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Johnny Chronicles: Manziel arrives in Big Apple


A daily draft-week look into the always unpredictable life of former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel:

Two up

1. Manziel broke a four-month Twitter silence on Tuesday with a link to an Instagram photo of his Big Apple arrival for the NFL draft. Manziel checked into the Marriott Essex House hotel for players invited to the draft along with agent Erik Burkhardt, and his tweet signaled his journey from Kerrville, Texas to one of the top picks in this week's draft.

Manziel stayed true to his January tweet saying he'd be staying off the social media site until May.

2. Johnny Football will enter a more competitive arena this week with the NFL draft, but a different arena altogether could have kept Johnny Baseball off the gridiron entirely. Just how good a baseball player was Manziel as a teenager? Pro baseball scout Buzzy Keller, with 45 years of scouting experience, suggested Manziel was better than his own son, who reached the Triple-A level as a pro himself.

Two down

1. Leave it to a Texas Longhorns coach to stir the Manziel pot the week of the NFL draft. Texas assistant Vance Bedford suggested via Twitter that Manziel has a long way to go to develop as an NFL quarterback -- something just about anyone concedes, but not something Aggies fans would ever care to hear from a Texas coach. Not surprisingly, a Texas teapot tempest resulted, and Manziel's private quarterback coach, George Whitfield, even joined the fray: "I understand [Bedford] has an opinion. I'm just surprised he has time to tweet about it given the Longhorns task at hand with their defense," Whitfield said.

2. A former NFL coach with a real championship pedigree, none other than Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Parcells, dropped his two cents in the Manziel opinion bucket this week:

Not exactly an Earth-shattering revelation, but it speaks to a common thread in the narrative of Manziel's pro potential: That system fit and flexibility will be paramount.

East Texas brothers

Manziel certainly stirred up a few Dallas Cowboys fans this week with an Instagram photo of he and Cowboys star receiver Dez Bryant getting chummy. Manziel appears to be flashing the 'X' sign that Bryant is known for in his touchdown celebrations. You think Bryant would enjoy having an extra few seconds to get open thanks to Manziel's scrambling skills? Who wouldn't?


"Even though he would inject a lot of excitement into teams like Cleveland and Jacksonville, if he's not able to show the skills on the field, that won't amount to much by the time October rolls around," - Ken Ungar, founder of marketing agency U/S Sports Advisors.


Manziel reports of all sorts are flying fast and furious this week. One that set the social mediasphere ablaze Tuesday suggested that the Cleveland Browns will not be a player for Johnny Football.

That, of course, suggests that the Browns would not only pass on Manziel with the No. 4 overall pick, but with the No. 26 pick or any other as well, which is a bit harder to believe. It might assume that Manziel will be gone by a certain point. It might not. Confused? Sure you are. It's Cleveland Browns football.

Friday frenzy for Johnny?

NFL Network analyst and former Washington Redskins general manager Charley Casserly doused a bit of water on Manziel Mania this week with a mock draft that leaves Johnny Football completely out of the draft's first round. Think the Geno Smith drama a year ago when the former West Virginia star was passed on in Round 1 was a show? You haven't seen anything like what a Manziel-less first round this year would be. But you can also bet a lot more television sets would be tuned into the early part of the second round on Friday, particularly with the teams in need of a quarterback who still haven't drafted one.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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