Johnny Football- A Cleveland Brown?
From the mouth of Johnny himself, this has already been a “bit of a wacky draft.” Even though Manziel was drafted in the first round, no one expected him to last until the 22nd pick. Even less people expected him to go to the Cleveland Browns.
Hours before the draft, Manziel was ready. He sent out tweet saying “This is the moment I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid… Thank you to EVERYONE who helped get me here. I’m deeply humbled. #DraftDay” What you didn’t see in the national news coverage is that this day wasn’t just about Manziel. Charlie Dina, a 6 year old battling stage four cancer and one of Johnny’s biggest fans, was invited to share the experience with him. You can read more about the story at: http://www.khou.com/sports/Manziel-invites-6-yr-old-fan-friend-to-NFL-Draft-258491261.html
The quarterback is arguably the most scrutinized position in the NFL. Because of this, great quarterbacks are hard to come by. Based on his college career, Manziel has the potential to be one of those quarterbacks. At 6’1″, 210 lbs, and the first freshman in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season, and recipient of the Heizman trophy, he was expected to go very quickly.
Talking with Keenan Burton (NFL- Free Agent) last week, I asked him what predictions that he had for the draft, and he said “I think Johnny Manziel will go first.” When I asked Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) where he thought Johnny was going to go, he laughed and said “First!” The consensus was out and the verdict is definitely a surprise.
Considering that the Browns finished the last season with a record of 4-12, their sixth consecutive season with more than 11 losses, it wasn’t a surprise that Johnny’s facial expression, when he got the call, wasn’t one that exhuberated excitement. When asked about his reaction in a press conference following his selection, Manziel said “I heard from Mr. Farmer first and he just said let’s do this. And I was very, very happy to hear those words. And to get that call was really a weight lifted off of my shoulders. And really its a dream come true to be a first round NFL draft pick and to be playing professional football is incredible.”
Sure- a dream come true to be a first round NFL draft pick, but to be a record-breaking Heizman winner, playing for the Cleveland Browns?
Johnny avoided expressing any excitement specifically about the team he was chosen to play on, but he did mention the Cleveland fans. “It’s great to end up on a team who has fans that are as passionate as I am on the field. I play with a lot of heart. Those guys are really passionate about a team that hasn’t had an incredible amount of success and they are still very loyal and that means a lot.” In other words, well- this is the last team I wanted to end up on, but hey- the fans will cheer for anyone!
Despite his lack of enthusiasm, Manziel did seem pleased to have been drafted in the first round and to know where he’s going saying, “for the first time in the past 4 or 5 months, I have a place to call home.”
He has a home indeed- now let’s watch and see what he makes of it.