NFL Draft: Much Debate Over Manziel

NFL Draft:  Much Debate Over Manziel

The NFL Draft will begin on Thursday night and as is the case before the draft every year there is much speculation about which players will go where. Most experts think that University of South Carolina defensive powerhouse Jadeveon Clowney will go #1 overall though there is some question about what team that’ll be to. There’s been a lot of speculation that the Houston Texans will trade the first overall pick with the Atlanta Falcons being mentioned as a possible partner in that transaction. Regardless of which team Clowney ends up playing for there’s little debate that he’s got all the tools to be a defensive force in the NFL for years to come.

There’s much more debate over the quarterback expected to go first in the NFL Draft–Johnny Manziel out of Texas A&M. There’s a wide range of opinion over Manziel’s pro prospects ranging from him being a ‘can’t miss’ prospect to him being a certain bust at the extremes with no shortage of analysis that puts him somewhere in between. In a year without a surefire quarterback like Andrew Luck, however, there’s certain to be a team willing to take a shot on Manziel.

One team that doesn’t have any interest in Manziel is the Dallas Cowboys. Owner Jerry Jones has publicly re-avowed his support for much maligned veteran Tony Romo. Jones had nothing bad to say about Manziel but insisted his team won’t be looking for a quarterback because ‘we’ve got a pretty good one’. Jones further speculated that if Manziel started to slip down the draft board that his team would be more inclined to trade the pick instead of select another quarterback. Assuming Romo can stay healthy the Cowboys depth chart at quarterback is in pretty good shape behind him with veterans Kyle Orton and Brandon Weeden as backups.

The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t in the market for a quarterback either as long as Ben Roethlisberger soldiers on. ‘Big Big’ did weigh in on Manziel and he likes how he plays the game. Of course there could be something behind that since Manziel’s game is often compared to Roethlisberger’s game. Roetlisberger did say that he’s concerned about his game translating to the NFL where players are ‘bigger, stronger and faster’. He said that Manziel isn’t his favorite quarterback in the draft–that would be Central Florida University’s Blake Bortles.

Right now there’s a lot of speculation that Manziel will end up going to Jacksonville at #3. They need a quarterback and–most importantly–need to generate some excitement around a long suffering team. If the Jags don’t bite he could slip down to the lower half of the first round–the Cleveland Browns have already indicated that they won’t pick him at #4 in the draft.