^See what I did there?
Anyways, I'm writing this as a follow up to my last post about how the rest of the AFC South will fare in 2014. In that post, I mentioned that I think Johnny Manziel being drafted by the Houston Texans could be extremely problematic for us. The Texans are one of the most talented 2-14 teams I've seen, and with a solid quarterback, even a rookie, they could make a run at the division next year. Of course there are several quarterbacks that could be taken first overall, and many believe that Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles could end up being solid starters in the NFL. But Johnny Manziel appears to be the wildcard of the draft. The general consensus seems to be that he will either be the next Ryan Leaf or the next Russell Wilson.
Now look, I get it. We all can't stand this guy. He's a punk, he's got a huge ego, Sportscenter wouldn't shut the hell up about him last year etc, etc. None of that crap matters if you can play ball. The question is: Can he?
I'll be the first to admit that I'm no quarterback guru, but when I watch tape of this guy, I don't see why he can't be like Russell Wilson, especially if, like Wilson, he is handed the keys to a team with a great running game and defense. I could see him struggling on, say, the Jaguars or the Browns (both of which are possibilities for him), but when I picture him under center with Arian Foster behind him, Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins out wide, and JJ Watt and Brian Cushing on the sidelines, I gotta admit, I get nervous, especially when I remember how we struggled against the running abilities of Terrelle Pryor and Russell Wilson.
Coming into this college football season, I was as skeptical as anyone. More than that, I was decidedly anti-Manziel. "He hangs onto the ball too long," I said, "you can't do that in the NFL." Then I saw a stat on profootballfocus that showed how long Russell Wilson hangs onto the ball. After that, I was a tad bit more open minded, although I still struggled to get past my dislike of the guy.
But I gotta hand it to him. Despite a terrible defense and the loss of Ryan Swope, he raised his game to another level and, I think, should have won the Heisman instead of Jameis Winsagainstbadteams. (See what I did there again?) He improved in almost every statistical category and nearly beat Alabama single handedly.
I think if you put this guy in a good system, he can be dangerous, but I've already said that I'm no expert.
If anyone can give me a good reason why Johnny Manziel will struggle or fail in the pros, I'd be more than happy to read it in the comments--as long as it isn't, "I don't like his attitude."
Thanks for the read! Oh, and here's a poll for those of you who like clicking things.