Manziel pro-day coverage: Tune into NFL Network for live coverage of Johnny Manziel's pro day at Texas A&M on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Here are five things NFL scouts will focus on during Johnny Manziel's pro day, which will take place at Texas A&M and be televised live by NFL Network on Thursday:
Manziel mainly operated out of the shotgun in the Aggies' offense. At his pro day, he will take snaps from under center and scouts will get a chance to see his three-, five- and seven-step drops. I don't think this will be much of an issue for Manziel because he's spent a ton of time working on his drops since the end of the season. Once he reaches the top of his drop, scouts want to see Manziel drive off of his back foot and transfer his weight to his front side during his delivery. At times, he lifts his back foot instead of driving off it, and that takes away from both his velocity and accuracy.
2. Throwing with anticipation
The passing windows in the NFL are much smaller than those at the collegiate level. With that in mind, throwing with anticipation is crucial at the next level. This is an area that Manziel needs to show improvement. The spread offense at Texas A&M creates huge seams in the passing game, and Manziel was afforded the luxury of waiting for his receivers to come out of their break before throwing the ball. Scouts want to see him show more trust in his pass catchers and release the ball prior to the break point.
3. Driving the football
Manziel throws a beautiful deep ball. He puts just the right amount of air under the ball on deep posts and fades. There isn't any concern about his ability to push the ball vertically, but some scouts question his pure arm strength to drive the ball on the deep out and comeback routes. I've seen Manziel throw twice in person and I came away impressed by his arm strength. He'll have a big opportunity at his pro day to ease any concerns about his ability to make all of the necessary throws at the NFL level.
4. Movement inside the pocket
Nobody questions Manziel's ability to elude pass rushers and create plays. His highlight reel is littered with wild scrambles culminating in touchdown passes or runs. However, there aren't many examples on tape of Manziel sliding up in the pocket and resetting his feet to deliver the ball. This is an important aspect of playing quarterback at the next level. NFL defensive coordinators will focus their attention on boxing him in, and he needs to get more comfortable shuffling/sliding inside the pocket. There won't be a pass rush to contend with at his pro day, but Manziel will have an opportunity to display his movement skills inside the pocket.
5. Interaction with his teammates
Quarterback is a leadership position. Manziel received some criticism this past summer because he was spending so much time outside of College Station. Initially, some scouts were concerned that Manziel might've alienated his teammates with his offseason activity. However, after completing the background work on the Aggies' signal-caller, every scout I've talked to has said that Manziel's teammates love playing with him and also praised his leadership. Scouts will be paying attention at the pro day to see how Manziel interacts with his teammates. This is also a great opportunity for scouts to talk to more sources at the school to corroborate their information.