Would you take Johnny Manziel with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft?
I’m not saying that’s what the Houston Texas will do with their selection, but ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has the precocious Manziel at No. 1 on his NFL Mock Draft 1.0.
Kiper wrote that he expects his grades and his mock drafts to change between now and the start of the real draft on May 8. (The NFL moved it from April this year).
Here’s what he wrote about Manziel in the Insider article:
Manziel doesn’t fit the old prototypes of a QB drafted No. 1, and I have concerns about how well he can protect himself given his smaller frame, but he is a magician on the field, and is made for the current NFL. This league protects and welcomes QBs who can improvise, run and make plays beyond the playbook. It’s early, but Manziel is a special player and has the draft process to prove it further.
I love Manziel as a player and competitor, but there are tons of concerns about his size.
He’s 6 foot — and he might not measure that at the combine — the size of Drew Brees and Michael Vick, and 1 inch taller than Russell Wilson, but Manziel can be reckless and tends to unnecessarily place himself in harm’s way.
Wilson is comparable, but likes to stay in the pocket, running only when necessary.
Kiper has the Falcons selecting UCLA LB Anthony Barr with the No. 6 pick.
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney is projected to go third to the Jaguars, Clemson WR Sammy Watkins fifth to the Raiders and Auburn OT Greg Robinson ninth to the Bills.
In the SEC, Kiper has three Alabama players — LB C.J. Mosley, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and OT Cyrus Kouandjio — and three Texas A&M players — Manziel, OT Jake Matthews and WR Mike Evans — going in the first round.
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