Houston Forward Times

26 February 2014 Written by  Nicholas A. Norman

Why the Houston Texans should NOT draft Johnny Manziel with the 1st Pick

Johnny Manziel is a player that a lot of Houston Texans fans hope will be drafted with the first pick in the NFL Draft. That would be a terrible decision. 

I believe he is a great athlete but definitely should not be drafted by the Texans. His legs are great but what else can he do. Then there’s his off the field persona that has many question marks. Especially for someone who is going to be a leader of the team. 

The fact Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel dared the Houston Texans not to take him with the No. 1 overall pick probably won’t work in the quarterback’s favor. In an interview two weeks ago, Manziel claimed if the Texans pass on him with the No. 1 overall pick, “It would be the worst decision they’ve ever made.”

Despite the professional manner of Manziel’s approach to the combine, the previous comment might not sit well with Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien.
“…if Manziel really wants to be the No. 1 overall pick, you know what he needs? Someone who’ll tell him that the more you dare/challenge/finger-wag at a guy like O’Brien — which in my view is what Manziel’s sales pitch has done — the more likely O’Brien will ask where the (bleep) you get off challenging him when you haven’t peed a drop in the NFL. And the more likely O’Brien will view you as a salesman/brand advancer who covets the trappings that accompany being the No. 1 overall pick as much as you want to play football for the team that happens to hold that selection.

Manziel could have taken a step in the right direction by throwing at the NFL combine. He could have come out, competed and showed, without question, he was the top quarterback. He ran an impressive 4.56-second 40-yard dash, but he didn’t throw.

So what are the pros about Johnny Manziel. Fellow NFL Scout Jayson Braddock had this to say about Manziel’s upside. “I know everyone loves this kid’s game and going into the film I thought I would too. Fact of the matter is that there isn’t much about his game that excites me at the NFL level. Johnny is exceptional at evading the pass rush and running with the ball. He can also avoid pass rushers and keep plays alive long enough to get the ball into one of his playmaker’s hands. I don’t like the Russell Wilson comparisons. He’s more on par with Mike Vick, when Vick was coming out of Virginia Tech. He has a weaker arm than Vick did then, but better accuracy.”

Now when Jayson spoke on his cons, he had a lot more to say. “What would Johnny be without an offensive line? He routinely had 5-6 seconds on every drop. This has thrown off his internal clock and on top of all the other developing he’ll have to do at the NFL level, he’ll have to understand that the ball has to be gone.

“He has also been spoiled with this protection. It’s allowed him to click through his progressions and not be forced at developing a smooth rhythm of getting through his reads. In the 4th quarter of the Duke game was the first time I saw Manziel flow through his progressions.

The comfort he had at Texas A&M in the pocket also developed wasted moments that will have to be taken out. He bunny hops before the throw. He has to do the bunny hop, like a free throw shooter with their ritual. It’ll take a ton of in-game snaps to keep his rhythm while taking away his ritual.”

Manziel has a horrific tendency of staring down his throws. He won’t get away with this at the next level. Johnny shows passes with lob or touch few and far between. His arm strength is adequate at best and instead of having a natural motion he uses all arm to “fling” the ball and try to fit it in a window.

His mechanics will need drastic improvement like what we saw out of Cam Newton after college. The concern is that I still see Cam revert back to what he’s done for most of his life and forget the training over the last few seasons. How will Manziel adapt to a makeover of all his mechanics?

Manziel really struggles with his accuracy on throws outside the numbers to the field side.

While he’s an exciting college player to watch, I’d wouldn’t put the next few years of my franchise’s success on his young shoulders.

The 3rd round is where I’d be comfortable in using a pick and developing him. However, someone will fall in love with him just like they did with Vick and probably use a high round pick on him.

MAA WereReady