In a shocking turn of events, Johnny Manziel reportedly is going pro. This comes from the desk of ESPN, who note that the (former) Aggie quarterback has filed the necessary paperwork to make such a jump.
Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Now, leave the room if you raised your hand.
The jump has been suspected for quite a while now and, considering how quickly the stock of NFL players rise and fall, right now is the ideal time for Johnny Football to cannonball into the league. His deficiencies have been well documented – as with all “short” quarterbacks, his 6’1′ height is going to raise more than a couple of eyebrows – but better to leave the general public with a masterpiece like he did against Duke in the Chic-fil-A Bowl than any other option. And considering the amount of teams in need of a quarterback – as many as six teams picking in the top 10 – expect Johnny Manziel’s name to get called early.
Once he does get drafted? Expect his career to serve as a litmus test for exactly what a quarterback can and can’t get away with in today’s NFL.
Historically speaking, pocket passers have the longest, most prosperous careers in the league, with scramble-happy, improvisational experts like Manziel offering more headaches than anything else. Considering that the bulk of his highlights came on broken plays that just won’t be as common at the pro level, Johnny is going to present some serious growing pains for whatever franchise drafts him.
But let’s say that whatever team drafts him decides to change its playbook to better fit Manziel’s taste for chaos. Rule changes should make his transition into the pros a bit easier. Receivers continue to benefits from pass coverage tweaks, and Roger Goodell is clearly in favor of protecting his passers from huge hits. Sooner or later, a non-pro-style quarterback is going to sneak into the League and win an MVP or two.
Time will tell if Manziel is that guy.