I think Manziel would struggle in his first year as a starter, but some more time to learn the game and work on his mechanics could help him grow in leaps and bounds. The San Francisco 49ers tried to turn Colin Kaepernick into a game-manager and tried to limit his natural athletic ability, and he produced wildly inconsistent results because of it. The same thing could happen to Johnny Football, but not being forced into a starting role should allow him to be who he is while learning how to protect himself. If Manziel can keep to the design of the play calls while also picking and choosing the exact right times to use his natural athleticism to extend a play, he should be able to have a successful NFL career.
What most people don’t realize is that Brian Hoyer is a legitimate starter, and Manziel is an insurance policy that provides great depth for a team that has struggled to find any consistency at the quarterback option for years. The New England Patriots felt comfortable enough to have Hoyer back up Tom Brady for three seasons, and he looked like he was going to turn things around for the Browns before he suffered an ACL injury. When you add the fact that Vince Young is also on the team, the quarterback situation looks much more impressive for Cleveland than years past.
If the 28-year old Hoyer works out, Manziel will be ready to become the starter when called upon. If Hoyer gives the Browns little reason to hold onto Johnny Football, then the Browns could once again look like masterminds by trading Manziel for future picks much like Cleveland did with former first rounder Trent Richardson. Either way, Cleveland has won big time.
Without a doubt, 2014 will be the marking point of when the Browns started a dynasty.