NFL Draft: Talent Wise, Johnny Manziel Leads Pack

By Nick Baker

Although people find flaws in his game and personal lifestyle, talent wise, Johnny Manziel is the best quarterback in the country. Right now, Manziel is ranked behind the likes of Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota by many draft experts, but soon enough, it will be shown that Manziel is the most talented passer and playmaker in the upcoming NFL draft.

Manziel’s decision making is questionable at times, think of his mid-game hail mary against Alabama this year, but otherwise, he possesses the tools of a franchise quarterback. Many knock his size, 6-foot-1, but in the pocket, Manziel keeps the ball at neck height, and has a high throwing motion meaning, his balls are harder to bat down than say Russell Wilson, another short quarterback.

Manziel also has a very short stride and quick throwing motion, the perfect mechanics for any quarterback. Although he is known for his playmaking ability with his legs, Manziel is already a top-tier passer and will be able to effectively run an NFL offense from day one next year because of his arm strength and accuracy. At times, Manziel is bailed out by his tall and talented wide receivers, but with time will come better decision making, which at this point is the only knock I have on his game.

Unlike other highly-touted quarterbacks, Manziel has performed well against the top defenses in the country, most notably Alabama, whom he has thrown for 717 yards and seven touchdowns against in the past two seasons. Somehow, despite turning in two spectacular performances against the best defense in the country, two years in a row, Manziel’s pro potential is still in doubt by some.

There is also that “it” factor about Manziel, although hard to describe, it is that instinct that cannot be measured that helps Manziel stand out from the rest. Although a handful of quarterbacks entering the upcoming draft have solid escapability in the pocket, Manziel has shown the ability to break tackles from top defenders and still make a play after doing so. The big-play ability that Manziel possesses is very unique, and whichever team takes a chance on him next spring will be pleasantly surprised.

So far this season, Manziel has completed 73 percent of his passes, and despite running for nearly 500 yards through six and a half games, he has thrown for another 2,289 yards in that time, making him one of the most dominant dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. There is still plenty of time for Manziel to further prove himself before the draft, but once the 2014 NFL season begins, he will prove to be one of the next stars at the quarterback position.

Nick Baker is a contributing writer for Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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