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Johnny Manziel tops Russell Wilson as passer, scout says

  • By Daniel Kim NFL.com
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Johnny Manziel might be similar to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in size and perhaps playing style, but when it comes to their passing skills, one NFL scout says that's where the comparisons should stop.

The scout, speaking with Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, had high praise for Manziel's abilities as a passer and even his arm strength, noting that Manziel is superior to Wilson in both departments.

"He's a better passer than the guy who won the Super Bowl, and he's got a better arm," the scout said. "Here comes the pressure, a guy breaks open, and he finds the receiver. Does he have a gun? No. But he doesn't have a bad arm at all."

Much of Manziel's reputation is built on his knack for improvising plays on the run, but earlier this week, another authority on quarterbacks, former NFL coach Jon Gruden, gave similarly high marks for Manziel the passer.

Manziel wasn't the only prospect whom scouts discussed with McGinn -- they hit especially hard on Jadeveon Clowney and had strong opinions on several other big names:

» On UCF QB Blake Bortles: "He's actually more of a runner. They ran him a lot and roll him out. He's raw. If somebody takes him and thinks he's going to be their franchise guy, they're going to get burned."

» On Clemson WR Sammy Watkins: "Not real tall, but he's thick. He looks like a running back more than a wide receiver."

» On UCLA LB Anthony Barr: "Looks the part athletically but is not a football player at this point. More developmental. He'll get overdrafted."

» On North Carolina TE Eric Ebron: "He's (Rob) Gronkowski-like, but he's a lot smoother than Gronkowski."

» On Michigan OT Taylor Lewan: "I'm not sold on him. I don't really like his whole makeup. He's kind of a fake tough guy. Not an elite left-tackle athlete and not a tough (expletive) right tackle."

» On Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins: "I think he's a pretender. Not really a football player. The hype is big, but he don't want to block, and he is kind of half-(expletive) in everything he does. Inconsistent and unreliable."

» On Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo: "This guy has everything you're looking for. (AJ) McCarron isn't even comparable."

» On Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks: "He's quicker than fast. Little guy with tons of production. But he's not DeSean Jackson, not a special guy in terms of blowing the top off (the defense). He's not a big-play guy."

» On Fresno State QB Derek Carr: "I don't trust him. In that system and against bad teams he can light it up. He's almost similar to his brother (David), where when things aren't going his way he just kind of folds."

» On Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald: "He's productive as hell. He'll get his (expletive) kicked for 10 straight plays and then he'll make a sack. It's the damnedest thing. But down in and down out, playing the run, it's going to be hard."

» On Wisconsin LB Chris Borland: "I love him. ... Only thing that gets him in trouble is his length (29 1/4 arms). ... Is height going to be an issue? Yes, but this guy has great instincts. For a linebacker, that's what you have to have."

» On Ohio State CB Bradley Roby: "He's the most talented (cornerback), but he's totally undependable for me. Something's missing with him. When you talk about quickness, speed, athletic ability, change of direction, he's got all that. Then he just gets beat every game. It's mental. Some guys just don't have a feel for it. He just plays that way."

» On Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller: "He's the best pure cover corner. He'll hit you and plays tough."

» On TCU CB Jason Verrett: "I love him, but I'm just worried about his size. ... I saw some bigger guys run by him deep. Just out-sized him. Hell of a kid. Everything's positive about him. He has first-round talent, but there's no way I would draft him there."

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