Johnny Manziel reaches 1M followers

Updated: June 7, 2014, 11:54 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

On the same day he got drafted by the San Diego Padres, Johnny Manziel hit one million followers on Twitter.

The former Texas A&M quarterback, who was drafted by the Cleveland Browns at No. 22 last month, joins nine active NFL players who also have reached the milestone.

[+] EnlargeJohnny Manziel
William Perlman/USA TODAY SportsJohnny Manziel's Twitter following has grown by more than 25 percent -- or 200,000 followers -- since last month's NFL draft, when he was selected at No. 22 by the Cleveland Browns.

That list includes Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush, who leads all active NFL players with 2.9 million followers, and three quarterbacks, including New Orleans' Drew Brees, the Washington Redskins' Robert Griffin III, and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.

Twenty-one players might have been picked before Manziel, but he clearly has been the marketing star of the draft. His Twitter following has grown by more than 25 percent, or 200,000 followers, since the day he was drafted on May 8, and he has helped the Browns sell thousands of season tickets and thousands more T-shirts and jerseys.

In fact, Manziel has gained more followers over the past month than the total followers of any 2014 first-round draft pick. First overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, who was selected by the Houston Texans, and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who was taken fourth, have 132,000 and 125,000 followers, respectively.

Manziel seems to have a love-hate relationship with Twitter, as the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner has taken breaks from the social media site when criticism was high, or to concentrate on his preparation for the draft.

He drew scrutiny last summer for tweeting that he couldn't wait to leave College Station, Texas, where Texas A&M is headquartered, and has been frequently challenged about his vibrant night life as documented on the site.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter

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