short QB’s are at a large disadvantage in the NFL, but Manziel has shown the ability to hit passing lanes, time passes, and anticipate routes. His maturity (or lack thereof) is much more concerning than his size. Manziel will face more scrutiny than any other 2014 draft pick regardless of where he is ultimately picked. He will need to find a way to deal with this pressure and not become the “Celebrity QB” Bill Parcels always warned us about.
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