The obvious bias that Ben Roethlisberger has for draft prospect Blake Bortles should not allow the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers to question the durability of Johnny Manziel and insinuate that Bortles is one of the best players in the draft.
Roethlisberger recently said in an interview that while Manziel has special athletic ability, he isn’t sure if it will transfer into the NFL. The veteran quarterback was right when he said defensive players at the professional level are bigger, faster and stronger, but at 5-foot-11, 206 pounds, Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson has proved that talent trumps physical stats.
Big Ben also went on to state that he likes Bortles because of his competitiveness and leadership, and that players from smaller schools will play with a chip on their shoulders that helps to motivate them. These comments should not draw any surprise, however, as Bortles and Roethlisberger reportedly share an agent. The comments made by the Pittsburgh hero were just about giving a free shout-out, not true opinions.
If Roethlisberger likes competitiveness in quarterbacks, he should probably check out Teddy Bridgewater. Just like Big Ben, Bridgewater has shown his toughness and desire to win by playing through injuries. The young quarterback played one highlight game with a swollen ankle and a broken wrist, and that solidifies Bridgewater as one of the toughest players in this draft.
Liking players from smaller schools, Roethlisberger should love Derek Carr. Playing in the MWC, the abilities of Carr are constantly in question despite his 50 touchdown passes in 2013. Why wouldn’t he give props to one of the biggest underdogs for a successful NFL career?
Perhaps Big Ben also missed the game where Manziel rallied the Texas A&M Aggies from a 21-point deficit at halftime to a 52-48 victory over Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He willed his team to win, and overcoming that type of scenario shows true leadership.
While his comments were flattering towards Bortles, Big Ben was more concerned about giving out free promotion than offering his true opinions.