Brady Quinn has had an up-and-down NFL career, but he knows a good quarterback when he sees one. After getting a chance to watch some film of some of the top signal-callers in the 2014 NFL Draft, Quinn put on his analyst hat on Monday's "Path to the Draft" and ranked the top five players at the position.
And the best quarterback available according to Quinn? None other than the electric Johnny Manziel.
"I think he's going to step right in and have a huge impact," said Quinn, who was the No. 22 pick in the 2007 draft. "My biggest thing about Johnny Manziel is that some team will have to trust him to play like he's capable of playing. They can't say, 'You have to fit in our system.' They're going to have to adjust to how Johnny Football plays."
That has become a key question in projecting where the elusive Manziel lands in the draft. Mock drafts have him going all over the board, from Quinn's former team, the Browns, with the fourth overall pick to the Rams at No. 13 and a host of other spots. Houston and Minnesota could be in the conversation to draft him, but Texans head coach Bill O'Brien and Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner have typically developed strong-armed pocket passers and have rarely coached mobile quarterbacks in their systems.
Quinn spent some time on the Seahawks roster and saw up close how an offense can be tailored around a player who can make plays with his feet. He doesn't make the comparison lightly, but Quinn certainly sees a little of Seattle's Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson in Manziel. Quinn said he feels Manziel should expect a similar transition to the NFL as offensive coordinators try to rein in his recklessness on the field a little.
"One of the things you're going to see them place an emphasis on is not taking as many hits," Quinn said. "When you compare him to anybody else in the NFL right now, it's got to be Russell Wilson. You see how Seattle has embraced his ability to improvise after a play breaks down, that's where some of the biggest plays happen. I think Johnny Manziel will do the same exact thing when he enters the NFL."
The success of Wilson has certainly helped boost Manziel's stock heading into the draft to the point where he's assumed the top spot on NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock's position-by-position rankings. If he can live up to Quinn's praise and repeat Wilson's success in his first few years in the league then some team will certainly be very happy they took a chance on Johnny Football.
Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.