Mel Kiper Jr. is the grandfather of NFL Draft analysis, so when he speaks, people tend to listen.
Kiper recently released his first mock draft of the 2014 offseason, one that drew a ton of attention around the sports world. Why would a mock draft generate a lot of attention? Well, perhaps even more so than 2010 when Tim Tebow was drafted, this year’s draft class features Johnny Manziel, the most polarizing figure arguably in sports, but definitely in college.
Where is Manziel projected in Kiper’s first mock? 1st overall to the Houston Texans.
If you think about the fit, that kind of pick actually makes a lot of sense. Manziel wouldn’t have to move far from Texas A&M to Houston, and the fans would probably embrace getting a local kid like that to lead their franchise.
Of course, Manziel would have one of the best running backs in the NFL to lean on in his rookie NFL season, but the added pressure of being the number one pick would be a spotlight even Manziel has never seen before, having won a Heisman Trophy and played in two big college bowl games.
I like the idea of Manziel to Houston, if only for a change of pace. So many have projected Teddy Bridgewater all year, and for whatever reason his name is getting a bit cold as of late. I think Manziel to me is the most exciting player in the entire draft, but when you talk about taking him #1 overall, you are taking a huge risk.
A risk that could either pay huge dividends or tank horribly. Manziel would be a good fit for the Texans, and I think he’d embrace his role there. Bill O’Brien is obviously a very good coach who has done well with the Patriots and Penn State in recent years, and I don’t think Manziel’s size should deter people from thinking about taking him. If you try to only fit players into a scheme, you’re setting yourself up for future failure.
You could tailor an NFL scheme to fit Manziel’s skill set, which has consistently improved. There might not be a harder worker in the draft in terms of his football ability, and while Manziel is known for embracing his celebrity, he’s even more well known for his accomplishments on the field, which is pretty remarkable, actually.
I like this pick from Kiper, and I may jump on the bandwagon now as well.