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Johnny Manziel, #1 Impact Fantasy Rookie

Johnny Manziel, the Heisman winning QB from Texas A&M, for a time spanning winter 2012 to summer of 2013, achieved rock star status.

He was hanging out with all the cool celebrity figures. Drake, LeBron, Lil Wayne, Gronk, Rick Ross, and some other people like Rick Perry, the dudes from Duck Dynasty. He was out there wearing all the typical trendy shit that they wear and throwing up the stupid hand signs that they all throw up.

Manziel hanging with LeBron James and throwing up some pretty gangster hand signs yo!

Manziel hanging with LeBron James and throwing up some pretty gangster hand signs yo!

There has to be some kind of Johnny Football branding/marketing/PR team already in place because this dude’s image is damn good for what a bro he must be off the field. The partying is a concern. Previous underage drinking and possible alcoholism are others.  But the big money he’s going to make as a likely top 5 pick? Johnny Football doesn’t care about that. He will make way more in endorsements, sponsorships, and appearances anyways. Plus he’s already wealthy. Texas A&M President Bowen Loftin revealed as much.

“Johnny is part of a family that has resources,” Loftin said. “People criticize him for showing up at NBA games and flying in private aircraft occasionally, but it’s all being done because his family can afford to do that.”

Manziel turned 21 just a month ago and he will mature. He’s a player, straight up. A baller, if you will. The draftniks will gush over his playmaking ability. Then they will criticize him for his college system or his height. They will ask if all this media coverage (that they created) will be a distraction to his teammates. Mostly they will go after him for his off field behavior.  He’ll be like a straw man on a seesaw these next few months. Likely, in the end there will be more love than hate spewed.  He’s just a super unique QB. It’s hard to see most of the criticisms making any difference on draft day.

Just Manziel getting blunted with Heisman Trophy.

Just Manziel getting blunted with Heisman Trophy. No big deal.

When he gets around to running it, a 4.4/4.5 40 is likely. He depends on his instincts and his legs to make something happen when the play breaks down.  We are seeing a trend towards guys like that in the NFL.  Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton.  These are guys that can evade the first or second onslaught and move the pocket, and they are at a premium. It’s why guys like Jake Locker and Christian Ponder were first round picks just a few short seasons ago. The speed of the game is always increasing. Mobility is important.

Manziel has the arm to sling it and the balls to take chances in tight windows. His deep throws might already be on an elite level. John Football is someone an offensive coordinator like Norv Turner would love to utilize. He’s a master of the deep ball ‘air coryell’ style offense and now OC for the Vikings who just so happen to have the 8th pick in the NFL Draft. With receivers and runningbacks already in place this is one of the better scenarios for Manziel to walk into from a fantasy perspective. He might not fall that far. Actually, it’s unlikely he does.  The Texans, Jaguars, Browns, Raiders could all be on the hunt for that next franchise QB and they all pick before 8.  The Texans at 1 would be perfect for Manziel, but they really like South Carolina DE Jadaveon Clowney, or so team owner Bob McNair is saying. If the Texans do decide to pull the trigger on Johnny Football, or a team like the Vikings trades up, expect immediate QB2 numbers with the occasional 20+ point game. The St. Louis Rams pick immediately after the Texans at 2 and are not looking for a QB, but they could trade the pick, which used to belong to the Redskins, to a team like the Titans, where a new regime might be looking to cut ties with the Jake Locker experiment. The Jaguars and Browns are not ideal landing spots, nor are they totally devoid of a potential supporting cast. His speed and ability to move the chains will make him a sneaky value once the real games roll around no matter where the chips fall for him in May.

Heeeeere's Johnny!

Heeeeere’s Johnny!

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater is accurate, and poised in the pocket both with and without pressure, but he does not have any real ability to make things happen with his legs.  He is living and dying by his arm and that will not be good enough if he is thrown into a situation like Jacksonville or Cleveland.  University of Central Florida QB Blake Bortles is the opposite of Bridgewater.  Quicker than you think, hard to bring down, and makes yards with his legs, but he’s not accurate, like not at all. Bortles and Bridgewater will very likely be draft day busts just due to their consistent top 5 projection currently and in the hundreds of mock drafts to come in the next few months. Talent not matching up with expectations will ground Teddy and Blake before they can really get their feet under them as starting quarterbacks in the NFL.  Johnny Manziel is the real deal.  He doesn’t need a strong supporting cast to come in to the NFL and make an immediate impact for fantasy owners.  He is the best QB in the draft, and will be the 2014 NFL Rookie of the year.

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