The hottest topic possibly in all of football right now or any time in the past six months has been that of Johnny Manziel. The first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy set college football on fire last season, leading Texas A&M to a huge victory over Alabama and a bowl game blowout win over Oklahoma.
Certainly one of the most electric players on the field in college football, Manziel has created a bit of an alternate “diva” persona off of it. He’s not gotten himself into that big of trouble, only being suspended for one half of a meaningless early season romp for the Aggies, but nonetheless, Manziel has NFL scouts concerned about his habits off the field and whether it will affect his work on it.
We’re not certain that this is Manziel’s last year at College Station, but there have been rumblings and Manziel himself at one point this offseason noted how he couldn’t wait to leave A&M.
So, since he’ll eventually get a shot at the NFL someday, I thought it would be fun on the eve of the Alabama matchup in 2013 to look at some of the best fits for the Heisman winner in the NFL right now.
In my latest QB Carousel prediction article, I took a look at how the signal callers in the league might shuffle around with the incoming 2014 class. I projected initially Manziel to go to the Minnesota Vikings, who have a pretty nice young core of talent but have a disappointing first round QB in Christian Ponder.
Ponder might cost current head coach Leslie Frazier his job with the Vikes as head coach, and I think the team will be on the lookout for a new QB very soon. Manziel paired with Adrian Peterson along with some young playmakers like Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph sounds mighty fun to watch.
The Jaguars are an absolute mess right now.
They have no long term solution at the QB position, and quite honestly the playmakers they have on offense aren’t making any plays, even dating back to last year. Some have joked that the best QB on the Jaguars’ roster right now is Denard Robinson.
It might not be a terrible idea to throw him back there and see what happens at this point.
With Teddy Bridgewater a serious option in JAX, it’s hard to consider Manziel here but you have to think a team with this big of a need at QB will at least explore all options.
Rob Chudzinski had pretty good success with another young SEC Heisman winning quarterback in his rookie season with Carolina, and now being the head man in Cleveland, I think they’ll be on the hunt for some new blood at that position with Brandon Weeden’s struggles.
There’s still a lot of season left and Weeden could prove me wrong, but I don’t see that happening. The Browns made the call to take a 30 year old player as a rookie, when he still needs the required development for any young QB. Weeden has not made a quick transition to the NFL, and looks more than replaceable at this point.
Enter Manziel, who would immediately ignite a fire under this Browns franchise. Like the Vikings, they have some intriguing young talent in Trent Richardson, Jordan Cameron, and Josh Gordon. If only guys like Greg Little could step up their game…
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs would probably slow play this pick, seeing as they re-signed Alex Smith and have quite a bit of confidence in him, but certainly Andy Reid has had success with quarterbacks featuring Manziel’s skill-set.
This would be an interesting landing spot if the Chiefs were to upgrade the WR and TE positions next offseason, getting Manziel in there to develop for a year, maybe two.
Chip Kelly’s offense plus Johnny Manziel sounds pretty fun, especially if you love up-tempo football. Manziel has the ideal skills for Kelly’s offense with his ability to run and pass, as well as improvise.
The Eagles used a fourth round pick on Matt Barkley last year, and they apparently really like him, but you never know what will happen between now and the time Manziel enters the NFL, so the Eagles could be a really intriguing fit.
Manziel’s persona would fit right in with the Raiders, and he might just be the spark of energy the franchise needs to be revived. I’m still a pretty big believer in Terrelle Pryor, so I’m not sure I like the fit so much.