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Jerry Rice: Johnny Manziel reminds me of Steve Young

Jerry Rice is one of the best receivers of all time and perhaps one of the luckiest.

After all, he won Super Bowls and caught a ton passes from both Joe Montana and Steve Young, who happen to have busts in Canton not too far away from Rice's. He knows a thing or two about quarterbacks and what it takes to throw the ball at a high level in the NFL.

Rice hasn't seen every throw Johnny Manziel can make, but saw enough at Manziel's pro day Thursday to make a rather bold comparison that should interest at least one team at the top of the 2014 NFL Draft.

"He reminds me a little bit of Steve Young because Steve Young, when he first came in, he wanted to run the football," Rice said on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access." "Now, with Johnny Manziel if he can just relax, stay in the pocket, deliver the ball down the field with accuracy and get the ball in the hands of his playmakers, I think it's a no brainer for the Houston Texans to take this guy."

The Texans were among the 30 teams that sent a number of folks to College Station for the workout, including general manager Rick Smith and head coach Bill O'Brien. Houston will also host the quarterback for a private workout at their facility that is all part of the club's evaluation process holding the No. 1 overall pick.

Though Manziel doesn't appear to fit O'Brien's style based on pocket passers he's tutored such as Tom Brady, O'Brien has not closed the door on Manziel just because he likes to run a bit more than the coach would like.

Being able to make throws in the pocket under duress is one of the bigger on-field questions that teams are asking about Manziel, but his off-field notoriety has also been brought up by a few coaches as being just as concerning. That will probably be something else NFL teams will be investigating while they determine if Manziel can be a franchise quarterback.

Rice, however, doesn't seem to think the maturity issues are all that big of an issue for teams to consider.

"I really don't think that's a concern right now," he said. "He likes that spotlight. The guy showed me today that he can drop back, deliver the ball with accuracy and likes that big stage. He proved to everybody that he can be that number one guy.

"He wants perfection, and he's a competitor," Rice said. "That's something you can put money on."

We've heard Manziel be compared to Young before but the high praise Rice heaped upon the young signal-caller certainly counts a little more.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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