COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- As Johnny Manziel tries to learn from his past mistakes in pursuit of a NFL comeback, he can offer some advice to Baker Mayfield on how to avoid any pitfalls he might encounter as he enters the league.
Manziel, the quarterback everyone loves to compare Mayfield to -- mostly for all the wrong reasons -- and the one Mayfield himself has publicly tried to distance himself from, was asked what guidance he would offer if the Heisman winnner from Oklahoma ever asked.
"Quiet the noise," Manziel told NFL.com on Tuesday, following Texas A&M's pro day, in which he took part in. "The more you can do to stay quiet, the better. He's already a lightning rod, just like I was.
"If I could go back and change things, I would be the biggest homebody, the biggest football-only guy and not do much of anything else off the field because everything else already comes with huge publicity and huge talk. He doesn't have to do anything. If he can do that for a couple of years, then the whole narrative around him completely shifts from a guy who is outspoken and wild and cocky to a guy who's about his business and a guy who cares about his craft and what he's doing."
At the Reese's Senior Bowl in January, Mayfield went out of his way to draw separation between himself and Manziel.
"Everyone wants to portray (me) as a bad boy, the Johnny Manziel stuff," Mayfield said. "I love the game of football, there's no doubt about that. I'm an emotional player. I'll do anything it takes to win. I love being around my teammates, leading and having responsibilities. It is what it is. If I paid too much attention to it, I'd be focusing on the wrong things."
Manziel read what Mayfield had said in Mobile, Ala., that week and couldn't help but sense some division between the two, even though when they last spoke, after the 2016 season, things seemed perfectly fine.
"I don't think he likes the comparisons to me, but at the end of the day we played similarly," Manziel said. "We both aren't traditional, we both scramble, we both are from high schools in the hill country, we both played in similar schools in the same region of the country. Whether he likes it or not, there's a lot to compare."
Manziel then brought up one more comparison: Both quarterbacks, pre-draft, were projected as top-half-of-the-first-round picks. For Manziel, however, draft day represented disappointment when he wasn't selected until the Cleveland Browns traded up and took him with pick No. 22.
Make no mistake: Johnny Football remains a fan of Mayfield's, and would have no qualms taking him high in the first round if he were a general manager of a team.
"I would rather have a guy like Baker walk into the huddle with that confidence," Manziel said. "All the guys around me, all my former teammates -- the players who played with me, everyone who walked into the huddle with me -- knew that on offense we were going to play hard. We were going to play with a lot of energy and a lot of swag. And the quarterback brings that. It's not the offensive linemen, it's not the receivers, it's not the running backs. It's the quarterback who brings the energy for the offense. That's what he brings."