Beyond The Mic: Johnny Manziel Declares For NFL Draft, Where Will He Go?
In news that surprised no one, Johnny Manziel will forego his final two years of eligibility at Texas A&M, and enter the 2014 NFL Draft.
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. ranks the former Heisman Trophy winner as the #14 player overall in the upcoming draft. However, Kiper feels like Manziel has a good chance of being picked in the top 5.
"I think he'll (be drafted somewhere) from top 5 to top 8," said Kiper on SVP & Rusillo. "Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Blake Bortles of Central Florida, and certainly Johnny Manziel (will be first QBs drafted)...Manziel is still kind of a wild card because he doesn't fit what everybody wants. But, when you have 4 of the top 5 teams (in the draft) needing quarterbacks, and 5 of the top 8...you're going to see these quarterbacks go."
At only 6'0 feet tall, Manziel may leave some teams concerned about his durability. He runs the ball often, and was hit hard often by opposing defenses during his sophomore season.
In my opinion, Manziel will go 4th overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Houston Texans are in need of a QB, and the Texan fanbase may be chirping to draft the fiery Texas native. However, Houston has expressed interest in trading out of the #1 overall spot. In the end, if Houston stays put, they'll likely draft Bridgewater, while the Oakland Raiders would then take Bortles at #3 overall.
That leaves the Jacksonville Jaguars drafting in the #4 slot. The Jags are in desperate need of a "shot in the arm", as they've stumbled to poor records the last few years, with even worse attendance. Manziel brings an excitement, a brand, and a personality that will gravitate the fanbase towards him. However, the only way to keep the fans around is to win.
Can Manziel produce at the next level? It won't be a question of heart and talent. I don't even think it'll be a question of maturity. In the end, it will be about durability. If he can stay healthy, he'll be productive in the NFL. Exciting too.