Sep 7, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A
Weight: 210 pounds
40 Yard Dash:
Scouting Report/Player Notes
I’m not here to try and sell you Johnny Manziel as an NFL quarterback, I’m just here to shoot straight with you about his prospects as one. Let me preface this by saying that I do not like what Manziel has put himself through off the field. I get that in our young age, we’re allowed to try things and fail, make mistakes and supposedly get away with it, but my PERSONAL opinion is that someone with the talent and responsibility of a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback on scholarship at a major university should be able to keep themselves out of headlines off the field. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. I have no problem with Manziel going to sit courtside at games, or even going out and having a good time, but really, are you going to get into enough trouble that it makes headlines?
A lot of things piled up on Manziel this offseason, including some allegations about selling autographs (which college kids should be allowed to do), but when he got back on the field, he was back to Johnny Football.
In his redshirt freshman season, not a lot of people were sure how this young kid would do replacing departed first round pick Ryan Tannehill, now the starter for the Miami Dolphins. Manziel answered the call in a big way. He was inarguably the most exciting playmaker in college football a year ago, en route to 3,706 yards passing with 26 touchdowns and only nine interceptions, completing 68 percent of his passes. He also added 1,410 yards on the ground rushing, with another 21 touchdowns.
Most importantly, Manziel proved he could win big games on the biggest stage, going into Tuscaloosa to take on eventual National Champion Alabama and dishing them their first loss of the season. THAT was the Manziel that football fans grew to knew and love (or hate) before all of the off-field stuff in 2013.
I’m going to put this next sentence in bold, so you know it’s serious: If Johnny Manziel cleans up his act off the field, he is a FIRST ROUND TALENT. I see a lot of Russell Wilson in Johnny Manziel, though perhaps Manziel is a better overall runner. So far in 2013, Manziel looks vastly improved as a pocket passer. His height might be a concern to some, and for varying reasons it is to me as well, but as you could see last season and so far in 2013, it’s not a big deal at all.
Manziel’s greatest trait is his football IQ, his ability to create and improvise, and the competitive edge with which he plays. He has a strong enough arm to make all the required throws in the NFL, and he has the athleticism to hang in there as well, but as good as he is in those areas, it doesn’t compare with his Houdini like qualities with the ball in his hands. When Manziel steps onto a football field, it doesn’t take long to see that he very much takes that part of his life seriously, and he’s very good at it.
As Manziel continues to develop–like Russell Wilson–he will continue to hone his craft as a passer over time. I think you can already see significant improvements so far this season, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see him bolt for the NFL after his RS Sophomore season. This is a guy who has the look of a future starter in the NFL, though scouts do still have some concerns about him, namely his ‘average’ arm strength which appears to have improved and will continue to improve as Manziel grows into his body type. He’s listed at 6’1″ some places and 5’11” others, but I think it’s closer to somewhere in the middle, in all likelihood.
For more on the discussion of Manziel as an NFL prospect, here’s a great article from Rob Rang and Dane Brugler at NFL Draft Scout.
Video Highlights (via YouTube)
Career Highlights (via Texas A&M athletics site)
Became the first-ever freshman and the second Aggie to win the prestigious Heisman Trophy, college football’s top individual honor, by more than 150 first-place votes after a record-setting season … named College Player of the Year by the Associated Press and The Sporting News … receiving the Davey O’Brien Award and the Manning Award … completed 295 of his 434 passes for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns while throwing only nine interceptions … rushed 201 times for 1,410 net yards (7.0 yards per carry) with 21 rushing touchdowns … broke the SEC record with 5,116 yards of total offense (2010 Heisman winner Cam Newton of Auburn previously held the record of 4,327), which was the 10th best single season effort in NCAA history … his rushing total was the No. 7 effort in NCAA history by a QB … he was the fifth 3,000 passing yards/1,000 rushing yards player in NCAA history … he is the only player in NCAA history to surpass the 5,000 total yards and 1,000 rushing yards level in a single season … earned Offensive MVP honors in 2013 AT&T Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma … against the Sooners, Manziel generated a Cotton Bowl record 516 total yards, including an all-bowl record for quarterbacks 229 rushing yards and 287 passing yards … was named Associated Press SEC Player of the Year along with SEC Freshman of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year … Consensus All-American was named first-team All-American by Associated Press, Walter Camp, CBSSports.com, AOL Sporting News, ESPN.com, SI.com, Max Emfinger CFB, YAHOO! Sports and FWAA … Maxwell Award finalist … named 1st Team All-SEC and Freshman All-SEC … AOL Sporting News Freshman All-American … earned the starting QB spot in fall camp, two weeks before the start of the season … was named Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week twice … named SEC Freshman of the Week nine times and the SEC Offensive Player of the Week three times … Broke the SEC record for total offense twice (557 vs. Arkansas on Sept. 29 and 576 vs. Louisiana Tech on Oct. 13) … First player in NCAA FBS history to pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game three times in his career … first SEC player, first freshman and fifth NCAA FBS player to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season … broke the NCAA freshman record for QB rushing yards and total offense … accounted for 47 TDs (26 pass, 21 rush), which set school record and ranks No. 3 in SEC history … his 21 rushing TDs were a school record … scored two or more rushing TDS and passed for two or more TDs in a game seven times … sat out five complete quarters of plays, and all but one drive in five other quarters.