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The rumor going around Twitter is that I am a Johnny hater. That is not the case and I wanted to make my position clear for all the other Browns fans that read http://fryingpansports.com/ or listen to NNR. Let me make one thing clear—beyond similar size, there is no comparison between Manziel and the QB I was totally sold on in the 2012 draft Russell Wilson. Wilson is a pocket passer with escape ability.
I like what Manziel did at Texas A&M. I did not have him on my board as a 1st round QB only because I had a number of questions about him. Most of all, I wonder if he will spend the time in the film room that it takes to help a QB particularly a rookie QB develop. Wilson is a film room junkie and works hard on his craft. Manziel would rather go to a basketball game than watch film. He is now saying all the right things. But actions speak louder and we will see if he does enough to become an effective QB.
My second issue is his size. The Browns go through QBs like some people use plastic bags. They should be strong but disposable. I said on Twitter that unless the Browns fix the right side of the O line Johnny Football will become Johnny Flatball. Manziel is small and thin. He was hurt often in college and the hits in the NFL will be harder by bigger and faster players. While he can help keep his body in tact by being smarter, the Browns need to do a lot more to protect him in the pocket.
The third issue is does his game translate to the NFL. Much of the magic he generates is accomplished outside the pocket. When LSU forced him to throw from the pocket, Manziel struggled. He will find that NFL teams are a lot better at containing a wondering QB than college teams even those in the SEC. The only way he will be able to become successful is to learn to read coverages and throw from the pocket. If he does he can become a successful QB. But that is a big IF.
Since he was drafted by the Browns, I will cheer and root for him. But the draft analyst in me had to make my concerns clear.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think.
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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.