COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The oft-heard criticism of the pro day workouts of NFL quarterback prospects is that little can be gained from seeing one throw in a T-shirt and shorts to uncovered receivers.
Johnny Manziel won't have Aggies cornerbacks trying to lock down his favorite targets at his workout today for a large cast of NFL coaches and scouts, but he has the other criticism covered: the former Texas A&M star is wearing a helmet and shoulder pads for the workout, according to NFL Media reporter Albert Breer.
NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt was able to wrangle Manziel prior to his workout, and asked him why he made the decision. Manziel's response: "Isn't the game played with them on?"
A source told Breer of Manziel's decision to throw in pads: "Because anyone can throw in a t-shirt and shorts."
Scouts will no doubt appreciate the move, and it's not a bad idea, necessarily, for Manziel to do something to set himself apart from the other quarterback prospects in the draft.
"Scouts will love it," an NFC scout not assigned to Manziel's pro day told College Football 24/7 via text message. "Just something no one has ever done before."
Yet, it's hard to see the upside from the Manziel perspective.
Will a good performance be seen in a significantly more favorable light because of the added gear? Probably not. If he were to struggle, on the other hand, the decision to throw in pads would be scrutinized beyond recognition. It would make Teddy Bridgewater's GloveGate story look small by comparison. The most likely outcome, of course, is that Manziel throws brilliantly, and in the aftermath, it's viewed as a bold but successful move.
One can only assume that Manziel has been practicing for his pro-day workout in pads, as well.
Then again, that would have been the wrong assumption where Bridgewater's gloves are concerned.