Johnny Manziel opinion varies among NFL scouts, execs


Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel tweeted earlier this week that he "can't wait to leave College Station." And the NCAA's top quarterback is eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft should he choose to leave Texas A&M after the coming season.

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If Manziel does jump to the NFL, there's a good chance he will be the most hotly debated prospect entering the league.

One general manager told Mike Freeman of that Manziel might be better than Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson. Another general manager said Manziel might be a more accurate passer than that trio of stars.

That's hardly the consensus, though. One NFL scout believed Manziel "has Canada written all over him." analyst Bucky Brooks fell somewhere in between those two camps, opining that Manziel is not an elite quarterback prospect due to mediocre arm talent, size concerns and questions about his ability to perform as a pocket passer against more athletic NFL defenders.

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Brooks compared Manziel to Doug Flutie, while one scout told Freeman the best Manziel could hope to be is Jeff Garcia. It's easy to see the similarities. Both of those former quarterbacks were at their best as "sandlot" performers, improvising in and out of the pocket.

It should be noted that "Johnny Football" has played just one year of college football. It seems premature to limit the possibilities to quarterbacks who have come before him. Scouts and general managers will have another season's worth of data by next year's draft, even if his NFL value remains elusive.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.