Shutdown Corner

Opinions vary wildly on Johnny Manziel, from ‘arrogant’ to ‘almost undraftable’ to ‘rare competitor’

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

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Johnny Manziel (USA Today Sports Images)

ESPN’s Ron Jaworski says he wouldn’t touch Johnny Manziel in the first three rounds of the draft.

Former NFL head coach Barry Switzer thinks Manziel is an “arrogant little -----.”

NFL Films producer Greg Cosell, who contributes to the Shutdown Corner, thinks Manziel looks “almost undraftable” at times.

NFL.com’s Nolan Nawrocki says Manziel “carries a sense of entitlement and prima-donna arrogance.”

Former NFL quarterback Shaun King has Teddy Bridgewater ranked first, with Manziel needing to go to the right place to be successful in his mind.

And you should hear what his detractors think about him!

We kid, of course.

ESPN's Mel Kiper has projected Manziel to be the first pick in the draft more than once throughout the draft process, and former Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips implored the team to take Manziel first overall when Phillips was interviewing for the job.

Everyone has a quarterback they love to compare Manziel to, and they span several generations, from Russell Wilson to Jeff Garcia to Doug Flutie and all the way back to Fran Tarkenton (!). But for ESPN's Jon Gruden, he sees some Steve Young in Manziel's game.

It’s clear that Manziel is going to dominate the talk of this draft all the way up to May 8, and from there, whatever team picks him — and it will be in Round 1 — will have to face endless questions and scrutiny for the selection for every little thing Manziel does.

He’s just that kind of guy. His lifestyle. His hot girlfriend(s). His YOLO approach to the game. It's just buzzy stuff that people can't seem to get enough of.

Cam Newton. Tim Tebow. Manziel falls in line with those players whose metaphysical space will always be larger than his actual mass. Except Manziel might even be Tebow to the power of Cam, mathematically speaking.

What was the old line with Howard Stern? People either love him or hate him, but both sides tuned in. He got ratings from both ends of the spectrum. We have no idea if Manziel can play at the NFL level, but his Q Score is incalculable.

And yet, it’s not just Manziel’s personality and character that attract debate — it’s his unique frame, his style of football, concerns of durability and the discussion of how radically his new team almost certainly will have to adjust their offense to fit his skills.

Even Switzer, who might not care for Manziel’s personality (we’re just guessing), couldn’t help but gush about the player shortly after the “prick” comment.

“For whatever his antics are… he’s the best that I’ve seen. I have never seen a quarterback in college football … control of the game like he does and put up the numbers he does,” Switzer said.

Jaws isn’t as bullish, and neither is Cosell, but Nawrocki can’t help but marvel at Manziel's “rare competitiveness” and views him as an “exceptional game-day competitor” who “rises to the occasion.”

There is no 32-team consensus on any NFL prospect, but it appears that Manziel might be the most widely divergent one to come around in many a year. Which, of course, makes him all the more interesting over the next few months and way, way beyond.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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