Whitfield: Johnny Manziel 'a world-beater' worthy of No. 1 pick

The Texans might not yet know what direction they'll go with the first overall pick, but George Whitfield, Johnny Manziel's longtime quarterback coach, doesn't have any doubt about what he would do with the first pick in the NFL draft, or any other draft for that matter.

He would spend it on Manziel.

"I would take him," Whitfield told College Football 24/7. "If George Whitfield had a team, I'm taking him. My card goes in for him. Fantasy team, ping-pong team, dodgeball team, it doesn't matter. I'm coming to get him."

Whitfield said his phone has been buzzing these days with NFL teams calling to ask him about Manziel. He declined to give specific details, but said the teams calling include some that will be drafting early in the first round. They probably are asking some of the same questions privately that have been raised publicly about Manziel's maturity.

Manziel has been criticized for everything from his sometimes reckless playing style to his love of partying. Whitfield has heard it all, of course, but said he doesn't think perception of Manziel matches the person.

"Don't lose sight of what and who he is," he said. "The dude's a world-beater."

As for Manziel's off-field behavior, Whitfield doesn't anticipate that being an issue and said he hasn't advised Manziel to tone things down.

"It's a process," he said. "He's only going to mature. He's going to tire out of it eventually like we all did. But second, it's what makes him who he is. He's a magnetic, charismatic guy. It's hard to box him in in certain situations, and he kind of plays like that. ... But you have to be self-aware and know where the line is in situations like that. I think he's only getting better at that."

Manziel began pre-draft training with Whitfield in San Diego on Jan. 10, and Whitfield said the former Aggies QB has been "attacking" his workouts as hard as he always does.

As Whitfield acknowledged, though, the most pivotal moments for Manziel at the combine might come in a meeting room with an NFL team rather than in drills on the field as he looks to prove to the Texans that he's worthy of the draft's top pick.

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