Wednesday, December 18, 2013
McShay tabs Manziel as Jaguars' pick
By Michael DiRocco
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Johnny Football is coming to Jacksonville. At least according to Todd McShay's first mock draft that was released early Wednesday afternoon.
McShay predicts that the Jaguars will take Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel with the No. 4 pick in May. That's provided that Manziel does what everyone expects him to do and leave school a year early.
The 6-0, 200-pound Manziel has completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 7,438 yards and 59 touchdowns with 22 interceptions, and rushed for 2,096 yards and 29 touchdowns in his two seasons as a starter with the Aggies. But is his size a problem? Can he be effective in the pocket or does he have to be running around to make plays?
Here's McShay's analysis:
"This will be a tough decision. Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is hoping to find a leader at QB who can elevate the whole team, the way Russell Wilson did with Seattle in 2012. Is Manziel that guy? I think the key for Manziel is going to be how he interviews. Some teams are going to fall in love with his confidence, whereas others will be turned off by him. One reason why I think Manziel fits in Jacksonville is that offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch has proved throughout his career that he can successfully adapt his system to his personnel, which is a must for any team that brings in Manziel, given his exceptional mobility and improvisational skills.
You can read the rest of McShay's mock draft, which includes somewhat of a surprise pick by Oakland at No. 3, by clicking here (Insider content).
"Manziel doesn't have ideal size, but I've been really impressed this season with how he improved his delivery mechanics to get better velocity on his throws, and his improvement at going through his progressions. If he can continue to develop in the NFL, he has a chance to be really good."
My quick take: The pick would certainly make the Jaguars relevant nationally long after draft weekend. It has the potential to be a home-run pick, too, because Manziel is an electrifying player who destroyed SEC defenses -- including Alabama's -- and there are no concerns about his leadership or competitiveness on the field. I do have concerns about his maturity level, though, after reading stories about his offseason activities and behavior.