Instant debate: What NFL team is best fit for Johnny Manziel?

All signs, including one from a teammate, are pointing to Johnny Manziel entering the NFL draft after this season. Regardless of where he might fall in the draft, what team would be the best fit for Manziel?

  • Bucky Brooks
  • Philly is ideal landing spot

Johnny Manziel's skills as a dual-threat quarterback would make him a perfect in Philadelphia. Chip Kelly recruited Manziel hard as a high school senior, so he obviously thinks he's a good fit in his scheme. Additionally, his familiarity with some of the zone-read/bubble-screen concepts would make him the ideal trigger man to run the Eagles' offense. Factor in his explosive improvisational running skills, and he gives the NFL's most explosive offense another dynamic weapon to use to create big plays.

  • Charles Davis
  • Cowboys a fit, but not the best one

First of all, Manziel is a player that has special gifts that often cannot be quantified. Despite the success of Drew Brees, and Russell Wilson, shorter QBs around 6-feet tall are still viewed by many scouts with an arched eyebrow. But, if you have the movement skills that Brees, and, to a greater extent, Wilson possess, that stigma gets pushed down on the "worries" list ... and movement skills are a huge part of what makes Manziel the special talent that we know as "Johnny Football."

So, what team fits? Someone creative on offense, willing to adapt to the QB and his skill set. Someone who has no problem with not just QB-run plays, but rolling, and moving pockets to change the launch points for the QB, and make it difficult for defenses to zero in on him. A coach who can work with a QB that is, shall we say, "free spirited." Hmmm ... the Jacksonville Jaguars. I hear you saying, "Dallas Cowboys," and that does fit well (although remember, they are all in on Tony Romo), but Jacksonville is also a good fit. The Jaguars' new young GM, Dave Caldwell, was with Atlanta, and watched the Falcons draft Matt Ryan and grow with him. Head coach Gus Bradley, who previously served as the defensive coordinator in Seattle, watched Russell Wilson flourish, and his offensive coordinator, Jedd Fisch, is young, innovative, and relates very well to his QBs. Since Jacksonville has been adamant that they will not bring in native son Tim Tebow to get the populace buzzing (and sell tickets), "Johnny Football" serves as the perfect alternative, albeit, the "Anti-Tebow."

Who couldn't picture Johnny Manziel in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform? A franchise well on its way to a coaching change, in need of a new quarterback, and in even more dire need of excitement for its fan base could do a lot worse. As high as the Bucs are surely to pick in the first round, they could almost certainly trade back for more draft picks and still get Manziel. Then go back to the old-school Bucs helmets. He'd look oh-so-right running all over the field while rocking the pirate decal.

He obviously needs to go to a team willing to tweak its offense to best fit his skills. I'm not saying Manziel is a can't-miss guy, but he won't succeed as a pocket passer in the NFL. I don't think he is worth a top-15 pick, but I can see his value as a mid- to late first-rounder. Chip Kelly and Manziel would be a good fit, but Nick Foles sure looks comfortable in that Eagles offense. Truthfully, it's hard to answer this without knowing who is going to be coaching each team next season. Manziel needs to go to a team with a free-thinker as the head coach.

Can Andy Dalton ever win the Super Bowl, or is he merely competent enough to get the Bengals bounced in the first round of the playoffs every season? Forty-two career interceptions in 42 career regular-season starts and a 60.8 career completion percentage would seemingly indicate the latter, so why not go big and turn to Mr. Jonathan F. Football? Manziel's mobility, deep ball, and knack for improvisation would meld perfectly with an outstanding crop of skill players led by wide receiver A.J. Green. With the new collective bargaining agreement making mid-to-late first-round picks a reasonable investment, the Bengals could easily draft Manziel, let Dalton play out the final season of his rookie contract, and decide which path to take at the end of 2014.

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