Feb 23, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel walks on the field after running the 40 yard dash during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

New Mel Kiper Mock Draft Has Vikings Taking Johnny Manziel


 

Johnny Football headed to Minnesota? It will happen, according to Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft.

Kiper Mock 3.0 sends the controversial Johnny Manziel to the Vikings with the #8 overall selection.

Linebacker Khalil Mack goes #1 overall to Houston in this latest Kiper effort.

Not long ago, it would’ve been crazy to say Mack #1, Manziel #8. Now it seems entirely reasonable.

Should Viking fans be excited about the prospect of Manziel going to them at #8?

Manziel is an exciting player – just ask Fran Tarkenton and Brett Favre – but he is also a guy who presents issues.

The character stuff has been gone over so many times and is so boring. To me the larger concern is whether he makes any sense as a quarterback in Norv Turner’s offense.

Manziel likes to escape the pocket, run around and make plays. Though Turner’s offense certainly doesn’t preclude that kind of thing, it doesn’t exactly encourage it either.

If you want to see a more classic Turner type of quarterback, look no farther than the guy the Vikings just re-signed, Matt Cassel.

Cassel is a classic pocket passer, a stone-statue drop-and-throw guy who can hit deep pops. Manziel may have the arm strength to be an effective deep passer, but is he a guy who can develop the discipline to stay in the pocket and deliver the ball?

I’m not so sure Manziel is the guy if Norv is your OC. I’m also not sure it’s a great personality fit between Manziel and Rick Spielman, who is a bit of a straight-laced corporate nerd.

The argument for taking Manziel is that he is a unique, instinctive football player who gives you a dimension beyond what you can build in via game plan, that he is the sort of wild card player who brings excitement and potential greatness a la Favre and Tarkenton. If you can stomach the occasional crash-and-burn.

Taking Manziel would surely shake things up in Minnesota, but my feeling is that Spielman is not interested in shaking things up, he’s interested in following his plan to the letter. I can’t see that plan including Johnny Manziel.

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Tags: Johnny Manziel Minnesota Vikings

  • MikeH123

    I hope the Vikings dont agree with the author. The author has been selling Cassel as the starter like he did Sage Rosenfels. Cassel doesn’t have the arm strength to pop deep throws. He never has proven to be a franchise QB. He is a backup for the rookie coming in.

  • Don Andrew Halvorson

    If a QB is there at 8, take him. Manziel is leagues better than McCarron or Mettenburg.

  • [email protected]

    Cassel has the arm strength and showed multiple times. I just worry about his mind, he got very frazzled against Carolina last year. Manziel is a great quarterback, but our lead is more at the LB position. If it was me I take the best available lb as there are a few future pro bowlers in the draft. Then in 3,4, even 5th rounds look at a QB, Groom someone like Brock Jenson from NDSU who proved mentally tough enough to perform in tough circumstances. NDSU vs KState anyone? Cassel has the ability to make this offense run for the two years we have him signed for, then after an approach like Rodgers in Green Bay, then you turn over the reigns to the new franchise.

    • MikeH123

      You and the author sound like the Ponderites that said Ponder could throw the deep ball. I guess everybody has a different definition of what a deep ball should be like. If the Vikings waste what could be ADs last two great years on Cassel, I am going to puke.

      • [email protected]

        Cassel has the arm strength, accuracy is suspect. He is not a long term answer but serviceable enough to take advantage of the Defensive options in the draft first. We need a QB but there will be quality arms in the later rounds. Ponder was a reach we never should have made.

        • MikeH123

          Cassel has the arm strength for what??? He is not very strong for the outside throws (according to Ron Jaworoski). The Vikings need a QB that can stretch the field for AD and not only on first down when they are focusing on AD. AD only has a few years left. The last place Cassel was, KC fans cheered when he was injured. I can’t imagine why you would want a QB that was not the long-term answer (the most important position). The Vikings have the 8th pick and there are 3 good QBs they could get. They may never get this chance again for AD and maybe not for another 10 years. If one of the top 3 fall to them, they take him. If teams are willing to pass on the QBs you are talking about until the later rounds, chances are they will never become franchise QBs – only a few non-first or early second-rounders have. Vikings got the best QBs in the first 30 picks – Tarkenton, Kramer and Culpepper. And yes Ponder was a reach from the second round. Yet even Ponder was good compared to the other QBs the Vikings have drafted.

    • MikeH123

      According to Jaws: “Cassel throws the ball better to the inside — digs, hooks and throws like that, better than he does to the outside. That’s the way it is with quarterbacks with limited arm strength. In addition, the deep throws often come on first down. Play action is almost always featured as a six or seven man pass protection schemes.”

      • MikeH123

        Madden ranks the throw power of Cassel very low (83), even lower than Ponder (85). In comparison Bethel-Thompson was 92 and Aaron Rodgers is 97.