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Ron Jaworski: I wouldn’t take Johnny Manziel in first three rounds

Johnny ManzielJohnny Manziel has risen to the top of many draft charts over the last year or two. Last month, ESPN’s Mel Kiper moved the former Texas A&M star to first overall on his draft board. While there will always be questions about Manziel’s arrogance and maturity level, many experts believe he is worth the gamble. Ron Jaworski is not one of them.

During an interview with 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Jaworski was asked about the prospect of the Eagles — who met with Manziel at the combine — drafting Johnny Football. Jaws doesn’t even think Manziel should go in the early rounds.

“I’m a big believer in Nick Foles, but who knows?” Jaworski said. “Manziel may fall. I’m not crazy about him, to be honest with you. I’ve only looked at five games. I wouldn’t take him in the first three rounds. That’s my opinion. It’s incomplete right now. But he has not done a whole lot to me.”

At this point, no one really knows where Manziel will be drafted. Several teams are in need of quarterback help, and those teams may consider Manziel anywhere from the best quarterback on the board to out of the top five.

Jaworski has always been critical of quarterbacks, but he is part of the minority with his opinion on Manziel. We’d be shocked if he isn’t taken in the first round.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Nolan Nawrocki on Johnny Manziel: ‘Carries a sense of entitlement and prima-donna arrogance’

Johnny ManzielJohnny Manziel was a star on the field in college at Texas A&M, but he has a lot of image problems to overcome as he prepares for the NFL. Many view the former Heisman Trophy winner as someone with a personality like Matt Leinart — another guy who loved the spotlight, partying and mixing with celebrities. NFL teams want players who play football because they love football and have a burning desire to be great at football, not guys who play football because it came make them famous. This point is especially important when they’re looking for franchise quarterbacks.

Nolan Nawrocki, who evaluated pro football prospects for Pro Football Weekly, gave a scouting evaluation of what he termed were the 10 most controversial players in the draft. Manziel was the first player written about on the list. Here’s what Nawrocki said:

Suspect intangibles — not a leader by example or known to inspire by his words. Carries a sense of entitlement and prima-donna arrogance seeking out the bright lights of Hollywood. Is known to party too much and is drawn to all the trappings of the game. … 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, adjust his hard-partying, Hollywood lifestyle and be able to inspire his teammates by more than his playmaking ability.

Other players on the list include Jadeveon Clowney and Manziel’s Aggies teammate, Mike Evans, so we suggest you read the whole thing.

Based on what we’ve seen of Manziel, it would be hard to disagree with this assessment of him, but the question is whether these concerns will be issues in the NFL. I don’t think they will be. I think Manziel will succeed in the NFL and that his biggest problems will be injuries because of his size (similar to what’s going on with Robert Griffin III).

What’s also notable is that many people have been outraged with Nawrocki for what they felt were overly harsh/borderline racist character assessments of players. Nawrocki savaged Cam Newton’s character in 2011 and Geno Smith’s last year. Nawrocki was also particularly harsh on Tim Tebow’s ability. I just think the guy is an equal opportunity basher who has a tendency to point out the extreme negative.

Johnny Manziel reportedly turns down trip to Super Bowl to work out instead

Johnny ManzielIs little Johnny Manziel growing up right before our very eyes? The old Johnny Football would not only be at the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, he’d be sitting in a luxury box making us all wonder how he scored the tickets. Believe it or not, Manziel is not traveling to New York.

According to NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt, Manziel has passed on an opportunity to attend Super Bowl XLVIII so he can work out instead. Manziel and several other quarterback prospects are currently training in San Diego with well-known private quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr.

Not only that, but Manziel has also reportedly turned down money in order to focus on improving his skills in advance of the NFL Draft. That’s right, money like the kind we saw him flash in the casino roughly a year ago. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport says Manziel has turned down “several lucrative marketing offers” in order to remain in San Diego.

Most of us would have expected to see Manziel in New York on Sunday with his best friend Drake. The former Texas A&M star’s draft stock has been rising steadily over the past year or so, and continuing to work out is certainly the right choice. Not only will it help him improve, it will also show NFL teams that Manziel is taking his career seriously.

Drake has an OVO Topszn Johnny Manziel shirt

Drake Johnny Manziel shirt

How tight is Johnny Manziel with Drake’s crew? Drake has created a special longsleeve shirt for the quarterback.

On Saturday, Draka shared a photo on his “Champagne Papi” Instagram account of him and four members of his crew wearing a longsleeve T-shirt with the No. 2 on it. That, of course, was Manziel’s number at Texas A&M.

The shirts look just like the jerseys Manziel wore at A&M. They have shadow lettering and stripes down the sides just like Johnny Football’s Aggies jersey. There is a maple leaf on the right shoulder (Drake is Canadian and embraces the maple leaf logo), and on the left shoulder, where the jersey would have an “SEC” logo, it says “SZN.” SZN is short for Topszn, which is a type of marijuana Drake’s crew likes and has become one of his crew’s sayings. You can read all about Johnny Manziel and Topszn here.

The back of the jersey says “The Regime,” which is another catch phrase for Drake’s crew. They always talk about Topszn being “The Regime.”

Johnny Manziel Drake regime

So if we all thought that Manziel was a Drake fanboy based on this story, I think this shirt is a pretty strong sign that the respect and relationship between them is more than mutual.

Photos Instagram/Champagne Papi 1, 2

Johnny Manziel moves to No. 1 in Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft

Johnny ManzielJohnny Manziel is easily the most intriguing player to watch as we inch closer to the NFL Draft. Because of Manziel’s size, off-field behavior and style of play, experts and analysts can’t seem to agree on where the former Texas A&M star will be drafted. At least one scout believes Manziel will be nothing more than a “marginal” pro and some NFL teams reportedly view him as undraftable. Mel Kiper Jr. does not believe the Houston Texans are one of those teams.

In his first mock draft of 2014, Kiper projects that Manziel will be drafted with the first overall pick in April.

“When you talk to people in the league, I get a consensus on Manziel that I don’t get with (Blake) Bortles or (Teddy) Bridgewater,” Kiper explained. “The consensus is that Manziel is, at worst, going at No. 5. He’s going in the top five somewhere.”

Last month, fellow ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay also had Manziel going in the top five. McShay expects Manziel to be drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 4, with both Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles being selected before him. Kiper believes Manziel can be a “great” NFL player.

“If you start thinking about him at No. 5 or No. 7, hey, what’s wrong with No. 1?” Kiper said. “It’s not like you’re paying (Matthew) Stafford or (Sam) Bradford money. Johnny Manziel is a magician on the field and eats, sleeps and drinks football 365 days a year. To me, he can be a very good to great player in the NFL. Today’s NFL kind of suits his skill set very effectively and very well.”

Personally, I feel that many of Manziel’s off-field issues have been overblown. He may play golf with a boy band every now and then, but he hasn’t really gotten himself into any legal trouble. There’s still a chance Johnny Football will tone down the partying once he inks an NFL contract.

Texans owner Bob McNair recently praised Jadeveon Clowney, but that doesn’t mean Houston will draft the South Carolina stud. Kiper noted that they could even trade down and still get Manziel. As we know, plenty can change between now and April.

Johnny Manziel writes heartfelt goodbye letter to Aggies fans

Johnny Manziel

The day Johnny Manziel declared for the NFL draft, he wrote a heartfelt goodbye letter to Texas A&M Aggies fans.

Manziel’s allegiance to A&M has been in question because of his reputation as a Texas fan, the time he put on a Longhorns tattoo, and him doing silly things like putting up the Texas Tech “guns up” hand sign. But it was easy to see throughout the season how connected he was to his teammates and the team’s fans.

This letter, published by TexAgs.com, seemed very sincere:

To All My Friends in Aggieland,

After long discussions with my family, friends, teammates, and coaches, I have decided to make myself available for the 2014 NFL Draft. The decision was not an easy one. Anyone who has ever watched a football game at Kyle Field knows that leaving that atmosphere, those Saturdays with excitement, color, and noise, will be hard for me. I cannot begin to tell you what the support of the school, my teammates, Coach Sumlin, Chancellor Sharp and the fans has meant to me over the last two years. The Heisman Trophy belongs as much to you as it does to me. My teammates and I never doubted the value or the deep and real spirit of The 12th Man. It is not a myth. Anyone one has ever played football for Texas A&M knows that passion is real.

I promise you I will always be an Aggie. I will always try to make you as proud of me in the NFL as I did at Texas A&M. While there are many wonderful memories I will take with me – big wins, surprising upsets, and Bowl victories – I most cherish standing arm in arm with my teammates during the postgame, singing the alma mater, or jumping into the stands to feel real Aggie spirit. I regret we weren’t able to bring a National Championship to College Station, but I assure you a championship is going to come soon with Coach Sumlin and these talented players. And when it does, you can bet I will be with you to cheer and celebrate. I’ll probably be the loudest one there.

Thank you for making my college years very special. The faces, the friends, the fans, and the experience will forever be an important part of my life. Gig ’em Aggies! I’ll always love you guys.

Sincerely,
Johnny Manziel

That’s a lot different of a message from the guy who tweeted in June he couldn’t wait to leave College Station. This makes it sound like it was a tough goodbye.

Photo: Instagram/Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel files paperwork to enter NFL draft

Johnny ManzielIn a move shocking absolutely nobody, Johnny Manziel has filed paperwork to enter the NFL Draft, NFL.com’s Gil Brandt reports.

This development comes a day after it was reported that Manziel has chosen Select Sports Group in Houston to negotiate his contracts and Maverick Carter’s LRMR to represent him for marketing. It’s unclear if he has signed a contract with either agency at this point.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said he expects Manziel to be a top-8 pick in the draft. We expect that he’ll go in the top 10 as well.

Though many people cite his character and rock star personality as a reason to question how he’ll do in the NFL, I think the big concern with him is his size. Being really fast and small is a bad combination for a quarterback. Being a fast runner often leads to a quarterback leaving the pocket more. Their collisions have greater impact and the potential to do more damage. Look at how many times Manziel went down in games this season for Texas A&M. Imagine how bad that will be in the NFL.

I think his skill level is very high and that he’ll dominate the way RG3 did in his rookie season. But, like RG3, I think Manziel will end up getting hurt.