NFL Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns’ Johnny Manziel Is The New Tim Tebow

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Getty Images

There once was a guy named Tim Tebow who, not too long ago, took a helpless Denver Broncos team to the 2012 playoffs and knocked off the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round. I know the last thing you want is more Tebow talk, but hear me out. When the Cleveland Browns took Texas A&M‘s Johnny Manziel with the No. 22 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the first thing that came to my mind was Tebow. Manziel and Tebow have totally different personalities off the field, but on the field they are actually quite similar.

Both players lit up the NCAA during their time in college and both players won the Heisman trophy. See, they are very similar, I wasn’t lying. Also, both play the game the same way — both use their athleticism to make plays and both of them find a way to win no matter what. When I say Manziel is the new Tebow, it is not a criticism to either player because I believe that Tebow wasn’t given a fair chance over a full season to succeed. Since Day 1, Tebow was assumed to be a failure but all Tebow did was prove the doubters wrong and now Manziel can do the same.

Just because Tebow and Manziel don’t play quarterback the “traditional” way, doesn’t mean that they can’t win. Look at Cam Newton and Super Bowl winning quarterback Russell Wilson – they aren’t your traditional pocket passing quarterbacks, but I’m pretty sure they are at the top of their position. I don’t expect Manziel to win right away or become the next Newton or Wilson, but I think he deserves to start from Day 1. I want to see if Manziel can lift this Browns team from nothing and turn them into something. I know the NCAA is different than the pros, but if you want to doubt Manziel and say that he is too short or not a great fit, just remember that he completed more than 68 percent of his passes and he went for 26 TD’s and nine INT’s in 2013, and 37 TD’s and 13 INT’s in 2014.

I’m not calling Manziel a Hall-of-Fame quarterback, but I’m not doubting him until he steps on the field.

Vinny Lanni is a New York Jets writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.