Manziel would enter the NFL with a giant chip on his shoulder and use that to fuel his career, just like running back Maurice Jones-Drew did when he fell out of the first round and the Jaguars drafted him with the 28th pick in the second round. And he'd also be doing it in Jacksonville.
That's what Manziel told reporters from the Houston Chronicle and Fort Worth Star-Telegram last week in San Diego. During a break in his training with quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr., Manziel said the Texans would be making a huge mistake by not taking him first overall and he'd make them pay. Manziel is apparently convinced if the Texans don't take him, the Jaguars will with the No. 3 pick.
"It would be the worst decision they've ever made," he said. "I'd be in the same division playing against them twice a year. Sorry, but you just turned that chip on my shoulder from a Frito into a Dorito."
It's easy to see why Manziel assumes that Jaguars general manager David Caldwell will draft him if the Texans don't. The St. Louis Rams won't take him at No. 2 because they're set with Sam Bradford, and the Jaguars do need a quarterback.
But it's not that simple.
There are some inside the Jaguars' organization who believe none of the quarterbacks in this year's draft are ready to play right away. The Jaguars are also in desperate need of a pass-rusher, so they could bypass Manziel for defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Caldwell also has said he would consider trading the No. 3 pick, and he could have plenty of willing quarterback-needy partners. Cleveland (fourth pick), Oakland (fifth), Tampa Bay (seventh), Minnesota (eighth) and Arizona (20th) are the most logical options.
The Jaguars may like Teddy Bridgewater better, anyway. He is the most NFL-ready of the quarterbacks in the draft, and he played in a pro-style offense. Manziel played in a spread, and there are always concerns about a spread quarterback's ability to adjust to playing more in the pocket in the NFL.
But in Manziel's mind, he's headed to Jacksonville if Houston passes. If that indeed turns out to be the case, the second call he gets on May 8 will be from a Frito Lay rep.