Former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel impressed everyone at his pro day on Thursday, even his toughest critics.
ESPN’s Ron Jaworski said it was one of those “wow-type of workouts,” showing everyone the vast array of skills the young QB possesses. He worked mostly from under center to show his ability to throw from the pocket and showcase is mobility.
"I saw a tremendous improvement on the mechanics of Johnny Manziel. He moves up on my board." - Ron Jaworski on @SportsCenter— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) March 27, 2014
Should that make the Houston Texans want to draft him with the No. 1 overall pick?
Twitter blew up as people watched his pro day. But the one thing that viewers seemed to forget was just that. It was a pro day, not a game.
There was no pressure from defensive blitzes, no audibles at the line of scrimmage and one receiver to throw to on each attempt. Throwing at a pro day in no way relates to having guys like Clay Matthews or Von Miller breathing down your neck in the backfield.
Sorry, but a broom just doesn't have the same affect.
It doesn’t prove that his mechanics have vastly improved or that he won’t throw up a prayer like he did against Alabama last year. All it shows is the different kinds of passes he can make on the football field without pressure.
Let’s move on.
Who is going to protect him? The Texans gave up 42 sacks last season and are in need of an offensive tackle. Manziel’s college teammate, Jake Matthews, is the top-rated tackle in this year’s draft and would benefit the team in Week 1 of the season.
Not to take anything away from Johnny Football, but he has benefited from a great offensive line during his time as an Aggie. Not just with Jake Matthews, but also with Luke Joeckel, who went No. 2 overall in last year’s draft.
Then there is his mobility. There is no doubt that Manziel is a tremendous athlete and his style of quarterbacking was nearly impossible to contain in college. But can he stand in the pocket and make all the throws?
Again, it is something he did at his pro day but not something he did as an Aggie. He played recklessly (subscription required) in college, and it is a miracle he didn't sustain very many injuries. Last season, it was easy to see he was worn down by about the 10th game of the season and didn't produce the same numbers.
No question @JManziel2 aced Pro Day. He's coachable on fundamentals. Even 6-3 QBs must find passing windows. Can he play 20 games a year?— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 27, 2014
The NFL is a much longer season and doesn’t have the benefit of multiple bye weeks.
Lastly, he lacks in one of the most important categories for an NFL quarterback: arm strength. NFL Films’ Greg Cosell said that on throws he believed required little arm strength, Manziel was using his whole body to complete them.
Are these things that can be worked on? Absolutely and he is capable of doing so. But it isn't going to happen over night. The risk seems to be greater than the reward when it comes to Manziel. His sample size consists of the pro day and 26 games in college.
And with needs along the offensive line and on defense, it just doesn't make sense for the Texans to use the No. 1 pick on Johnny Football.