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Johnny Chronicles: Highlights of Manziel's path to NFL draft

Since last August, College Football 24/7 has brought you The Johnny Chronicles on a weekly basis, tracking college football's most compelling figure both on and off the field. With the Cleveland Browns choosing Manziel with the 22nd overall pick in last week's NFL draft, The Johnny Chronicles comes to a close with a quick look at Manziel's week, and a longer look back at the year that was for Johnny Football.

Three for the week

1) It's understandable for the Browns to tamp down expectations on their first-round quarterback as much as possible, but declaring Johnny Football the immediate backup this week might have been overkill. Veteran Brian Hoyer is the man who stands between Johnny Football and rookie-year action.

2) For all the talk that Cleveland and its reputation for losing games with mediocre quarterbacks was a bad fit for Manziel, he apparently didn't agree. In fact, Manziel texted Browns quarterback coach Dowell Loggains during the draft imploring him to make the move. And after that text was forwarded to general manager Ray Farmer and owner Jimmy Haslam, the Manziel-Browns marriage was eventually made. Of course, it all begs the question: Did Manziel text other teams with a similar plea as he continued to slip in the first round? We might never know, but with millions of dollars on the line, who would limit their last-minute sales pitch to one club?

Johnny Chronicles


» Chapter 1: Controversy-filled week
» Chapter 2: Eavesdropping on Manziel's life
» Chapter 3: Manziel case clowns NCAA
» Chapter 4: Manziel saga ideal for pay per view
» Chapter 5: All or nothing vs. Alabama
» Chapter 6: Scattered draft projections
» Chapter 7: Manziel set to go off vs. Ole Miss
» Chapter 8: Invited to pool party by cheerleaders
» Chapter 9: Scooby for Halloween costume
» Chapter 10: Fans brace for farewell
» Chapter 11: Facebook fans want one more year
» Chapter 12: Potential return to Cotton Bowl
» Chapter 13: Manziel shows humility after LSU loss
» Chapter 14: Manziel does Vegas for birthday
» Chapter 15: Manziel visits Disney World
» Chapter 16: Likened to Namath, Vick
» Chapter 17: Season ends in Atlanta, year in Miami
» Chapter 18: College career finally in books
» Chapter 19: Draft preparations begin
» Chapter 20: Billboard pushes Manziel to Texans
» Chapter 21: Draft prep, statues and fantasy value
» Chapter 22: Manziel a WR? Almost happened
» Chapter 23: Dunking, talking draft, visiting Nike
» Chapter 24: Manziel ready to roll at combine
» Chapter 25: Manziel takes on media in Indy
» Chapter 26: 'Teed up' to play for Browns
» Chapter 27: Manziel puts in combine work
» Chapter 28: Switzer, Wilson talk Manziel
» Chapter 29: Price is up on marketability
» Chapter 30: Draft projections all over the board
» Chapter 31: Landing new commercial, new critic
» Chapter 32: Pro day dominates draft buzz
» Chapter 33: Manziel Mania hits Pats, Hulk Hogan
» Chapter 34: Visiting Raiders, Masters, Final Four
» Chapter 35: Manziel has two Jaguars' votes
» Chapter 36: HOFer wants Manziel in purple
» Chapter 37: The Manziel electricity factor
» Chapter 38: Manziel arrives in Big Apple for draft
» Chapter 39: Manziel takes pre-draft break for kids
» Chapter 40: Nearly a Viking, ultimately a Brown
» Chapter 41: Ready for the pressure
» Chapter 42: Highlights of path to draft

3) If you missed the first NFLPA-licensed Manziel T-shirts to hit the streets in Cleveland, check them out here. They'll be in awfully high demand if Manziel sheds his club-imposed "backup" label and takes the NFL by storm this fall. If he's riding the bench? T-shirts of clipboard-holding quarterbacks flashing the cash sign tend to anchor the bottom of the drawer. But they'd make an awfully fine dish rag.

Thirteen for the year

1) Off and running

The Johnny Chronicles curtain opened with Manziel making four stops that perfectly summarized what a whirlwind of activity Johnny Football's offseason life could be: He zipped from the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodeaux, Louisiana, which he was reportedly asked to leave for being late, to a Brazos County, Texas, courthouse to settle a year-old misdemeanor charge, to the burning spotlight of SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., and finally off to the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. Who wants to see the rewards points total on Manziel's Marriott card?

2) Heisman winner weigh-in

Half a dozen former Heisman Trophy winners shared opinions split right down the middle on the wildfire NCAA controversy surrounding Manziel's alleged profiting on autographed memorabilia. No doubt, Heisman winners make up a tight fraternity. But some of them were candid about how Manziel was representing the honor.

3) Half a measure

Leave it to the NCAA to pull the media heat off of Manziel by putting even more on itself. That's what happened when the governing body of college sports suspended Manziel for half a game for what it described as an "inadvertent" rules violation in allegedly profiting from more than 4,000 autographs. In doing so, all the NCAA accomplished was inadvertently looking as bad as it ever has.

4) On the fence

In the wake of Manziel's signature performance last season, a shredding of defending national champion Alabama in a 49-42 loss to the Crimson Tide, scouting opinions of Manziel were still cautious. Some believed. Some did not. But they all watched in amazement as Manziel piled up a record 562 total yards against one of the nation's top defenses. UA coach Nick Saban's defense had Manziel circled on the schedule for the entire offseason, and still had zero answers for him in College Station.

5) Facing the music

If Browns fans are wondering whether Manziel will hold himself accountable in a losing effort, they need not look further than his press conference from LSU's 34-10 trouncing of Texas A&M last November. Minutes after taking quite a beating in the first road loss of his college career, Manziel looked in the mirror first:

6) Aggies antics

On the list of things the Browns will ask Johnny Football to take out of his game, this bit of nonsense will either be at the very top, or the very bottom: With time winding down against Mississippi State, Manziel got the call for a kneel-down play to kill the clock, and decided to hop around the pocket and show off his elusiveness for a few seconds first. Here's guessing that wouldn't go over too well if the Browns were icing a Manziel-led win at, say, Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

7) Done against Duke

Manziel closed his college career with a stunning comeback win over Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and Johnny Chronicles was there, along with NFL Media analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks, as well as a handful of NFL scouts. The highlight? Of course, a harrowing, near-impossible escape from the Blue Devils' pass rush for a key second-half touchdown pass:

8) Combine mania

Manziel was, of course, the biggest topic at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, and Johnny Chronicles brought you a daily look at his four-day trip there. From his news conference, and his answer to a question about his reported alcohol-related counseling while at TAMU to his official 40-yard dash of 4.68 seconds, it was a Manziel-filled week in Indy. But it was his interviews with NFL clubs and how he comported himself, more than any drill times, that were most important to his draft status.

9) Barry being Barry

Former Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer isn't one to mince words, and of all the criticism Manziel has endured, Switzer's was probably the most harsh. Certainly, the most harsh among people who actually attached their own names to their comments.

10) Catching up with Big Papi

Just a few weeks before his pro-day performance, Johnny Football caught up with Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz at the club's spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida. Manziel was there for a Red Sox charity event.

10) Pro-day buzz

From the attendance of a former U.S. president to the line of apparel Nike launched just for the occasion, Manziel's pro day performance in College Station on March 27 was something to behold. But was it, borrowing from Shakespeare, a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing? Consider that the club that ultimately drafted Manziel No. 22 overall was one of two NFL teams that weren't present to take in the show.

11) Split on Johnny

Looking back now that Manziel has been drafted by the Browns, this Twitter poll by former Ohio State Buckeye and NFL defensive back Dustin Fox tells a cautious tale about how Browns fans felt about Manziel a couple weeks before the draft. Yes, Twitter polls aren't exactly scientific. But there would certainly seem to be a smattering of Browns fans uneasy about Johnny Football. Perhaps, the "No" crowd here was assuming Cleveland would need the No. 4 overall pick to get him.

12) Farmer hints

"I don't think I have any reservations with who Johnny is. He's a good young man." - Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer, responding to a question about Manziel's maturity, a little more than a week before the NFL draft.

13) Cleveland takes the Manziel plunge

Live from Radio City Music Hall, we look at the Cleveland Browns' choice of Manziel with the No. 22 overall pick from every angle.

Johnny, Chronicled.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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