The addition of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III to the fantasy football draft pool was very exciting for fantasy football players in 2012, and the 2014 NFL Draft will inaugurate talented new quarterbacks to your draft board in August.
Teddy Bridgewater is viewed as a more complete player at this stage of his career, but Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M was one of the most explosive players in college football. Between the 2012 to 2013 seasons, Manziel thew for 7,820 yards, rushed for 2,169 yards, threw 63 touchdowns and rushed for 30 touchdowns. Manziel has the ability to instantly improve any offense as a dual-threat quarterback.
While many teams would love to draft this young talent, the three teams most likely to add Manziel to its roster are as follows: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cleveland Browns. While Manziel has the potential to lead any team he plays for to a Super Bowl, his fantasy football production, however, will be affected by what franchise drafts him.
Manziel seems to have his heart set on playing for Houston, and this would be an excellent fit for a successful fantasy football season. Veteran Andre Johnson and rookie DeAndre Hopkins combined for 2,209 receiving yards and seven touchdowns with Case Keenum and Matt Schaub slinging the ball to them. Houston fans are dreaming of what the possibilities could be with the old A&M quarterback throwing these two wide receivers the ball. Arian Foster has not been as involved in the passing game over the past few seasons, but a healthy Foster would be a great weapon for the young quarterback. The Houston quarterbacks were sacked a total of 42 times in 2013.
If the Texans decide to draft Jadeveon Clowney, the Jaguars will most likely pounce on Manziel. Although Cecil Shorts III and Ace Sanders are young talents, neither one of them are able to lead an offense. The attack of Manziel and Justin Blackmon could be one of the deadliest in the NFL, but Blackmon can’t be relied on to finish a complete season. With Maurice Jones-Drew testing the free agency market, the Jaguars are currently without a reliable running game. The Jaguars also allowed its quarterbacks to be sacked 50 times in 2013.
If Manziel was still available when the Browns select, he could very realistically find himself as the quarterback for Cleveland. With weapons such as Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron and a little mix of Greg Little, Manziel has the ability to have a solid rookie season. One of the big issues, however, is the fact that the running attack has similar issues to those of the Jaguars. A running back who knows the offense would help keep the defense honest, and it would take the pressure off the rookie quarterback. The Browns allowed its signal-callers to be sacked 49 times this past season.
Because of the weapons at receiver, the talent at running back and the protection provided to quarterbacks, the Texans would allow Manziel to post the best fantasy numbers for his rookie season. Blackmon and Gordon may seem like more exciting options, but the Texans provide more well-rounded offensive weapons. I would still draft Manziel as my backup quarterback no matter where he finds himself, but I will lower my expectations if he isn’t leading the Texans in 2014.