Johnny Manziel is perhaps the most polarizing player collegiate football has ever seen. Some people see him as a highlight reel waiting to happen, an emotional competitor and a living legend. Others see Manziel as a spoiled and immature college athlete, who while being very talented is unpolished for the NFL game. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad of Texas A&M’s controversial star, “Johnny Football.”
Manziel is an amazing athlete. He makes spectacular plays look easy ( like the hurdle & scramble play against Duke last night). He has a good arm and above average accuracy.
He is a gunslinger and this mentality is part of what makes him special. Manziel keeps plays alive. Because of this it is so hard to play man coverage against him. Corners can only cover so long & he can do damage with defenders backs turned to to him in coverage.
He has the ability to make all the throws in the NFL. He trusts his receivers to let them go get the ball. He throws a good back shoulder pass.
Johnny Manziel needs a lot of tuning as an NFL quarterback. He relies to heavily on his legs to make plays. While he is a brilliant improvisor he does not consistently make good reads.
Manziel is fearless, and forces throws into too many tight coverages. He never gives up on a play. This leads to sacks and turnovers ( A prime example of this was shown in his struggles in Texas A&M’s loss to Missouri).
Manziel does things quarterbacks should never do, like throwing across the field on the run into coverage. Sometimes these plays work other times the results are far less heroic. Interceptions are something you’ll have to live with if you love all that comes with Johnny Football.
Manziel is not a great technician as a quarterback. It seems counterintuitive to criticize a great scrambler’s footwork, but it is impossible not to. He rarely does a three, five or seven step drop back where he gets rid of the ball on time. He dances around too much, sometimes he lazily drops back and then runs around like a chicken with his head cut off. His game is almost to fluid.
Late throws are a big problem with Manziel. This is partly due to everything I previously mentioned. A lot of the time his scrambles are due to poor execution on his part. Most of the time he gets away with it. This will not be the case in the National Football League.
These are the problem areas he can control. He can not control the fact that he is undersized. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson have proven that this is not necessarily a major problem. However Brees & Wilson are exceptions to the rule, anomalies and size typically has proven to matter at QB.
I personally don’t think Johnny Manziel “gets it”. I think he is unpolished and is very full of himself. The guy seems to have controversy follow him. The talent is there but it may not come fully into fruition in the NFL. He has upside and potential. He also has a lot of things to work on.