Johnny Football is ready for a football city near you—and we're not wasting any time putting him into an NFL uniform.
He's a Heisman Trophy winner, quickly becoming one of the all-time greats on the college level, and an electrifying athlete who draws a big spotlight on himself at all times. He's more than ready to get out of college and out from under the NCAA's oppressive thumb.
But is the NFL ready for him? And if so, which teams exactly would be the best fit for Johnny Manziel?
On the field, however, Manziel is a Heisman winner who has actually improved his NFL stock this season.
This past summer, our own Matt Miller broke down some areas in which Manziel could improve. Almost to the letter, Manziel has made strides thanks to noted quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. Manziel has transformed from a running quarterback into a passer who also happens to be an electrifying runner.
Still, Manziel's skill set doesn't perfectly translate to every NFL offense, and many teams aren't going to overhaul what they want to do. For the following four teams, however, Manziel represents the next breed of NFL quarterbacks and could be a great fit in 2014 and beyond.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Oakland Raiders
The Raiders already have an athletic passer in Terrelle Pryor, but Manziel represents a potential upgrade for Oakland.
Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson would have months to install the types of read-option/package plays that Pryor could run and in which Manziel would excel. (Olson has worked with young athletic passers before, like Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman.)
Is Manziel that much of a potential improvement over Pryor? I believe the answer is "yes," and it's not even close.
It would be understandable if Raiders fans didn't think so. But another fantastic stretch of games and the possibility of an SEC or national championship (and another Heisman) for Manziel could quickly change their minds.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs don't scream Manziel right away, as Andy Reid's West Coast-style offense is both complicated and pass-heavy. Yet Manziel would be an immediate upgrade over Alex Smith, whom just about everyone assumes is a placeholder under center.
Reid brought in former Nevada head coach Chris Ault (father of the Pistol formation) this offseason, and the Chiefs have already run some option this season.
If Reid wants to upgrade the quarterback position and jump head-first into the same NFL trends that he's only dipped his toe in thus far, Manziel would be a great choice.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are only going to go as far this season as incumbent quarterback Michael Vick takes them, and recent games indicate that won't be very far.
Head coach Chip Kelly's scheme is simplistic enough with easy reads in both the run and the pass game. The wrinkle that makes it special, however, is the up-tempo flavor that Manziel has already mastered at Texas A&M.
It's worth noting that Manziel originally committed to Oregon before ending up closer to home at Texas A&M. As he told Lorne Chan of the San Antonio Express-News in 2010, "Coach Kelly said I was perfect for their system." These two are familiar with one another.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Dallas Cowboys
This scenario may seem far-fetched, but it's the clear leader in my personal clubhouse.
Assume the Cowboys do pretty much what the general public expects them to do in 2013: They win eight or nine games, miss the playoffs with a ridiculously talented team and head coach Jason Garrett finally gets fired as owner Jerry Jones figures out that winning is more important than his constant apologetics for the Garrett family.
With Garrett gone, Jones has no choice but to reach out to the premier name on the NFL potential coach list—Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M.
It's a move that fits perfectly with Jones' big-splash desires and the fact that he likely makes most of his decisions from the kind of hype-driven information that ESPN and other media outlets provide. That's what happens when owners double as personnel men.
With Sumlin in tow, there's a big reason Manziel could come along for the ride.
He wouldn't take over at quarterback right away—the Cowboys just re-upped quarterback Tony Romo—but he would get a shot to run some packages while he learns in a low-pressure situation.
Assuming the Cowboys don't land Sumlin, someone will. The team that does will almost immediately find itself in the rumor mill alongside Manziel. Right now, no team would benefit more from the infusion of excitement that a Manziel/Sumlin addition could bring than the Cowboys.
Michael Schottey is an NFL National Lead Writer for Bleacher Report and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Find more of his stuff at The Go Route.
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