It sent a chill down the collective spine of many Oakland Raiders fans to see the team come away from their two-day meet and greet with Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel saying they were, “very impressed.” Johnny Football has been a fixture of rumors linking him to the Raiders for months now. Pundits and bloggers have written extensively about Oakland taking him with the fifth pick in next month’s draft– some glowingly, and others with a very appropriate note of dread. Hearing head coach Dennis Allen and GM Reggie McKenzie’s excited impressions of Manziel after their two-day session left many Raider fans with a hollow feeling in the pit of their stomach.
But apparently, all is not lost. There is perhaps a ray of hope. Raiders’ Beat writer Vic Tafur recently penned an article that casts a lot of doubt that Oakland will take the A&M star when they’re on the clock. Further, Tafur cited sources within the Raiders organization who directly compared Manziel to current Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor – and it wasn’t necessarily a flattering comparison. The crux of the criticism is that Manziel is mostly reactive, finding open receivers and throwing to them at the last moment instead of correctly executing a planned play.
And given the fact that Pryor is very likely on his way out of town sooner rather than later — he almost certainly will not be on the roster when training camp opens — it doesn’t bode well for Manziel’s chances of coming to the Bay Area. Many Raiders fans will likely breathe a big sigh of relief at the declining likelihood of Manziel joining the team.
The Raiders simply cannot afford to miss with their first round pick in this year’s draft. Too much is at stake for Allen, McKenzie and the Raiders’ franchise as a whole. Manziel is an exciting young player, and one who will likely be able to put butts into those stadium seats, but is he the right fit for Oakland? Will he make the team better? The answer to those questions has to be a resounding no and no. If Tafur is right — and many of us hope and pray that he is — the Raiders have woken up to the fact that selecting Manziel would be as bad of a fit for the team as Terrelle Pryor. They need to take somebody who can help the team with that fifth pick.