Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has drawn comparisons to Fran Tarkenton, Russell Wilson, Doug Flutie, and all manner of scramblers that have confounded NFL pass rushers. Add San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana to the list.
"He reminds me a little bit of (Joe) Montana. Fluid, and even though he's off-balance he can get the ball out. He's a smaller guy but he has big hands for a little guy. He's fun to watch," the scout said.
The comment was part of a broader look at the 2014 NFL Draft and how much it could be impacted by underclassmen declaring for early draft eligibility. But while a career matching Montana's success would certainly ensure Manziel to be picked in the first round, a similar skill set doesn't. And a scout's remark about Manziel in the same story indicates that the third-year sophomore, if he leaves college for the draft, might not be a first-round choice.
"... There will probably be three (QBs selected) in the first. Depends what people think of Johnny Manziel," the scout said.
That would contradict another scouting notion that Manziel will be gone not only in the first round, but in the top 12 choices. And Manziel's decision on whether to stay in school or turn pro, he indicated earlier this month, could hang in the balance between a first-round and second-round evaluation.
The NFL's deadline for underclassmen to declare their intentions is Jan. 15. Manziel will play in what could be his final college game in the Chik-fil-A Bowl against Duke on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.