NFL analyst: Johnny Manziel looked almost undraftable towards the end of 2013

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Greg Cosell, NFL Films producer and widely respected NFL analyst, told Midday 180 radio show in Nashville that he didn’t see any quarterbacks in the 2014 draft worth wasting a top 10 pick on, and that includes Johnny Manziel, who Cosell says almost looked undraftable towards the end of the 2013 season (his comments start at 16:30 mark of the radio link).

“He played two games this year, LSU and Missouri; if those were the first two games you put on and watched, you’d say he was almost undraftable. He was so bad in those two games, that you’d struggle to figure out, ‘can I even draft this guy’?

“I’ve studied him maybe the hardest, because he’s maybe the most polarizing player. As you evaluate and transition him, there is a wide variation in his play. So there is a consistency issue. At times, he’s shown very strong flashes of structured pocket play that clearly projects to the NFL. So I think it will come down to how you balance these issues. He’s much more of a see-it, throw-it quarterback than an anticipation thrower. He’s not really a timing and anticipation thrower on film.”

LSU and Mizzou virtually shut down Manziel and the Aggies’ offense, by far the two worst offensive performances of the season. Manziel combined for 40 of 76 (52.6 percent) for 419 yards, two touchdowns and two INTs in those two games.

Related: Breaking down Johnny Manziel’s replacements

So, yeah, if you were to watch those two games only then you would get that feeling, but the beautiful thing about football is there are more than two games, and it’s all about consistency. Not to mention that Manziel was beat plumb up towards the end of the season and obviously dealing with a shoulder and thumb injury. Does he really think two games is enough sample size to justify not spending a top pick on Manziel? By Cosell’s logic, if the Super Bowl was the only game you watched, you’d think Peyton Manning was undraftable, too.

Manziel is largely figured as a top-five pick, and it’s conceivable he won’t get past the Texans (No. 1), Jaguars (No. 3), Browns (No. 4) or the Raiders (No. 5).

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

COMMENTS

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  • I don’t think he was basing his whole analysis on just those two games. I didn’t get that out of the interview at all. “I’ve studied him maybe the hardest, because he’s maybe the most polarizing player.” Sounds like he’s watched a lot of film on him.

  • JFF had a badly sprained thumb (smacked on his left tackle’s helmet after a throw) and wobbly ankle for both. He never should have been allowed on the field. I’m a little surprised that this “genius” would not mention. His throws were all wounded ducks and nowhere near the targets; typically he is extremely accurate. “No timing and anticipation??????” Really? Guess he put up alltime SEC passing records and Texas HS records just by getting lucky…
    So sick of the “experts” analyzing players with spreadsheets. NFL coaches can teach a QB to read and pick on defenses. They can’t do squat about heart.
    Sure this genius picked David Carr, Chris Sims, and Gabbert as sure thing NFL’ers.

    • Using your logic, Tim Tebow was a lock.

      • This is another fork in the road where fans and coaches ideas about the game diverge. Johnny Manziel has elements in his game which will work in ANY NFL offense. He also plays his best football in a system that allows creativity. He certainly lacks some qualities that some NFL coaches and rosters will demand. This is a position-scheme sensitive pick. If there is a job open in the right place, he is an instant star. If not he could ride the pine and be a diamond-in-the-dust. This is not a unique situation, every player in every position has a profile of position-scheme sensitive qualities. Here is something that will make a lot of fans head explode. How good could Manziel be in an NFL roster that already has a creativity friendly playbook, (and a 1st or 2nd quarterback to tag team Manziel if injuried)?

        • Johnny Manziel would get absolutely murdered behind horrible O-lines like the one in Dallas. They have next to zero run blocking ability and their pass blocking is just barely better than that. So no, he wouldn’t work in ANY NFL offense, but I’d say most. We will see a Manziel that tries to pass more on Sundays and that is going to be his demise, as his run game is far superior compared to his passing game. Should be interesting to see which team picks him up though.