Johnny Manziel: The 2014 NFL Draft's Instant Franchise Attitude Booster

By Brandon Cavanaugh
Johnny Manziel
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Whether referred to as “Mr. Manziel,” “Mr. Football” or several random expletives, there’s no doubt who the most intriguing top-tier prospect of the 2014 NFL Draft is. You may simultaneously love and hate Johnny Manziel. Admire the player, despise the man as it were.

Regardless of how fans of the franchise that eventually drafts the former Texas A&M Aggie feel at the moment of selection, they’ll grow to love him.

Several mock drafts have Manziel being snagged within the top 10 picks.

There’s nothing like a free spirit, and such a special athlete that wins the Heisman Trophy as a freshman while being the living embodiment of “You Only Live Once” is just the thing for a franchise that needs a jolt. Cleveland Browns fans, I’m looking at you.

The Brandon Weeden experiment has gone the way of spoiled milk. The Browns need a quarterback, but don’t be fooled into thinking the brass aren’t aware of the excitement they could get with this package.

Following controversy that he may have profited from autographs – a rather severe violation of NCAA rules – Manziel didn’t exactly shy away from what couldn’t be proven and some couldn’t accept his audacity.

Manziel’s mockery of those high and low on the totem pole who would decry his alleged monetary dealings may have been seen as immature, but those days are gone. He’ll be just stating cold hard fact about taking home a paycheck with the twist of six fingers following touchdowns, so why not have fun with it?

A better question would be why not embrace it? Manziel’s been called selfish. I didn’t see a selfish player rallying his teammates down 38-17 at the half in the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl. A leader pushed his squad to respond so well that it’d end up winning 52-48.

He’s a special football player, but perhaps what people don’t see is that he’s a special human being. He clearly knows how to have fun and takes full advantage. While he has his critics, Manziel doesn’t have 735,000 followers on Twitter because he’s a bore. Those fans aren’t all waiting for the next shot of him with bikini-clad co-eds, either.

Not only does he energize teammates, but fans as well, and not just those who wear his colors.

Whoever ends up plucking Johnny Football off the draft board will get more than a spike in jersey sales. Regardless of whether or not he excels or fails in the NFL, ratings will be high as those that both love him and despise him will tune in to watch every second.

Brandon Cavanaugh is a Big 10 writer for Follow him on Twitter @eightlaces, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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