How good was Johnny Manziel?

It’s #ComebackSZN. Johnny Manziel has been on a personal mission to get back into the NFL, 2 years after he was released by the Cleveland Browns who drafted him at number 22 overall in the 2014 draft. He was released following a number of off-field controversies including admission to rehab for unspecified reasons, claims of domestic violence and videos surfacing of him partying the night before games.

Since all of that he has claimed to have turned his life around. He has been training with the likes of Odell Beckham Jr, Joe Haden and Leonard Fournette and he threw at the pro days of San Diego State University and his alma mater Texas A&M, the latter of which was attended by all 32 NFL teams and he reportedly had meetings with a number of teams including the New England Patriots.

Any move made for Johnny Football would be a high risk / high reward scenario for any team – he did not come close to lighting the league up in his 2 years with the Browns but his highlights at Texas A&M were out of this world. Here is a snippet of what any teams willing to sign him could be getting:

Vs Alabama – 14th September 2013

In a game against the number 1 ranked team in the country at the time Johnny Manziel managed to escape a practically guaranteed sack, then with no less than 5 defenders gunning him down he managed to complete a pass to Edward Pope – the catch is as big of a reason for this completion but Manziel’s ability to evade tackles and have the presence of mind to complete a pass shows what he is capable of.

Vs Duke – 31st December 2013

How he manages to stay alive on this play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl is beyond me. With the pocket collapsing around him Johnny steps up and tries to run, jumps over a tackle and fortunately into back of his own lineman before escaping the mass of bodies and completing the pass to his wide open receiver.

Vs Oklahoma – 4th January 2013

It wasn’t just with the arm that Johnny could make plays – he had electric feet too. in the 2013 Cotton Bowl he showed just that on this designed run play – breaking tackles, throwing jukes and ending the run with a lowered shoulder.

vs Alabama – 10th November 2012

More Houdini-esque escapology from Manziel here – again the pocket collapses around him and he manages to stay alive with a bit of good fortune as he runs into the back of his own lineman, he fumbles the ball on the wheel round but manages to hold onto it before throwing a strike to a wide open receiver in the end zone.

vs Baltimore Ravens – 21st September 2014

This play was called back for illegal motion but it wasn’t the fault of Johnny Football. It looked as though he was coming off the field to be replaced by Brian Hoyer but he never left the field, the normally rock solid Ravens defense was left flabbergasted as he would have made a 36 yard reception – these sort of trick plays are always a possibility with a versatile player like Manziel.

I am a self-professed fan of Johnny Manziel and hope he gets another shot in the NFL, if he doesn’t I guess I will have to add the CFL to my ever-growing list of followed sports.


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