Johnny Manziel is the enigma of NFL draft quarterbacks Tom Pelissero, USA TODAY Sports 5:57 p.m. EDT April 26, 2014(Photo: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)How is the NFL Draft's best and most unique playmaker not a shoo-in for the No. 1 pick?For starters, no one has seen anyone quite like Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel before."I would love to draft him, because of any player in the draft, he will do more for a team than anybody because of his position and the energy he brings to it," longtime NFL personnel executive Jerry Angelo, the former Chicago Bears general manager, told USA TODAY Sports."Unfortunately, that offense is the antithesis of what teams are doing and he is obviously a very nonconventional NFL quarterback. You have to ask yourself, who does he remind me of? There's got to be prototypes. Really, there's nobody."Manziel is 6 feet and 207 pounds of unbridled excitement, capable of creating with his arm and his legs, one toe ever inching towards the wrong side of reckless. As one veteran NFC scout put it, "The instincts, the improvisation skills, all those things are special. They're at an elite level."But general managers can't miss with high draft picks, particularly at the most important position. You don't draft a quarterback if you don't love him. And for many NFL scouts, it's a love/hate relationship predicated on what Manziel could be – or what happens if he's not."He's the wild card," another longtime NFL personnel man said on condition of anonymity for competitive reasons. "He's just got to be (with) the right coach, right scheme. You don't want to bottle him up, but you also have to discipline him, and he's got to buy into what you're doing."The wide-open offense Manziel ran at A&M gave him significant freedom to adlib – the type rarely afforded in the hyper-structured NFL, even at a time the position is evolving to the point Russell Wilson can scramble all over the field on his way to the Super Bowl."For me, it's not oversimplifying it (to say) if I took him, I would take his offensive coordinator and I would make him my offensive coordinator," Angelo said. "I don't want to reinvent him and try to make him something that I think he can be."What Manziel was at A&M was good enough to win the Heisman Trophy and make the Aggies competitive in the best conference in America. In just two seasons, he passed for 63 touchdowns and ran for 30 more, toppling dozens of national, conference and school records.Letting Manziel continue his freewheeling ways against bigger, stronger, faster men in the NFL inevitably would expose him to injury, though. He's not built as sturdily as Wilson. He'll break out a lot, but it only takes one shot to change things – just ask Robert Griffin III."Now, will some of the physical traits catch up with him?" the NFC scout said. "Maybe, when you talk about the size and their offense and how some of it was kind of chucking it up to one of the best receivers in the country (Mike Evans) and letting him go make a play."Nobody doubts Manziel's competitiveness, toughness or football IQ. There are more questions, though – about his unusual throwing motion, his looseness with the ball and, of course, his maturity as he enters the NFL as one of the most famous 21-year-olds in the country.As the saying has gone in personnel rooms for months, you're getting the full Johnny Football package. Don't be surprised if he oversleeps a meeting or gets photographed at a club on a game weekend. Don't be surprised if he sets the world afire and makes the playoffs as a rookie either."One thing about Manziel: He's ready to play," Angelo said. "His game is not going to change. It's, what are you going to ask him to do?".
Because folks of the nfl are caught up in the old heuristic way of doing things. The ideal has always been a tall packet passing QB, a mental condition that seems to have no flexibility or is not open to change. Soon enough things will catch up, and folks will have no choice but to rethink their strategy.
Fixed it for ya, Jerry! “One thing about Manziel: He’s ready to play,” “His game is not going to change. It’s, what are you going to ask him to dowill he do on the next play that worries an NFL coach?“
How is the draft’s best and most unique playmaker not a shoo-in for the #1 pick? His size is a huge factor IMO. I see photos of him, and I have to do a double take, and think, wait a second, is that pic photoshopped?
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