From the outside — and maybe the inside, too — the biggest question about the Cleveland Browns’ pick at No. 4 in the first round of the draft is whether they would take Johnny Manziel. But after you read the clear-eyed analysis of the former Texas A&M star by sharp observer Greg Cosell of NFL Films, you will realize there is only one answer to that question: a resounding “no.”
Forget the Johnny Football personality and focus on the field. Manziel has shown too many bad habits and a lack of quarterback smarts, coupled with his small stature for an NFL QB — a shade under 6 feet — to make it worth spending such a high pick on him.
Here’s how Cosell sums up Manziel: “You see a quarterback who creates his own problems with what appears to be a lack of understanding and discipline, and then once in a while he makes an unbelievable unstructured play. There's a sense that he makes it up as he goes, a shoot-from-the-hip element that is so much fun and entertaining to watch. … Entertaining is great for fans and highlight shows, but it's not a quarterback attribute. A QB cannot live on the edge, play randomly and be consistently successful against NFL defenses.”
Cosell also describes Manziel as “a lithe, fluid athlete with quick, almost ballet-like feet, outstanding agility and maneuverability … with great vision and accuracy on the move.”
However, Cosell said his tape study of Manziel’s college games showed a QB who too often missed open receivers, even though the Aggies ran a “relatively unsophisticated pass offense with basic route concepts and defined reads.”
It is going to take a while for Manziel to develop into a good NFL quarterback, Cosell writes. If nothing else, that is the finishing argument for Manziel as a member of the Browns. The last thing Cleveland fans want is to wait through another development project.