The 2014 BTB Community Draft continues!
This is our favorite opportunity to interact with our community and allow them some front-page limelight, while simultaneously getting our first in-depth look at several candidates for the draft's first round.
This will be much more than just one community member's idea of how to help out their assigned teams. After each selection is forwarded to me, I will gather all of the pertinent information about this prospect from some of the internet's best draft resources. We will try to highlight the profile's best and worst traits, so that our reader's are highly educated come May 8th when these guys names are called.
To keep things simple, no trades are allowed; I think for a one round exercise that does little to actually project how things are going to turn out. One GM, one team, one pick. Let's get it on!
Draft Pick # 3
Team Name: Jacksonville Jaguars
GM: Billy Moose
Selection: (QB) Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Why the pick: With Clowney gone, the Jaguars chances of drafting a QB here increase significantly. They have been abysmal at the quarterback position in recent years, alternating between Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. They traded Gabbert to San Francisco for a sixth-round pick and Henne was re-signed, but it is obvious that he is not the long-term answer. However, Henne could hold down the fort if Gus Bradley wants to draft Manziel and then sit him for a while and let him develop. Manziel is a wildcard, but he can make every throw, has the quickest release of any quarterback in the draft, and possesses an uncanny ability to keep plays alive. If Coach Bradley can embrace Manziel and tailor the offense to his strengths, he can be a very good pro quarterback.
I also considered Khalil Mack with this pick. Mack is an excellent pass rusher, something the Jaguars have sorely lacked recently. Jacksonville added free agents Red Bryant, Ziggy Hood, and Chris Clemons to their defensive line this offseason, so that leads me to believe they will address the offense with their early picks. This year's draft is fairly deep when it comes to DL, so they could find a quality pass rusher in a later round.
Another prospect I considered here was Sammy Watkins. Cecil Shorts III is a solid receiver, but with uncertainty surrounding Justin Blackmon, the Jacksonville receiving corps could use an upgrade. Watkins is a very explosive receiver, but this years draft is incredibly deep at the position, and they could easily nab a good WR prospect with their second-round pick.
HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com
-- Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): 4-3 Defensive End Quarterback, Feature Receiver
-- Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): 4-3 Outside Backer, Guard, Cornerback
-- Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): Strong Safety, Inside Backer, Center, Right Tackle, Tight End
-- Threat Level Green (priority 9): 4-3 Defensive Tackle, Free Safety, Feature Back, COP Back, Speed Receiver, Left Tackle, Possession Receiver
-- Drafttek.com ranked #7 Overall, #2 at the position
-- National Football Post: #24 Overall, #3 at the position
Manziel almost always lines up in the spread formation. There were only a handful of plays that I saw where he took a snap from under center. Texas A&M runs a read option offense and Manziel is excellent at running that particular scheme. He has a running back's mentality when it comes to carrying the football and he is very elusive in the open field. He uses that quickness and elusiveness to keep plays alive on passing downs and is excellent at finding an open receiver and throwing with accuracy on the run. When Manziel is able to stay in the pocket, he has an excellent feel for pass rushers and does a very good job stepping up before his throws. He has a very compact, quick release and when he makes a decision, the ball is out of his hand almost instantly.
While in the pocket, Manziel is calm and poised and shows he can go through a progression. He demonstrates the ability to look off a receiver and then come back to him and is also good at finding open secondary receivers. The one thing I really like about Manziel is his accuracy and ball placement. He has a number of completions where he threads the needle and can get the ball into a tight spot. For the most part, Manziel's decision making is very good and he rarely forces a ball. On the Manziel tape I viewed from 2013, I only saw two interceptions that I would consider poor throws. On each of those plays, Manziel was throwing on the run and failed to read the backside safety coming over. He had some interceptions where his receiver dropped the pass and the defender notched the INT before the ball hit the ground.
I wouldn't say that Manziel has a canon for an arm, but his arm strength is solid enough. He can throw a tight ball with zip and can easily complete passes 45 - 50 yards down field. What makes Manziel so dangerous and what defenses have to account for is his ability to run if the pass isn't there. Time after time the Aggies signal-caller opted to run, scrambling for ten or more yards.
-- CBSSports.com ranked #7 overall, #3 at the position
-- DraftInsider.Net ranked #7 overall, #2 at the position
-- OptimumScouting.com ranked outside Top 100, #5 at the position
-- DraftCountdown ranked #38 overall, #3 at the position
-- Scout.com ranked #8 overall, #2 at the position
-- Mike Mayock ranked #1 at the position
-- Josh Norris ranked #29 overall, #2 at the position
-- NFLDraftScout.com profile (Rob Rang):
Ranks among the more dynamic college football players in recent history. Remarkable maneuverability. Excellent agility and burst, as well as straight-line speed, but what makes Manziel so difficult to contain is his vision. Seems to possess eyes in the back of his head, showing incredible spatial awareness of those around him.
Actually more accurate on the move than he is standing flat-footed in the pocket and made significant improvement as a traditional pocket passer in 2013. Improved velocity and placement on intermediate and deep routes in his second season as the starter.
Highly competitive performer, who despite his hype as a party-goer, is respected for his work ethic and commitment to the team.
Despite ordinary size, possesses large hands that Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has compared to another undersized quarterback - Drew Brees. "Having those big hands not only helps tote the ball in traffic, but he can basically go all through his motion and still pull the ball back," George Whitfield, a private quarterbacks coach who helps train Manziel, told CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman in 2013. Whitfield also has worked with several elite NFL quarterbacks, including Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck. All three have size 14 shoes. The 6-foot Manziel wears 15s.
Proven production and ability to produce in big moments.
Tendency to fall off his throws, even when standing flat-footed with no pressure. In falling away rather than stepping into his throws, passes lack consistency accuracy.
Willing to throw passes late and over the middle, and relies on his wideouts to make plays in jump-ball situations. Possesses enough arm strength to make every NFL throw but does not own a howitzer and projects best in a timing-based offense that utilizes rather than limits his creativity.
String of off-field issues brings maturity level and ability to handle the rigors of being the "face" of an NFL franchise into serious question.
'13 Johnny Manziel vs Duke
'13 Johnny Manziel vs Alabama
Previous Picks: Houston, Jadeveon Clowney, St Louis Rams, Greg Robinson