Johnny Manziel as a top-10 NFL draft pick?
At least one NFL scout thinks so, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and three others project the Texas A&M star quarterback as a first-round draft choice.
The debate over whether Manziel is big enough, mature enough, and strong-armed enough to make it as a starting quarterback in the NFL rages on, but the praise heaped upon Manziel in the wake of his record-setting 464-yard passing performance against the vaunted defense of Alabama Saturday is the most effusive yet.
Manziel himself recognizes that while he might not have prototypical size for a quarterback, he is playing in an era in which NFL clubs are giving smaller quarterbacks more of a chance.
"I think there was a triple bolted lock on the door, and Russell Wilson and Drew Brees have kind of kicked it in," Manziel said. "It's got a crack in it. This isn't being cocky, but I have high ambitions. I'm an ambitious person. I set goals high. I want to completely knock that door off the hinges. Not just let it swing, but kick it down, so it's wide open."
As for the maturity issue, that doesn't figure to hamper Manziel's draft status, either.
"There is a difference between being a criminal and being a knucklehead," another scout told the publication. "He's a knucklehead. We have a lot of knuckleheads on our team."
On Tuesday, Greg Bedard of TheMMQB.com came out with a story praising Manziel and quoting many observors in college football and the NFL, most all with glowing reports on the Texas A&M quarterback.