Polian on Manziel: Can he play 16 games?

Some analysts carry a little more weight than others.

Bill Polian has built winning and Super Bowl teams in Buffalo, Carolina and Indianapolis. This morning on ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike Show (Mike Green and Cleveland native Mike Golic ), Polian discussed Johnny Manziel.

His bottom line: The team that takes Manziel has to be prepared to have a good and highly paid backup who won't be as good as Manziel, because Manziel will get hurt.

"That to me is the dispositive issue," Polian said. "Is he going to be on the field for 16 games? As much as I like Johnny and I do, I know him personally and like him very much, as a general manager you can't commit that to the owner. You have to say, 'I'm not sure.'"

Polian added one other caution amid much praise for Manziel: The team that takes him will have to adjust its offense to his skills. He compared Manziel to Cam Newton in that both were unique talents who don't necessarily walk into an NFL-style offense.

"They're similar people in terms of football-people style," Polian said. "They're way outside the mainstream. So when you grade them, in my opinion, you really have to set them aside and say, 'OK, these two guys are different.'"

People said the same of Tim Tebow, but Polian never believed he could throw well enough to be in the NFL.

"Cam and Johnny do," Polian said. "They throw exceptionally well. So you have a situation where you say, where does this player fit in the NFL? Well, I think the answer, and I'm echoing Tony Dungy with whom I worked all these years, I think where this player fits is if you're willing to adapt your offense -- or if you happen to be Philadelphia and you already have that offense in place -- to an offense that is similar to what he did at the college level."

Polian then elaborated on what he saw as a "disconnect."

"In Cam's case you didn't worry too much about him being injured," Polian said. "I worry about cumulative hits with him; is his career going to be long? But he hasn't been hurt. If you look at him up close and personal you know why because he's bigger than you (he said to Golic, a former NFL defensive tackle).

"Johnny's not. So you have to say to yourself, 'As a GM, when I present this to the owner, I have to say I'm not sure this guy's going to play more than 12 games a season. Michael Vick is similar in body style and he has not.

"So history tells you there's a likelihood he's going to get hurt so that complicates the issues.

Which means the team thinking of drafting Manziel has to welcome a separate category of player who requires changes in the offense, and a guy who's not going to be a 16-game player.

That might seem like enough to scare any team away from Manziel, but Polian briefly made the case for taking him.

"Defensive head coaches are scared to death of him," Polian said. "Because no NFL defense accounts for a quarterback like this."

There you have it.

One of the NFL's finer GMs speaking his mind.

Now you're the GM. It's your choice. Think about it and vote in our poll that will be posted a little later this afternoon: Do you take Johnny Manziel with the fourth pick in the draft?