Every year there are one or two polarizing draft prospects that everybody has to have a take on. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is undoubtedly the flag bearer of that camp in 2014, thanks to several of his off-the-field actions in college.
"I like Johnny Football," Rodgers told Jim Rome on Wednesday. "I like that he didn't apologize for what happened. He was a 20-year-old kid who was enjoying life. He had some more opportunities financially with his family growing up, which allowed him in college, because of the bizarre extra benefit rules, to do some pretty cool things. And he didn't apologize. I think the way he plays on the field speaks for itself. He makes a lot of plays happen."
Despite the physical differences between the two, it's easy to draw a comparison between Rodgers' style of play in the Green Bay offense and Manziel's ability to throw outside the pocket. While some have questioned whether Manziel's improvisational ability will translate to the next level, Rodgers said he thinks it's a necessary skill in the NFL nowadays.
"We've seen in this league, Russell [Wilson] winning the Super Bowl and [Colin] Kaepernick and Cam [Newton] and Andrew [Luck] being able to run around a little bit -- you have to be able to make plays if the pocket breaks down, unless you're a [Tom] Brady or a [Peyton] Manning," Rodgers said. "He has a lot of confidence, and as a quarterback that can really translate and permeate your entire locker room when you're a leader."
Rodgers' fate in the draft might provide a good illustration of what could happen to Manziel in May. Like Manziel, Rodgers was widely considered one of the top quarterbacks in the draft and a potential No. 1 overall pick, but after several teams passed on him, Rodgers agonized for a long time in the green room until the Packers took him with the 24th pick.
All Rodgers did was turn that into a chip on his shoulder on the way to NFL MVP honors and a Super Bowl ring. We've seen Johnny Football display similar feistiness when talking about teams passing him over, so don't be surprised if he winds up making Rodgers his new role model when talking to teams the next month.
Manziel is NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock's second-ranked quarterback in the draft and will hold his pro day at Texas A&M on March 27.
Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.