CFB 24/7: Path to the Draft  

 

Johnny Chronicles: Dunking, talking draft, visiting Nike

The week that was in the always unpredictable life of former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel:

Two up

1. How about these ups? Johnny Football dunking a basketball, at a listed height of 6-foot-1 that may prove to be a tad generous at the NFL Scouting Combine, is pretty impressive. Former Texas A&M teammate Mike Evans posted an Instagram video of himself dunking in a pair of flip-flops, also impressive, but still to be expected from a 6-5 wide receiver. The two are training for the combine together in San Diego, and clearly needed a break from the oblong ball to the round one. Manziel's jam comes at the end of the clip:

Nice one, Johnny, but we still can't erase this memory. Perhaps Manziel should have gone for the jam in Atlanta, as well.

2. Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson is thumbs up on Manziel, and while the veteran star receiver may not have a seat in the Texans' war room on May 8, he could definitely do a lot to help make Manziel's transition to the NFL easier. At 6-3, 230 pounds, and coming off one of the best seasons of his career at age 32, Johnson would probably be Manziel's "new Mike Evans" in the Houston offense -- a big-bodied receiver who can use his size to catch balls in traffic. Said Johnson of Manziel, according to chron.com:

"(Manziel) seems like a good kid. Very into football. He's exciting. He's an exciting player to watch. I enjoyed watching him in college. He doesn't have the name Johnny Football for nothing. I think he's a great player."

Two down

1. Tim Tebow over Johnny Manziel? In web clicks? Or in football? Thumbs down here on the worst idea in American sports today.

2. Count Broadway Joe among Johnny Football's believers, and not just in his talent, but in his maturity, as well. Former New York Jets star quarterback Joe Namath has been down the night-life road where Manziel is going, albeit in an entirely different era. Still, unless durability is the issue, Namath can't understand why any NFL club would pass on him.

Ready for anything

The definitive feature on Manziel's offseason preparations and his thoughts on his draft prospects was released by the Houston Chronicle Friday, and the wunderkind had some eye-popping remarks about the possibilities:

On being drafted by the Houston Texans at No. 1: "I want everybody from the janitor at Reliant Stadium to the front office executive assistant all the way up to (owner) Bob McNair to say, 'This kid is 100 percent, can't miss. This is who we want being the face of our program. We want the Texas kid staying in Texas and leading the Texans.'"

On potentially being passed over by the Texans and going to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 3: "It would be the worst decision (the Texans) ever made. I'd be in the same division playing against them twice a year. Sorry, but you just turned that chip on my shoulder from a Frito into a Dorito."

On being drafted by the Cleveland Browns at No. 4: "If something happens, and it's the Cleveland Browns, I'm going to pour my heart out for the Dawg Pound and try to win a Super Bowl for Cleveland. I don't care if they've had 20 starting quarterbacks since 1999. I'm going to be the 21st and the guy that brought them the Super Bowl."

Click here to see the Chronicle's video of Manziel's beach training.

Shoe wars

Nike's courtship of Manziel as an endorser reportedly got underway this week. And they'd have to be considered the proverbial "leader in the clubhouse" for a couple of reasons. One, LeBron James is a Nike guy, and few have Manziel's business ear quite like the Miami Heat star. Then there is the "last impression" factor. Just as in college football recruiting, sometimes the last school to get an official visit from a recruit has the advantage in making the final impression on him. Manziel's already been to visit the folks at Under Armour, and there is no sign that there is another apparel player involved in the race. If Manziel was truly Under Armour's to lose, then why interrupt training for the NFL combine to visit the Nike campus in Beaverton, Ore.? An Under Armour victory here would have to be considered an upset.

Facetime

This week's Manziel + celebrity photo from Manziel's Instagram account features two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash:

Brown out

All the reports about the Cleveland Browns being ga-ga over Johnny Football are pretty much moot now that club owner Jimmy Haslam has shuffled his front office. According to one report, ousted general manager Mike Lombardi was likely the source of the chatter that the Browns not only wanted to draft Manziel, but were willing to trade up to get him, as well. That doesn't mean new Browns GM Ray Farmer won't ultimately be just as sold on Johnny Football, but with Haslam's house cleaning, there is now nothing to suggest the Browns are more likely than anyone else to draft him.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop

NFL News
CONTENT
15