Draft Feature: Manziel in the Limelight

The lights are centered on Manziel.

Two years ago, a redshirt freshman emerged as the starting signal caller for Texas A&M. The relatively diminutive Texas boy posted unthinkable numbers in high school ball, but little did we realize his future polarizing effect.

Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Johnny Manziel shredded opposing defenses in 2012. Manziel was the first freshman Heisman Trophy recipient, but entered his sophomore campaign smothering in skepticism.

Manziel threw 4114 passing yards for 37 aerial touchdowns and only 13 picks last fall. He also tacked on 759 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.

On the flip side, his turbulent mechanics coupled with his minimal 6’0″, 207-pound frame have generated questions about his football ability. Few quarterbacks have survived in the NFL with 6’0″ frame regardless of technique.

Throws like the infamous sack evading, jump-ball completion against Alabama in 2013 simply will not fly in the NFL.

However, Manziel’s successful Pro Day—albeit against a nonexistent defense—and his sheer winning ability have fueled him into Top 10 consideration.

AP Photo/Patric Schneider
AP Photo/Patric Schneider

Manziel’s mechanics, frame, and off-field conduct would be the root of a Draft day slide should he fall.

Manziel is tight with Drake, has partaken in Jet Ski trick shots, partied with the celebrities, and flashed money signs on-field.

Manziel’s upside is his unparalleled on-field electricity and ability to energize fanbases. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, and Minnesota Vikings have been trapped in a lull for multiple seasons and desperately need a spark. Front offices are scrambling to determine if his unique spark is worth his off-the-field shenanigans.

The former Texas A&M Aggie’s NFL career will be determined by his focus on football. Manziel will be in the limelight, especially during his rookie season. If he drags himself into unfavorable situations, the opportunity for success will close.

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