In the latest edition of Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, he has a section where he talks to Gil Brandt about Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Brandt has compared Manziel to Fran Tarkenton in the past, but actually called him a better version of the Hall of Famer here. Here is the excerpt:
Gil Brandt on Manziel. A few league people raised their eyebrows when the godfather of the draft, Gil Brandt, put 6-0 Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel No. 1 on his first draft board. I asked Brandt why he did it. “I do have a tremendous belief in him,” Brandt said. “You are going to get 110% out of this guy every day of his life, every play of his life. If you don’t have a quarterback, and you want one, I believe this guy has a great chance to be good for a long time. This guy had an inferior team. And he beat Alabama, he beat Oklahoma. He’s down 29 to Duke in the last game of his college career, and he’s on the sidelines saying, ‘There is no way we are going to lose.’ This guy’s a better version of Fran Tarkenton.” About Manziel’s love of the parties, Brandt said, “He’s had a chance to do some things, at age 18, 19, 20 and 21, because of the financial backing of his grandfather, but the more I’ve looked into him, I just don’t believe it’s going to hold him back from being really good. The one thing coach [Tom] Landry told me a long time ago is you look for the good, not for the bad.”
This is incredibly high praise from one of the most highly respected in the business of the NFL Draft. He also downplays the off field concerns. Like a lot of people, he seems to attribute this to being young more than anything, but Manziel works hard on his craft as well.
Manziel is one of the more polarizing prospects in the NFL Draft in recent years. No one seems to believe he can be a middle of the road quarterback. It is all or nothing with Manziel and Brandt is clearly on the high end of the discussion.