Apr 25, 2014 12:54 PM EDT
Johnny Manziel Draft Stock Falling? Todd McShay Would Not Take Him Until 26th Overall
While it may not be an actual prediction, ESPN's NFL Draft expert Todd McShay has suggested he would not take Johnny Manziel within the first 10 picks, not even close.
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With the actual NFL Draft approaching, mock drafts are getting played out and experts are now opining on who they would take if they were the GM. This approach favors unheralded, fundamentally sound players and hurts players like Manziel, whose personality and intangibles are half his draft stock.
In a new column explaining which players he would take if he were the general manager of each team with a first round pick, McShay made Manziel the third quarterback taken overall. He had the Cleveland Browns select the Texas A&M passer at 26th overall, the selection they received from Indianapolis in the Trent Richardson trade.
Cleveland is one of three teams picking in the top five that has a blatant need for a QB, yet McShay had Blake Bortles going eighth overall to the Minnesota Vikings as the highest drafted passer. Teddy Bridgewater went 20th to the Arizona Cardinals and Manziel 26th even though the team picks fourth overall. If it were up to McShay, the first selections would like this:
Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE
St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, OT
Jacksonville Jaguars: Khalil Mack, OLB
Browns: Sammy Watkins, WR
Oakland Raiders: Jake Matthews, OT
Atlanta Falcons: Taylor Lewan, OT
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, WR
Vikings: Bortles, QB
Buffalo Bills, Eric Ebron, TE
Detroit Lions: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S
While this selection is likely no more than a change-of-pace from the eight combined mock drafts McShay and fellow draft expert Mel Kiper have put out, it does represent Manziel's polarity.
This quarterback class is not an all-time great in terms of prospects, but it is nonetheless talented. In 2012, the Colts took Andrew Luck first overall and the Washington Redskins traded an arm and leg for the second pick to secure Robert Griffin III. The Miami Dolphins landed Ryan Tannehill six picks later, the Philadelphia Eagles nabbed Nick Foles in the third round and the Seattle Sehawks picked a QB that round as well, Russell Wilson.
Last year, the first six picks were spent on offensive and defensive linemen and only one quarterback was taken in the first round. This year's class falls somewhere in between.
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While McShay's column will not affect Manziel or any player's draft status, it goes to show just how much stock fans and executives alike put into the night their team drafts franchise's newest employees.