One of the enduring images from the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft was the normally confident Johnny Manziel tugging at his collar, nervously sipping what seemed like an endless supply of bottled waters, as Commissioner Roger Goodell announced everybody’s name but his. The intrigue his agonizing wait created goes to show that the league’s OTHER yearly spectacle is better than any reality program on TV because well, it’s real. You simply can’t manufacture this kind of suspense as Manziel became the star of his own Draft Day movie.
Once the Jaguars selected UCF QB Blake Bortles, it looked like a forgone conclusion that Manziel would land in Cleveland.. the first time around. Instead, the Browns took Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. A perplexing move at the time that baffled nearly every draftnik. They owned the 26th pick, but then moved up to 22nd. At that point, you had the feeling they wouldn’t pass on him again.
The Twitterverse nearly shut down after he heard his name finally called. His arrival creates a buzz around Cleveland not seen since LeBron James was picked by the Cavaliers. Whether he can make everyone witnesses like LeBron did, remains to be seen. What we do know is that Manziel makes the Browns truly relevant again. Their PRESEASON games will be a must-watch. How good will he be? Finding out will be the fun part. He will be extremely motivated to prove every team that passed on him wrong. During the broadcast, you could just see the giant chip on his shoulder grow. Kyle Shanahan and his version of the West Coast offense should be a good fit for Manziel. It’s just a matter of if his 5 foot 11, 207 pound frame can take crushing blows and how it will alter his style of play. At least, we’ll be closely watching just like we did on draft night.