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
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.