Now that Johnny Manziel has officially declared his intentions to apply for early entry into the 2014 NFL Draft, who do you think is the best NFL comparison -- past or present -- for Johnny Football?
- Chase Goodbread College Football 24/7
Manziel could be a 1,000-yard rusher in NFL
For a quarterback whose rushing skills are about the best anyone has ever seen at the college level, it's hard not to harken back to the best rushing quarterback the NFL has ever seen for a comparison: Randall Cunningham. Of course, in terms of physical stature, the two couldn't more different. Cunningham was 6-foot-4 and ran like a gazelle, with long strides and less reliance on making tacklers miss. Manziel is 6-1 (I've stood next to him, however, and won't be surprised if his NFL Scouting Combine measurement is closer to 6-0), and runs more like a squirrel, darting away from traffic with confounding quickness. But the results equal production either way. Cunningham peaked as a rusher in 1990, when he fell just 58 yards short of 1,000 for the Philadelphia Eagles. Manziel might one day threaten 1,000 yards on the ground himself.
- Dan Greenspan College Football 24/7
Manziel much like Vick early in his NFL career
In only two years at Texas A&M, Manziel put himself on the short list of college football's most exciting stars, a must-see cult of personality and whirling dervish of "Did that really just happen?" The only player remotely comparable in recent memory at the next level was Michael Vick during his unreal 2002 season, when he threw for nearly 3,000 yards, rushed for 777 yards and eight touchdowns, and upset the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau in the playoffs. Manziel has that same escapability and fearlessness like the young Vick. Whatever team drafts Manziel will have to "let Johnny be Johnny" initially, but must gradually work to wean him off of relying his athleticism and develop him into something more sustainable.
- Mike Huguenin College Football 24/7
Cue up some Tarkenton highlights
I would say Manziel is a mix of Fran Tarkenton, Russell Wilson and even a little Michael Vick. His mobility is unreal, and his escapability reminds me a bit of Tarkenton (and Archie Manning when he was at Ole Miss). His size obviously is a lot like Tarkenton and Wilson. And I think he can be as good a passer as Wilson, too.