The 2014 NFL Draft is only days away now and it’s still unclear what direction the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to go with their seventh overall selection.
One option is Texas A&M quarterback, Johnny Manziel. The Bucs are big Manziel fans and he is in serious play for the Bucs at #7.
Below are the highlights of Manizel’s scouting report, provided by our good friends over at www.withthefirstpick.com, so please go check out their scouting reports of many of this year’s top prospects.
Vitals and Build
Manziel is listed at 6’1” 210lbs. Manziel has a strong build for his size with a thick core, so he can take and absorb some punishment, displaying some toughness. Nevertheless, he is not a huge player and those hits add up over time.
Manziel’s feet are great in how quick he can plant and go as well as how he can make opponents miss. His long speed is solid but he is quicker than he is fast. There is still potential for him to get stronger which could help him absorb further punishment, but for the most part, Manziel is what he is as a physical prospect.
Manziel’s arm strength is going to be a matter for debate. When he shifts his weight correctly and can use good footwork, his ability to push the ball down the field is good. The problem is when that does not happen, that strength falls off of a cliff and results in floating ducks.
Manziel has shown he can put pretty good zip on the football. That zip tends to dip the deeper the ball goes down the field. If he can work in the 10-20 yard range consistently, he can get the ball there quickly. Manziel seems to have some great core strength as he is able to put to hum the football in at times when he is running to his left, going back across his body and throwing the football. All of this comes down to consistency and while Manziel has the ability to make strong throws as well as fast throws, it needs to happen a far higher percentage of the time. Some of that comes down to his mechanics and strength, but there is a portion that just comes down to making good decisions and knowing his limits.
Accuracy and Touch
When Manziel is able to operate on time, he can display an impressive amount of accuracy. He can throw passes with great ball placement and puts passes in spots that his receivers like. His mechanics are not always consistent, especially with how he employs his feet, so his passes can be off target in terms of height. Most often, if Manziel is going to miss, he is going to miss high. Manziel can make sideline throws, can make throws over the middle and hit the deep ball. He is at his best when he is on time and in rhythm, but he can make some good throws on the move as well.
Mechanics and Footwork
In terms of his throwing motion, Manziel’s arm is extremely quick and compact, like he is throwing a punch. His motion is overhand but extremely short and quick with no windup at all. It can be hard to read to deflect by defensive linemen because he can get rid of the ball so quickly and does not telegraph his passes.
When he is going to make a deep throw, he takes a decent sized step and gets his weight shifting forward and is able to rip it. The times when he has time to do it and execute it, he can look good … Manziel tends to throw high when he misses and part of this appears to be due to how he leans back on some of his throws, altering his throwing platform. Lastly, Manziel is able to throw on the run pretty well. He has a strong core and is able to twist around well, no matter where he is on the field. Manziel is able to twist his shoulders to be square with the target to make a good throw.
Manziel displays tremendous instincts for the pocket in how he feels pressure. He has a good sense of what is going on around him, when he needs to move and is able to escape pressure. With his quickness, he is able to keep plays alive and extend them well. At times, Manziel will avoid pressure only to run himself into sacks. He has an incredible amount of confidence in his legs and mobility, so he is not afraid to take risks and try to extend plays. They do not always work and there is some amount of that a team will have to accept at least initially. If he can keep improving, the percentage of good as opposed to bad should get better, making him more difficult to deal with in the pocket.
Decision Making and Anticipation
This is the area where Manziel gets his reputation for being so incredible at different times even succeeding in situations he should not, but also has some maddening results in terms of making bad plays or forcing throws into bad spots. This applies both to his throwing the football as well as running with it.
Manziel has never seen a throw or play he did not think he could make. He is not afraid to give his guys a chance to make a big play and he is never afraid to bet himself to go out and make a big play for his team. The confidence and bravado is somewhat key to be successful, but it also has turned to hubris a number of times and either cost his team games or put his team in situations where they could lose because of them.
Manziel has great feet, quickness and good speed to run on both sides of the line of scrimmage. There is no cut or lane he is afraid to take, which makes him difficult to predict. He is quick enough to make defenders miss and extend plays. There are plenty of defensive linemen he is able to out run and out maneuver to keep plays alive. It remains to be seen if that will be the case in the NFL as when he faced some extremely athletic defenses with speed on the edge, they were able to not only contain him but drop him for huge losses. He is not afraid to run to the hash, set up and make a throw. Manziel is able to throw on the run. He has also shown the ability to really frustrate defenses by attacking the line of scrimmage and then throw to an open target.
For the complete scouting report of Manziel, please click here.