Oct 19, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A

How Do You Block for Johnny Manziel?


Johnny Manziel is an intriguing NFL prospect. You can’t deny it, and no matter how much you dislike him, you can’t shy away from it.

One really interesting topic brought up by ESPN’s Texas A&M blogger Sam Khan Jr. is the fact that Manziel presents an interesting challenge for the guys up front who block for him.

One of those guys is tackle Jake Matthews, who like Manziel is expected to be one of the first players selected at his position in the up-coming 2014 NFL Draft. Matthews acknowledges the fact that blocking for Manziel is tough at times, but his ability to make plays is worth the challenge.

“There’s still times where you feel like you’re adjusting because you never know which way he’s going to dart out of that pocket,” offensive tackle Jake Matthews said. “Sometimes he’s right behind you and you think he’s going under you. It can get kind of confusing sometimes. But he makes so many plays for us that we’re willing to go the extra mile and block that much longer for him. It’s a little bit of a challenge, but you’ve got to love it.”

It’s a very interesting topic to bring up, because using a high draft pick on Manziel could alter the way you not only scheme an offense, but it could alter the way you pick players to play on your offensive line.

First and foremost, the guys playing tackle will need to be athletic and they’ll need to be able to withstand a long battle in the trenches.

As if linemen don’t already need to be those things.

However, you have to think about what makes Manziel the prospect he is, and part of the reason (a BIG part) why he is considered a first rounder by a lot of people is his ability to create, and the fact that when there is nothing available, he can make something out of nothing. Linemen need to be able to make adjustments to that, and it’s a process that Texas A&M certainly prepares for more than people know or think.

“When [Manziel] rolls out sometimes, it’s kind of hard because you’re blocking a guy and next thing you know, he sprints straight to the sideline,” Matthews said. “I’m assuming Johnny rolled out, so I just start running after him.”