2014 NFL Draft: Analyzing All 32 Scenarios For Johnny Manziel in the First Round
2014 NFL Draft: Analyzing All First-Round Possibilities For Johnny Manziel
Over the last two years, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has displayed some of the most impressive numbers ever seen by a football player at the college level--including his mark in history after becoming the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
In his two seasons with the Aggies, Manziel threw for 7,820 yards with 63 touchdown passes to go along with 2,169 rushing yards and 30 rushing touchdowns--which is absolutely ridiculous to think about. Ever since winning the Heisman, football fans knew it would only be a matter of time before Manziel made the leap to the big leagues and that's exactly what happened on Wednesday as Johnny Football declared for the 2014 NFL Draft in May.
With Manziel making his decision to go pro, the fun begins when it comes to figuring out which teams will strongly consider bringing the quarterback on board for the 2014 season. After the type of numbers displayed over the last two years with the Aggies, Manziel will most likely end up being a first-round pick, but how early he may go is a different story.
While Manziel could easily go No. 1 to the Houston Texans or even be selected at No. 4 by the Cleveland Browns, it's safe to say any team with a first-round pick (sorry Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts) will at least consider the possibility of bringing Manziel on board for the 2014 season.
So where will Manziel land in the first round? Well, with the recent news of the quarterback deciding to go pro, we put together a list of all 32 picks in the first round and the possibilities for Manziel once April rolls around--so enjoy.
1. Houston Texans
With the No. 1 pick, the Houston Texans could go one of numerous ways and with all of the uncertainty surrounding Matt Schaub from this past season--using the top pick on a quarterback may not be a bad idea. Plus, Manziel already has a strong fan base in Texas and could bring plenty of excitement to a Texans team that ended the year on a 14-game losing streak--so it's safe to say he's obviously in the picture.
2. St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams had high expectations for Sam Bradford when they selected him with the No. 1 pick back in 2010 and the argument can be made he's yet to live up to the hype. Not only has Bradford only played all 16 games in two seasons, but the most he's thrown for came in 2012 when he passed for 3,702 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Sure, those numbers most likely would have been higher this year if Bradford didn't tear his ACL, but with only two years left on his contract, you can't blame the Rams for at least considering the thought of taking a shot on Manziel.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Blaine Gabbert may want to be in consideration for the Jacksonville Jaguars starting job in 2014, but think we can all agree using a first-round pick on the quarterback in 2011 was a complete waste. The Jaguars need to move on with a new quarterback and there's a chance Manziel may be available at No. 3.
Plus, for a city with fans who wanted Tim Tebow to help fill up seats--imagine how many of those seats would be filled with Manziel on board.
4. Cleveland Browns
Just like Gabbert, the Cleveland Browns made a huge mistake using a first-round pick on Brandon Weeden two years ago. Hopefully, the organization is smart enough to use a high draft pick on a quarterback this year--one that will actually be worthy of a first-round pick.
There's already been plenty of talk surrounding the Browns as a possible landing spot for Manziel--so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
5. Oakland Raiders
After the Matt Flynn experiment failed and the team got by with Terrelle Pryor at quarterback for most of the season, he's clearly not the franchise player the Oakland Raiders are looking for. This team is in desperate need of help at the quarterback position--so the Raiders could easily be in the hunt to land Manziel in the draft.
6. Atlanta Falcons
After the Atlanta Falcons rewarded Matt Ryan with a heavy contract extension last offseason, there's no way they would replace him with a rookie like Manziel. If anything, the Falcons may be able to use this pick as trade bait for other teams to move up.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Glennon was unexpectedly thrown into the starting role for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season and showed potential when it comes to being the team's quarterback of the future. Of course, there are no guarantees when it comes to the NFL and don't be surprised if the Buccaneers at least flirt with the possibility of drafting Manziel.
8. Minnesota Vikings
While Matt Cassel deserves some credit for looking impressive at times during the 2013 season, he's not the long-term answer for the Minnesota Vikings--and neither is former first-round pick Christian Ponder. The NFL Draft is the perfect opportunity for the Vikings to find a quarterback to build the franchise around and Minnesota won't let Manziel slip out of the top 10 if he's still available at No. 8.
9. Buffalo Bills
E.J. Manuel turned out to be one of the biggest surprise picks of the first round in 2013 and while the Buffalo Bills record may not have turned out to be what they were hoping for this season--the quarterback did show potential at times. It seems unlikely the Bills would draft Manziel if given the opportunity after drafting Manuel last year, but this is the NFL we're talking about.
Anything is possible.
10. Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford is the quarterback of the future--so don't expect the Detroit Lions to make any moves to land the Texas A&M star. Why would the Lions even consider replacing a quarterback who's thrown for just under 15,000 yards over the last three seasons?
11. Tennessee Titans
It's been three years and Jake Locker has yet to play a full season for the Tennessee Titans--which the organization will strongly take into consideration come draft time. They may have to settle for another quarterback in the draft if he's unavailable, but could Johnny Football end up competing with Locker for the starting job?
12. New York Giants
Eli Manning will be entering his 11th season with the New York Giants in 2014 and is coming off a season in which he threw for a career high 27 interceptions. Obviously, Manning still has a few solid years left in him (hopefully), but at some point, the team is going to need to figure out who their next franchise quarterback will be.
Hopefully, the Giants don't believe Ryan Nassib is that answer.
13. St. Louis Rams
Thanks to the Washington Redskins, the Rams have an additional first-round pick in this year's draft--which means they could even use one of their picks as trade bait. As mentioned before, the main factor here over the possibility of Manziel is how confident this team is with Bradford as their quarterback of the future once his contract is up in two years.
14. Chicago Bears
When considering the fact that Jay Cutler just received a very hefty extension, the Chicago Bears won't be using a first round pick on Manziel in this year's draft. If anything, the Bears need to use their first-round pick on a defensive player--so there's not much of a debate on this one.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers
As far as the Pittsburgh Steelers are concerned, it's obvious they would love to see Ben Roethlisberger retire with the team when the time comes. The only question that remains--how many more solid years does Big Ben still have left in him?
The Steelers star will be 32 heading into the 2014 season--meaning they're going to need to think about their future plans for the next quarterback at some point.
16. Dallas Cowboys
If any owner is willing to take a chance on Manziel if he falls out of the top 10, it's Jerry Jones. With all of the madness surrounding Tony Romo at quarterback, imagine the chaos if the Dallas Cowboys were to bring Manziel on board to keep him in Texas.
17. Baltimore Ravens
Joe Flacco received one of the biggest contracts in league history last offseason after leading the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl win last February--so don't expect the team to even consider Manziel come May.
18. New York Jets
He still has plenty of proving to do, but the New York Jets seem pretty convinced on continuing to give Geno Smith a chance to lead the squad heading into the 2014 season. Then again, this is Rex Ryan we're talking about--so anything is possible if Manziel is still left on the board late in the first round.
With all due respect to Smith, the argument can be made Manziel would be an upgrade at quarterback--just look at the numbers comparison.
19. Miami Dolphins
Despite choking in the regular season finale, Ryan Tannehill did show improvement from his rookie year in his second season with the Miami Dolphins after throwing for 3,913 yards to go along with 24 touchdowns. The Dolphins used a first-round pick on Tannehill two years ago and with his progress from year two--they're not ready to give up on him just yet.
20. Arizona Cardinals
It's hard to believe Carson Palmer set a career high in passing yards (4,274) in his first season with the Arizona Cardinals, but the quarterback isn't getting any younger at the age of 34. Palmer maybe has one or two effective years left in him and the Cardinals will eventually need someone to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald--which could make Arizona a Wild Card team in the Manziel sweepstakes.
22. Philadelphia Eagles
Obviously, the Philadelphia Eagles are focused on making Nick Foles their franchise quarterback after his historical season in 2013, but it's difficult to ignore how well Manziel could fit in Chip Kelly's system. Plus, the Eagles could be in search of a backup quarterback if Michael Vick leaves the team in free agency this offseason.
23. Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid has been praised for his ability to work with quarterbacks as a head coach, but the Kansas City Chiefs are also expected to try and work out an extension for Alex Smith during the offseason after an impressive year in 2013 in which he threw 23 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. If there was any interest on the end of the Chiefs, it would most likely be one of those situations where they would bring Manziel on board with the intention of using him a few years down the road after Smith was done.
24. Cincinnati Bengals
At the beginning of the season, it was clear Andy Dalton was the future of the Cincinnati Bengals. After a disastrous end to this year that finished with an embarrassing playoff performance against the San Diego Chargers, talk is beginning to heat up surrounding whether or not the Bengals need a change at quarterback.
A long shot for Manziel? Yes--but still possible.
25. San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers has thrown for over 4,000 yards in five of the last six seasons and has the San Diego Chargers playing some of their best football at the right time. Even at the age of 32, Rivers seems to have plenty of good football left in him--which means the Chargers are another one of those teams who seem like a long shot at this point to land Manziel.
26. Cleveland Browns
There's no need to get into the whole Brandon Weeden thing again--let's just hope the Browns are smart enough to use one of their two first-round picks on a quarterback from this year's draft.
27. New Orleans Saints
From a party city perspective, Johnny Football would love to end up on a team like the New Orleans Saints. Unfortunately for Manziel, the Saints realize they don't need to use a first-round pick on a quarterback with Drew Brees around--so you can eliminate that possibility.
29. New England Patriots
Tom Brady has made it clear numerous times he plans on playing football with the New England Patriots well into his 40's if possible. Still, Bill Belichick and company have pulled some surprising moves over the years when it comes to bringing players on board--which means the Patriots could always end up being one of those Wild Card teams willing to consider Manziel depending on the situation.
30. Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton is wrapping up his third season with the Carolina Panthers and it's his best one yet as he played a key role in helping the team earn the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs. There were a few concerns over Newton over his firs two seasons, but this is a player who has seen his maturity reach a whole level this past season and the Panthers are convinced he's their answer for the long run.
31. Denver Broncos
Just like the Patriots situation with Brady, Peyton Manning doesn't seem like he's going to call it quits any time soon as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Manziel would have plenty of talent surrounding him on offense, but you can rule the Broncos out of this one.
32. Seattle Seahawks
In case you've been living under a rock for the last two years and haven't heard of how spectacular of a quarterback Russell Wilson has been in the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks won't even consider drafting Manziel. With the amount of success this team has seen with Wilson, why would they?