Johnny Manziel has generated a lot of hype among the Daily Norseman faithful, and I think it is all false hope. I'll just say it: Johnny is gonna be the biggest hype bust since JaMarcus Russel.
"But PurpleEaters!" you say "Why should your opinion matter? How do you know what will happen in the future of pro sports?"
I don't. With the right coaching Manziel could be average to great. But allow me to outline my points for why I think he will need a lot of help to be good.
This is only one video of several that I watched of Johnny Manziel's complete game as a whole. It is the game he played against Arkansas. I saw some good, but far too many things that just won't fly in the NFL. Johnny Manziel is an average quarterback with good speed. Mike Evans inflates his numbers on several passes throughout the year that Johnny just throws up and hopes for good things to happen. Mike Evans makes Johnny Manziel look better than he really is. Think about how many recievers in the NFL currently that you can just bomb it to and they'll catch it 9 out of 10 times? Calvin Johnson? Larry Fitzgerald? While your opinion may differ there aren't many. Stick Johnny Manziel on a team like the Jags or the Browns who have a limited recieving corps and what you have is an average qb who can scramble like Franny who throws a lot of picks trying to make things happen.
0:37 seconds - Johnny goes back to pass, immediately looks for the number 1 read. Stares it down for far too long and doesn't look for another one before scrambling, only to be bailed out by Mike Evans in the corner of the end zone.
1:35 - Johnny does a good job of going through his reads but then tries to force the ball into double coverage on a pass that more times often then not is getting intercepted in the NFL.
2:35 - Again does good going through his reads but misses a wide open receiver in the end zone for a touchdown. He bails and starts to run and then notices Molina, but throws an ugly pass of his back foot that's wildly inaccurate for an easy touchdown.
3:15 - Johnny stares down a reciever who isn't named Mike Evans and although he's very well covered Manziel throws it anyway and the defender narrowly misses an interception.
3:57 - Scrambles away from the pressure and throws a prayer into the endzone that could have very easily been intercepted by an NFL defense, but Evans bails him out for a TD catch.
5:10 - Look I understand Johnny Manziel is a fast runner. But one of a few things that scares me about his scrambling is how he holds the ball. He holds it outward away from his body while his arm is moving with his momentum similarly to how you'd put ketchup on your hot dog. NFL players, sack, strip and return that for a TD. This is coachable, but that's how Johnny has been playing football for his entire college career. I think we know from Ponder, old habits die hard.
5:35 - Don't even get me started on this. This exactly is gonna happen to this kid in the NFL. When he feels the pressure he runs BACKWARDS trying to make a play with his legs and ends up getting sacked for a loss when he should have thrown it away.
5:52 - Immediately runs backwards again. He's going to find little success doing those types of scrambles against top tier NFL defenses.
Johnny Manziel is a high risk/high reward kind of pick. He threw 13 interceptions this season which is alot more than I'd like to see considering Mariota didn't throw one til late in the season and then only threw 4. Bridgewater only threw 4. Bortles threw 9.. etc.
He's cocky about his ability to run the football which is going to get him into trouble. It's nice to have the ability to run when there's nothing downfield. Don't get me wrong I applaud the way this kid runs with no fear, but he's going to get his knee blown out. We've seen enough of the "Ponder Scramble" to know better. We need a QB who relies more on his pocket presence and poise to make plays and only runs when absolutely necessary.
He more than likely won't have Mike Evans to throw to in the NFL. If he gets drafted by a team like the Bucs who have Vincent Jackson then great. Let him throw it deep to Jackson 70 times a year and hope for a miracle. But lets be honest, the kinds of throws into double or triple coverage which he threw one too many times to his go to guy Evans are interceptions.
Johnny Manziel could be a great football player. But I don't want the Vikings to find out if he will be or not. We simply don't have the time to waste on another potential Ponder. Peterson's window is closing. We need to get to the Super Bowl in the next three to four seasons before Peterson starts to hit the decline and his career is over. Are there ever surefire NFL prospects? Not at all. However I'd prefer a Quarterback who has demonstrated his ability to step up in the pocket even when it's collapsing and make a decisive throw. (Bridgewater, Bortles) Please look at the entire picture and my argument before you crown Johnny Manziel the Vikings' savior.