QB Johnny Manziel of the Cleveland Browns is a hybrid of Cam Newton and Tony Romo waiting to self-destruct. The club really rolled the dice on the decorated Texas A&M signal caller, and the administrative parties responsible for selecting him in last April’s NFL Draft will likely live to regret it.
One can hardly doubt Manziel’s ridiculous athletic ability and the seasoned poise he flashed at the collegiate level. His reputation definitely precedes him. Manziel dazzled the college football cosmos during his two seasons with the Aggies. The electrifying signal caller fried rival secondaries every time he took the field, and oh, did I mention he became the first-ever freshman to win the coveted Heisman Trophy?
However, let’s take a pit stop and process the breaking dawn of a new football era in the Buckeye State that has Browns fans wheezing with suppressed ecstasy. How can you possibly refrain from popping a bottle of really old champagne over the drafting of Manziel?
Well, let’s start by taking stock of Manziel’s vertical impairment. He is nothing if not vertically challenged — that’s a problem. He will be doing very well if he can hit his center’s behind after dropping back to pass, and should seriously consider asking for stilts to accommodate his genetic setback during OTAs, minicamp, training camp and preseason — assuming he makes it that far, which might be giving him too much credit.
If he can’t see his dispatched receiving corps over the top of the offensive line, it would be safe to say that he will find it immeasurably challenging to get the football down the field.
The NFL rookie can run all over his Cleveland backyard playing flag football with the neighborhood kids if he wants to (something he excelled at while nestled comfortably in the college ranks), but his long-term evaluation in the pros is contingent on his ability to hang in the pocket and thread the ball into microscopically-tight windows.
This non-negotiable concept seemed to make him uncomfortable against LSU, whose defensive speed and athleticism blatantly neutralized Manziel’s otherwise electrocuting mobility and mystifying Houdini threat. His calculated partiality to employ his mobility and lateral elusiveness to produce jaw-dropping plays will make him more of a liability in the NFL than give him recognition as the Eighth Wonder of the World.
And this is hardly news to anybody distantly associated with his game, but Manziel is full of himself. His arrogance precedes him, veiling a falsified and biased fan impression that the reputable signal caller simply packs a demonstrative confidence around his anatomical guns and is effusively poised.
His noticeable attitude of self vanity will inevitably make the naive quarterback’s process of refining and breaking in at the national level more entertaining. Charged, seasoned defenses will wolf down his inflated ego and restricted game for breakfast — then regurgitate.