Texas A&M Football

Why NFL Teams Are Crazy to Label Johnny Manziel 'Undraftable'

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterSeptember 17, 2013

Everybody has an opinion on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, and that, of course, includes members of NFL front offices.

According to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, several NFL teams consider the Aggies' signal-caller and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner "undraftable."

But Manziel, to many teams right now, would be undraftable because they’re scared of his mood swings and off-field questions. But it only takes one team out of 32 to fall for him. And some team will, unless he self-destructs between today and draft day.

Let's take a timeout for a second. 

"Undraftable" is a bit extreme. That's saying he'll fall completely off the seven-round board for "off-the-field questions" and "mood swings." What are these off-the-field issues, really?

Partying on spring break in Cabo San Lucas? Heading to Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl? Taking the initiative to fly to San Diego to work with noted quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr. during the semester break when many of his teammates aren't on campus?

Those aren't off-the-field issues—that's called "being a college student" (albeit, one with the means to make those trips).

The only question that should raise a red flag for NFL scouts is Manziel's premature departure from the Manning Passing Academy in July. Whether you believe that he missed meetings because he overslept (as was his explanation), or there were contributing factors from his night before really doesn't matter. He didn't take his responsibilities as a player and mentor seriously. 

But do you know what a lot of other 20-year-old college-age kids do? They don't take themselves seriously. Yes, he's held to a different standard as a superstar, but let's not lose sight of what we're dealing with here.

The autograph scandal that brought into question Manziel's eligibility last month shouldn't even be considered an off-the-field question. The NCAA found no evidence that he was paid for those sessions. Even if he was paid to participate in mass autograph sessions—as was alleged by ESPN.com—all that tells me is that he's a little arrogant.

Do you know what I want my quarterback to be? A little arrogant. Arrogance stems from confidence, and that's a good thing as long as his future employer in the NFL can rein in his recklessness a bit.

But that's just the issue—Manziel isn't your everyday quarterback. He's not even your everyday dual-threat superstar. Everything about him is on the edge. He is going to be "Johnny Football" on the field and off, and the on-the-field product is a proven commodity.

Get ready for more of this, because it's going to get worse before it gets better.

If and when Manziel leaves College Station and begins the NFL draft process, everybody's going to have an opinion. Manziel has polarized college football, and he's well on his way to polarizing the NFL.

In the meantime, though, the tape doesn't lie. Manziel just torched Alabama's defense for 562 yards. Not Alabama State. Alabama.

If that doesn't cancel out a little partying while in college, I'm not sure what will.

 

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