Posted January 08, 2014

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel declares for NFL Draft

Johnny Football, Johnny Manziel, NFL Draft, Texas A&M Aggies
Johnny Manziel will likely go in the top half of the first round of the NFL Draft.

Heisman winner Johnny Manziel will likely go in the top half of the first round of the NFL draft. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

The wild and wonderful Johnny Manziel era has come to an end. The redshirt sophomore and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner formally announced his decision to enter the NFL Draft on Wednesday and also sent a thank you letter to “The 12th Man” on TexAgs.com.

Manziel discussed his decision with Bruce Feldman from CBS, saying:

“I feel very relieved. It’s a weight off my shoulders. I’m ready to become a professional and dedicate myself to making my dream a reality of becoming the best quarterback I can be.”

ESPN’s Darren Rovell first reported on Tuesday that Manziel had decided to sign with Select Sports Agency and Maverick Carter, who also represents LeBron James.

In 2012, Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. That year, he led Texas A&M to an 11-2 record, including victories over Alabama, the eventual national champion, and Oklahoma, in the Cotton Bowl. He finished fifth in the Heisman voting this season, during which he passed for 4,114 yards, rushed for 759 more and had a hand in 46 total touchdowns (37 passing, nine rushing).

The quarterback closed his college career with a 52-48 win over Duke on Dec. 31 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, when he helped the Aggies overcome a 21-point halftime deficit. Manziel rolled up 455 yards of total offense and accounted for five total touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) against the Blue Devils.

However, Texas A&M (9-4) was unable to replicate its 2012 success. The Aggies struggled defensively and had a hard time establishing a consistent running game. Still, the school saw enough from coach Kevin Sumlin to give him a new six-year contract worth $5 million per season on Dec. 10, which effectively squelched rumors that he might leave for open positions at USC or Texas.

Sumlin said of Manziel’s departure:

“In all of my years of coaching, Johnny Manziel is the most exciting football player I have ever seen. We appreciate everything he has done for Texas A&M and Aggie football and wish him nothing but the best.”

The always-polarizing Manziel has spent his share of time in the headlines for reasons other than football over the past two seasons. Every move he makes is scrutinized, whether he is signing autographs, wearing a Tim Tebow jersey, hanging out with his friends — including the rapper, Drake — or making on-field hand gestures.

All of the distractions have taken away somewhat from what Manziel has been able to do with the ball in his hand in two years as the starting quarterback for A&M. He has consistently been one of the most electric and entertaining players in college football, and has almost single-handedly help ease the Aggies’ transition into the SEC.

Manziel’s talent alone should land him in the first round of the draft, although he will inevitably have to deal with questions about his character.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has Manziel at No. 14 on his Big Board, the second-highest quarterback aside from Teddy Bridgewater.

SI.com’s Chris Burke has Manziel as the third pick overall, going to the Jaguars, in his newly-debuted Mock Draft 4.0. Says Burke:

An admission: I was all over the place with Manziel before settling on him here, bumping out Khalil Mack. I do not think it’s out of the question that the Jaguars aim for someone like Mack or Anthony Barr to give Gus Bradley a dynamic defender. But doing so would likely force them to settle on a second-tier QB later, dragging out the rebuilding project.

Manziel will make mistakes (possibly off the field as well as on). He’ll also make the Jaguars a far more dangerous team from Day 1.

Wherever Manziel lands, his ability to make something out of nothing when a play breaks down and his competitive streak will be considerable assets. The teams with quarterback needs will have to decide if the Aggie fits with their coaching scheme and offensive philosophy, but at this point it’s probably Bridgewater first and a take your pick of Fresno State’s Derek Carr, UCF’s Blake Bortles and Manziel. If he doesn’t go to the Jaguars, it’s hard to see Cleveland passing on him at No. 4.

In the meantime, let’s all just enjoy what we got from Johnny Football at the college level for a little bit longer.

79 comments
Robert96
Robert96

Sooo many folks are sooo jealous of Johnny Football. He is 20 years old, for goodness sake. Cut him a little slack.   When he is 25, then we can judge his character.  He reminds me of one-half Frantic Fran Tarkington and one-half Joe (attitude) Namath...........Now that is a combination that will get MY money!.........I love the kid and wish him great success, mainly because it will be so fun to watch.  I sure hope he goes to a team that I like to root for.

Thomas5
Thomas5

Later, Johnny Ego.  Not sure which is more annoying... your spoilded kid off-field actions, or ESPN's boy-crush with you...  Like the way it took a Defender getting a pick-6 for your team to beat Duke (Duke!) in the bowl game, but ESPN didn't show the defender celebrating with his teammates in the endzone, but rather cut to you on the sidelines celebrating as if you personally got the pick-6.  Did you like that?  I didn't.  I personally thought the defender should have gotten credit for that play.  That was only a microcosm of your who career being blown out of proportion of what you did, versus what your teammates did.  Good luck at the NFL level.

JamesMartin
JamesMartin

He is gonna get eaten alive in the NFL


airmjbsanders
airmjbsanders

This is the Tebow nonsense all over again, but WORSE, b/c this kid make get drafted very high in R1!  Any GM who uses a high R1 pick on this kid and starts him next season is begging to be fired!  I know the NFL is incredibly pass-happy these days, but you can't just put anybody under center & hope that it works out!


Tebow accomplished way more in college than Johnny Smurf & look how his 5 min pro career turned out.  When will NFL personnel people learn to distinguish the college QB'ing from NFL QB'ing...

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

YOU WROTE: brucedesjardins1

4 hours ago

Two "words"...Joey Harrington.

==========================

I say THREE: " welcome to walmart"

wlewisiii
wlewisiii

Guess he really wants to be on the Texans...

Listening
Listening

If he goes to the wrong team like Jax he will be put out of his misery quickly.

x72
x72

El Busto

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

Don't waste a first round pick on a player who spent his last off season partying, being kicked out of the Manning QB camp, gambling in Vegas, hanging with celebrities, violating NCAA rules signing autographs, drinking with his Mama, etc.  Yes, those are all "typical" college kid activities .. but the "typical college kid" doesn't have the mindset required to be successful as an NFL quarterback.  Let him get the type of job that "typical college kids" get ... not leading an NFL team on the field.  THAT requires a commitment to the game that Johnny Football does not exhibit.  

Aggie81
Aggie81

There are two types of NFL teams out that will draft Johnny; the first is the team that needs a QB and the second is the team that wants to put fans in the stadium and sell season tickets.  Don't count Jerry Jones out of the equation and making a trade up.

If Manziel gets drafted by a team he doesn't want to play for, he probably will not sign the contract and go make a living on the PGA tour.  After all, he is a scratch golfer..

bornindetroit
bornindetroit

NCAAF losing Johnny a Football is like golf losing Tiger a Woods. NCAAF just became less watchable - by a lot.

Chuckster
Chuckster

It will now come down to his maturity and ability to adjust to the NFL.  

He HAS to lose the trademark "money sign", even though he's doing it because of his rapper friend Drake.  It will not be received well in the NFL.   Money Sign in NFL = Pain.    

He'll have to adjust his pocket presence to the NFL speed and deception.  He worked out of some tight places in CFB but in the NFL, he'll meet the turf quickly.  

He cannot throw the ball blindly over the middle and expect Evans to come down with it.  Blind passes over the middle to WRs getting jacked up because of it = POd WRs and coaches.  It's OK to throw it out of bounds.


Respect.  He'd better have and show respect at the next level.  Daddy's wallet isn't going to buy him anything here.  Lack of Respect = Clipboard carrying.

Listening
Listening

Hahaha.  I can't wait.  The NFL players are so much faster and stronger overall than NCAA players.  When he throws up one of his lame ducks that Evans always seemed to bring in it will be a pick 6 for the other team.  Also...  good luck rolling out of the pocket and using happy feet to make defenders miss.  In the NFL the sheer arm strength of ALL the defensive players will not allow near misses.  Also the speed of these players will not allow him to gain first downs by running a bootleg.  I predict a bunch of feet first slides.  Then again he's dumb enough to try a few head first slides to gain a few extra yards.  That will be the end of this.  If he goes to any team without a great offensive line he's dead in the water.  He may be dead in the water anyway.  Can't wait to see him get sucker punched in the face. 

MrArlington
MrArlington

fu​ck this guy. He is destined to be out of the NFL within 5 years and will play the back up to the back QB in year 2. 

JoshHB
JoshHB

Overhyped. So glad he's leaving college. Won't hear much from him in the pros. Win win for me. 

ElvisHitler
ElvisHitler

In his hometown they call him Scumbag McGee

Classy_Fro1
Classy_Fro1

Tahj Boyd is a far better NFL prospect...Keep feeding the hype Si...

carnage_2012
carnage_2012

I hope he goes to Cleveland where he will fail miserably and Cleveland will be even further down the road from ever going anywhere. To all the other QB's entering I wish you nothing but the best. F Cleveland

riley8
riley8

NFL players are faster, much, faster than collegians.  Manziel's speed will be minimized and so will he in a brief Ryan Leaf-like NFL career.

mjt424
mjt424

Unbelievable collegian. Might be a standout pro but something worries me about him and it's not his off the field behavior. His build, his recklessness both could doom him. His competitiveness and athleticism will be strengths.

Is he going to be able to be a quality pocket passer who can hurt you with his legs too? He will be going up against defenses whom will close faster on him with the pass rush and on his throws. I don't see him being a star player.

He can start but he'd be far better going to a team further down the draft with a good line and solid running game but lacking the QB. Or for a good storyline (won't happen), going to Dallas to learn in spots and then replace Tony Romo in a year or two. Or the Jets (who can then trade Geno Smith).

Then draft, hit the free agent market or trade for a receiving TE, good back out of the backfield and some receivers.

rentistoohigh
rentistoohigh

After drafting JOHNNY HOFer Touchdown the Texans will beg Tim Tebow  to put down the mike and help lead the city of Houston to it's first ever SUPER BOWL 

Oldtimeduffer
Oldtimeduffer

Johnny football is elusive and fast.  But he always looks thin with a slight, almost effeminate build.  He's going to take some hits in the NFL that he never took in college, if that slows him down he could become almost.   I could see him as a fantastic cornerback or safety depending on whether he could give a lick as well as take it. 

chad96
chad96

It's fun reading the comments on all of the Manziel articles.  Wannabe football pundits saying, "He'll never be successful in the NFL", "Another Tebow", "Too small", etc.  Yet no one ever defines what being successful in the NFL really means.  Is it throwing for X yards/game?  Winning 3 Super Bowls?  Playing 15 seasons?  Or is it simply taking advantage of your current situation and making the most of it?  


Whether Manziel plays one season or ten, he will make MILLIONS by simply signing an NFL contract.  Given the odds of even getting drafted - in addition to the money he'll make - I'd say Manziel has already reached a level of success that most of us will never achieve.  And I'd bet anyone criticizing him here would have no problem calling themselves a "success" if they were in his shoes.  

Robert96
Robert96

The next "Franic Fran" Tarkington................what a blessing!!


Robert96
Robert96

Wild and wonderful is RIGHT!            I pray that the Texans get him for us to continue to enjoy.

MrNerdCracker
MrNerdCracker

@SInow if Minnesota is desperate enough they'll take him he'd probably be better than Ponder

JimElwood
JimElwood

I hope the Browns have enough sense to Not Draft this kid.  He is just going to be trouble wherever he end up. 

Outside the box
Outside the box

@airmjbsandersYou need to look at some stats before you type. Manziel's numbers make Tebow look like the playground QB that he is. Tebow was nothing more than a fullback who occasionally threw, Manziell is a QB who occasionally runs.

Chuckster
Chuckster

@RobertSmithTrying to picture Manziel in a job that "typical college kids" get......  Let's try it on here.....   "You want fries with that?"..... or.......   "Paper or Plastic".     

Chuckster
Chuckster

@Aggie81Two things in life that won't make it..... One is dogs that chase cars and the other is pro's that chip for par.   Johnny won't make a living on the tour.    He'll go to the Texans.  If for some reason he goes to the Browns or Raiders, he'll go or try to pull an Eli which would be interesting.   $$$ and playing football are too important and he can't afford to take a year off.

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@bornindetroit Yeah, I'm sure the millions of people that have been watching college football their entire lives have just decided to do something else with their time. Makes perfect sense……….

Chuckster
Chuckster

@bornindetroit     This would be true IF you only watch the "A&M Channel".   There are other channels.

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@Chuckster Why would he lose the $$$ sign? A lot of QB's do ridiculous crap after they throw a TD pass or run the ball in themselves. Rodgers = discount D'AAAAAABLE CHECK   Newton = superman Kaepernick = kaepernicking Romo = walk over to the bench looking confused after another game ending INT. The list goes on and on

Aggie81
Aggie81

@JoshHBYour favorite NFL team is considering drafting him....

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@ElvisHitlerNo big deal.   You hometowners are always envious of those that go out in the world and do something with their lives.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@riley8So these guys all get drastically faster once they leave college?   If so, doesn't that mean that Manziel will get faster as well?

MrArlington
MrArlington

@JoeCabot You seem very fond of Manziel by supporting him in every post where someone criticizes him?

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

@JoeCabot - Guys don't get faster ... but the slower collegians don't make it to the NFL. On a typical day in college, Manziel faces no more than a couple guys who will be successful in the NFL.  They aggregate all those players together in the NFL so that the quality (and speed) of what he will face will be much greater.  For example, there are only two defensive players from Baylor currently on NFL rosters.  Two from Texas Tech.  He has never faced any NFL caliber defenses.  The players will be faster.

Chuckster
Chuckster

@MrArlington@JoeCabotThis Clown ElvisShitler is worthless and it has nothing to do with Manziel.  He's out here all the time spouting garbage.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@MrArlington Uh, no.  I have not written on thing supporting Manziel.   I have been mocking those of you who get all worked up over a college football player.  I don't know enough about the guy to like or dislike him but some of you seem to have an infatuation with guaranteeing us that he will fail, which is nothing but a guess.  Seems like there may be a bit of envy over someone having fun with his life.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@RobertSmith And he will be with the fastest offensive guys as well.  So what if he has never faced an NFL caliber defense.  In fact, it would seem that no college guys ever face an NFL caliber defense before they get to the NFL, and somehow plenty of them manage to adapt.