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-03-30-2014 #1Registered User
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Manziel Pro Day Makes For Interesting Scenario
You can bet that Houston GM Rick Smith, the guy whose head will really be on the line after this draft has played out and the team hits the field, wishes that Johnny Manziel was from South Dakota, or Maine, or anywhere but Texas.
Winning a Heisman as a Freshman, then following it up with another great season before turning pro, would get fans pumped about a guy from Alaska, but one born and bred right in your own backyard? It's an absolute dream situation for a team's PR department, as well as one for a new coaching staff inheriting a solid defense, and a talented offense missing only a great quarterback to be a force again.
Seems like a slam dunk for Smith, but, perhaps knowing the circus invited by drafting "Johnny Football ", a guy making commercials with Lebron James already has Smith scared enough to risk the wrath of their fans, hardly a group the team wants to alienate, and his job, by betting Manziel won't be a star.
So word has it, maybe because Jadeveon Clowney is a poor fit in their scheme, but is also the one player it seems teams are willing to trade a valuable pick or two to acquire, that Houston is shopping the pick.
That signals that Smith knows that Manziel really has to be a Texan, but with a pick more palatable to the coach and GM, who get another player in round two to fill need, in a very deep draft where their other needs lie.
Other QB needy clubs, like the Browns, can convince their fans that going a different way, with , say Sammie Watkins, then taking Teddy Bridgewater at 26 might be the best way. And Manziel is not from Ohio State.
Oakland, picking fifth, could use a QB, but Manziel doesn't fit there, and they need aLT too badly to pass on Robinson or Matthews.
So Houston may think that they can drop to sixth, as the Rams would be doing if Clowney fell to second over all, and then take Manziel, and look like geniusses that hedged the bet with a nice pick.
However, there just happens to be a team picking third who has an owner saying that they will take a quarterback. The Jaguars just cut the face of their franchise Maurice Jones Drew, and are dire need of someone to bring some excitement to a moribund franchise.
You won't get that done playing it safe, as the Jaguars did last season with their first pick, perhaps burned a bit by the failure of Justin Blackmon to be worth the trade and pick to acquire him in Shad Kahn's first draft as owner.
More than any other team, Jacksonville needs a drawing card on offense, and they have a coach who just watched a short, playmaking QB, take the team he coached on defense all the way in just his second season.
Jaguars fans remember another short, speedy QB, Mark Brunell, who still remains the franchise's best passer ever.
I doubt Shad Khan, no towering man to be sure, holds lack of height against anyone who can make his organization a success.
Houston may think that Jacksonville might prefer Bortles, a "safer" pick from their backyard, but while the scouting reports may see those two as equals, only Manziel will cause t he ticket sales in Jacksonville to go nuts the minute he is drafted.
So while Houston may think that trade down scenario might play out for them, there is Shad Khan laying in the weeds to ruin t heir whole ploy.
If that happened, Houston would no doubt say they considered the possibility etc., but their fans will be out of their minds, knowing they would get to see Johnny Football play in Texas every year, wearing a Jaguar uniform.
Then imagine if Houston ended up with Derek Carr instead of Manziel.
Not as a scout might see it, but as fans will see it, and dwell on it, for a long time.
It's going to get very interesting, and I really would not want to be Rick Smith.
Last edited by Barry Waller; -03-30-2014 at 04:21 PM.Barry Waller
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