A common pre-draft sentiment regarding Johnny Manziel had the Texas A&M quarterback playing a Fran Tarkenton-type in the NFL.
In a Friday appearance on the (award-winning) "Around The League Podcast," NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks shared a conversation with one league executive who believes Manziel is likely to remind us of a more recent NFC passer.
"(The executive) said, 'Envision Johnny Manziel playing like Jeff Garcia in San Francisco rather than the Doug Flutie or Fran Tarkenton comparison,'" Brooks said. "Think about how Jeff Garcia played at his prime, at his best when Steve Mariucci was there. That's how I can see Johnny Manziel playing in the National Football League."
Brooks believes some of the misconceptions about Manziel's future come from incorrect assumptions about new Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
"I think when you look at what Kyle Shanahan has done, he has experience in the West Coast offense from his time with Gary Kubiak in Houston," Brooks said, echoing the thoughts of another league executive. "I envision that offense looking very much like the Houston Texans' offense looked. When you have a lot of boot, rollout action, a lot of stretch runs.
"When you look at the two running backs they have: Terrance West and Ben Tate, both of those guys come out of the zone-based running game. So as I'm connecting the dots, it leads me to believe they're going to run the zone-based system and they're going to have Johnny Manziel always sneak out the back door."
The Garcia comparison is an intriguing one. In his San Francisco heyday, Garcia was one of the most productive quarterbacks in football, a truth that feels strangely forgotten.
If Manziel becomes the early aughts version of Garcia, the Browns will have -- at long last -- found their franchise quarterback.