Quarterbacks in the Draft: Johnny Manziel

Nick Castillo

Known for his on the field antics and his questionable off the field conduct, quarterback Johnny Manziel is set to take the NFL by storm. Love him or hate him, the Heisman-winner is projected to be a first round pick in this year’s draft.

Manziel’s raw ability to make plays out of nothing is spectacular. It’s not his ability to play the game in question but rather the need for him to develop as a player and as an adult.

Scouts list multiple concerns in Manziel’s game- underdeveloped body, lack of pocket discipline, inconsistent accuracy and an unwillingness to protect himself on the run.

The biggest issue in Manziel’s game is his lack of pocket discipline. Manziel is known for making wildish plays but with those plays come unnecessary sacks. The typical Manziel play requires a lot of pocket protection and a breakdown in defensive coverage. In the NFL, these plays aren’t typical. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Manziel’s game won’t translate into the NFL but there is definitely a chance it might not.

Along with the concerns about Manziel’s game, many NFL teams worry about his off the field history. Manziel hangs out with rapper Drake and sits courtside at NBA games. He was also the subject of an NCAA investigation regarding profiting from autographs.

Manziel’s off field troubles have many people troubled especially NFL.com analyst Nolan Narwocki.

“[Manziel] carries a sense of entitlement and prima-donna arrogance seeking out the bright lights of Hollywood,” Narwocki said. “[Manziel} is known to party too much and is drawn to all the trappings of the game. … He has defied the odds and proven to be a great college-system quarterback, but still must prove he is willing to work to be great.”

While some question his ability and antics away from the game, Manziel has worked to better himself as the NFL Draft approaches.

The former Aggie has worked with quarterback coach George Whitfield throughout his career. Whitfield helped Manziel conduct his pro day workout.

Manziel’s pro day was seen as successful as many NFL scouts were impressed by the outing.

"He made the throws that you look for and that you wanted to see, so it was good," Houston Texans’ GM Rick Smith said. "It's just a part of it and it was impressive."

While only two of Manziel’s 65 passes went incomplete, he was content with his pro day performance but knows that he can continue improve.

“I felt like it was good," Manziel said."(I) was obviously going for perfection. So I had a couple balls hit the ground. One was on me. One was a little bit high. I could've got it down for him a little bit."

Manziel is likely the riskiest quarterback prospect. He has all the skills to become an NFL superstar, the only thing stopping him is himself.