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Thursday, March 27, 2014
McShay gives Manziel late-first-round grade

By Tania Ganguli

There are a wide range of opinions about former Texans A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, who will try to cement his place at the top of the draft class with today's workout, where he's apparently planning to wear a helmet and shoulder pads.

ESPN Insider Todd McShay watched a great deal of film on Manziel, writing a report he said is only matched in length by those he wrote about Cam Newton and Tim Tebow in previous years. His conclusion:
Manziel
I have Manziel ranked as the No. 3 quarterback in this class, behind UCF’s Blake Bortles and Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, and No. 21 prospect overall. The 90 grade I’ve given him qualifies as a late-first-round grade and is a few notches below Bortles (93) and Bridgewater (92) and several notches below the top three overall talents in this draft: Jadeveon Clowney (97), Greg Robinson (97) and Khalil Mack (96).

If a team is considering taking Manziel with a first-round pick, particularly near the top of the draft with five of the teams drafting in the top eight having a need at quarterback, the general manager, head coach and offensive coaching staff all have to be on board with taking him. They have to be legitimate believers to the point that they’re all willing to fall on the sword if Manziel fails.

In particular, the coaches must have a plan to develop him, from improving his mechanics (continuing what’s worked for Manziel with his private QB coach George Whitfield) to tweaking the playbook to maximize his improvisation skills and adjust to his unique methods of approaching progression reads, to creating a detailed schedule for what hours he needs to be in the building during the season and offseason. And everybody needs to be convinced that Manziel will get on board with said plan.

You can read McShay's full report in this insider piece Insider. He rates Manziel as average in mental makeup and accuracy, above average in release/arm strength, and exceptional in pocket mobility.