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Ron Jaworski Says Manziel Isn’t Top Pick, He’s Right

Johnny Manziel
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Would you bet your future on an immature kid who hasn’t been able to keep himself out of trouble over the last year?  Would you invest millions of dollars in such a prospect to play the world’s most important sporting position?  Would you, if there were legitimate questions about how the game he just finished playing will translate to the bigger, stronger, faster one?

I wouldn’t.

And neither would Ron Jaworski, who said on Wednesday that he wouldn’t draft Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in the first three rounds of the NFL’s draft. “My grade, right now, is incomplete, but I do not see very many redeeming qualities in his game that project him to be a first round pick, a second round pick, and to me, I think he’s a third round pick and maybe later…He’s a great college player, but his game just does not, in my opinion, translate to the NFL,” Jaws said.

The Internet, as it so often does, exploded in anger, with journalists, analysts, and fans alike furious that the ESPN personality dare disparage the young QB.

The thing is, though, he’s right.

If I’m an NFL team, I don’t think I’d draft Johnny Manziel in any round, let alone the first three.

Manziel made magic at Texas A&M.  He dropped all our jaws sliding away from and bouncing off of would be tacklers – engineering ridiculous plays, incredible drives, and legendary upsets.  But when you’re under six feet tall, and when you’re under 200 pounds in the NFL, you don’t bounce off tacklers.

They bounce off you, and you end up on your back – flattened like a Looney Toons character who got in the way of a steamroller.

Manziel supporters will be quick to point toward Russell Wilson and Drew Brees as successful undersized QBs whose footsteps Manziel could follow.  Comparisons to those two, though, are faulty.  Drew Brees is not a runner, and is a dramatically better pocket passer than Manziel.  And while Wilson plays a similar style, he’s in an entirely different mental class than Johnny Football.

Because with Wilson – as with Brees – you’ve never had to worry about behavior, you’ve never had to worry about maturity.  Wilson doesn’t get in Twitter fights.  He isn’t investigated by the NCAA.  He doesn’t flaunt.  He doesn’t gloat.

Russell Wilson is a professional.  I don’t know if Johnny Manziel is.

So between his size, and the size of his head, I’m with Jaws.  Johnny Football isn’t a top pick in this draft.

To me, he might not even be a pick.

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