Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury may have only been on the Texas A&M sideline for one of Johnny Manziel's first two seasons as a starting quarterback for the Aggies, but that didn't stop the former TAMU offensive coordinator from bestowing the highest possible praise upon his former player. This from the Twitter feed of foxsports.com's Clay Travis, who hosted Kingsbury on a podcast interview Wednesday:
On whether Johnny Manziel is ready for the NFL. Kingsbury: "I would take him with the first pick."â Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) December 18, 2013
Whoa, there. Back away from the Kliff.
Kingsbury led the Red Raiders to a Holiday Bowl bid in his first season as head coach, despite losing five consecutive games to end the season, and has an excellent reputation as an offensive mind. One doesn't just luck into being the youngest head coach in a BCS conference. But drafting Manziel No. 1 overall is well beyond even the loftiest of projections for the Aggies' third-year sophomore.
It's easy enough to say what one would do in the shoes of Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith, who is well on his way to having the No. 1 overall pick and, indeed, has a need at quarterback. It's quite another to actually pull the trigger on a smallish quarterback who suddenly won't be the most athletic guy on the field every week when he moves onto the NFL level.
The success of No. 1 overall picks can not only turn a franchise's fortune in one direction or another, but can ultimately be the impetus for coaching and front-office jobs kept and lost.
Kingsbury, of course, has no such pile of chips in the middle of the draft table.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.