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Johnny Manziel still has much to prove at pro day, analysts say

If you get the sense it's Johnny Football week around the NFL, then you would be correct.

On Monday we were all lucky enough to see Johnny Manziel's skills on the basketball court. On Thursday, scouts and personnel from around the league will see be able to see his skills on the football field at his personal pro day.

Everybody knows what Manziel can do with the football in his hands. But what will scouts be looking for in particular that they haven't seen on film?

"I want to see improved footwork," NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft." "That's something that when I watch him from last year to this year, I thought he got a lot better in and made some strides. Toward the end of the season, a lot's been made about those LSU and Mizzou games, but I thought the issue was his footwork. His eyes got real busy, but his feet did not catch up to his eyes.

"I want to see him really grind his cleats into the ground and drive off that back foot to throw it with velocity."

Following the pro days of Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Derek Carr last week, Manziel has plenty to prove as he looks to firmly establish himself as the best quarterback in the draft this year. Mike Mayock currently ranks the Heisman Trophy winner as his second-best quarterback in the draft, but that's subject to change once the pro-day circuit is over.

Thursday offers Manziel a chance to not only quiet critics but change the perception of him as a passer.

Though he lacks ideal height for an NFL signal-caller, folks have been enamored with Manziel's potential (and college production) ever since he dazzled the nation in an upset of Alabama two years ago. How he fits in an NFL offense remains to be seen but it's clear that most teams in the league plan on doing more than just a normal scouting report on the quarterback. The Texans, who own the No. 1 pick this year are are located a stone's throw away from where he played in college, will send three senior representatives to see Manziel on Thursday.

"The plays that we remember Johnny Manziel for? That's not what we'll see on pro day," NFL Media analyst Charles Davis said. "(Quarterback guru) George Whitfield will hand out his script, and it will be heavy on three-step, five-step (drops), half rolls, full rolls. None of the excitement plays we've seen out of him. We need to see structure out of Johnny Manziel, and that's what I expect to see out of him. That will allow him to show off that arm that improved in strength from (redshirt) freshman year to sophomore year."

It's a big week for Johnny Football's draft stock, and if it's anything like his wizardry on the field for the Aggies, it should be quite a sight.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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