Current analyst and former quarterback Ron Jaworski should be expecting a large satchel of thank you cards on his doorstep from several TV and radio producers any day now. Since expressing an unpopular belief that Johnny Manziel shouldn’t be drafted in the first three rounds of this upcoming draft, his comments are providing plenty of fresh fodder for debate shows and sports radio across the country.
By taking the contrarian stance, he opened himself up to being scrutinized, picked apart and second-guessed, much like Manziel himself. Jaworski is a self-proclaimed football junkie, pouring over hours and hours of tape, so there is some heft behind his credibility, although some would argue he lost some of it by saying Colin Kaepernick could be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. Jaworski admits that he hasn’t seen a lot of Manziel, watching only five of his games at Texas A&M. At the moment, he’s the only analyst who’s taking the stance that Manziel is not a franchise quarterback. I still think Manziel is a transcendent talent that should be taken in the first round, but if I did have any doubts about Manziel, it would be over whether he can stay in the pocket, go through his progressions and complete a pass in the tightest of windows.
No matter if you’re Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson, you can’t rely on your legs forever. At some point, you have to stand tall and make the throws. The read-option wasn’t as successful this year as it was the previous seasons because defenses caught on to it. Manziel is a master at ad-libbing, but he’s open to getting crushed as we saw with RG3. He would need to bulk up more to absorb hits and perhaps more importantly, be smart. That last part is key because he was able to slither out of sticky situations, but that was in college. In the NFL, everybody is bigger, stronger and faster. At least, we have some time to dissect him. Thanks Jaws.