By Jeff Newman: Former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo says he would focus on keeping quarterback Johnny Manziel as he is if he were to draft him to one of the teams that he was with as an executive. Angelo says he’d like to sign the offensive coordinator that Manziel played with in college and have him work as the offensive coordinator for his team so that Manziel is kept under the same system he had in college.
In drafting Manziel, you almost have to draft his main receiver Mike Evans if you want to make sure that he succeeds in the NFL like he did at Texas A&M, as a big part of Manziel’s game was him chucking the ball up for grabs to where the 6’5″ Evans could use his size to go up and get it. If you draft Manziel to a team with 5’10” wide receivers, he’s not going to be able to get away with the same kind of throws that he did in college at A&M. Manziel would need to be much more precise with his passes for him to be able to have the same high percentage accuracy that he had in college.
“I would love to draft him, because of any player in the draft, he will do more for a team than anybody because of his position and the energy he brings to it,” said Angelo. “Unfortunately, that offense is the antithesis of what teams are doing and he is obviously a very non-conventional NFL quarterback…I don’t want to reinvent him and make him something I think he can be.”
There’s no question that Manziel can’t be changed without it hurting his game. He needs to play in a wide open type of offensive system for him to do well. The flip side of that is that Manziel’s aggressive style of play will result in him suffering a lot of injuries in the pro game due to the bigger, faster and more athletic players. Whichever team that drafts him is going to have to suspect that he’s going to need to spend down time licking his wounds, and recovering from the injuries that are a direct result of his aggressive playing style. At the end of the day it simply might not be worth it to have Manziel on your team if he can’t stay healthy long enough to be a benefit.