It’s official: In least surprising news ever, Johnny Manziel declares for 2014 NFL Draft
In what has been considered a foregone conclusion, according to a tweet from NFL.com Senior Analyst Gil Brandt, Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel has officially submitted declaration papers to the NFL for inclusion in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Manziel, who won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman following a sterling 2012 campaign, improved as a quarterback in the 2013 season (4,114 yards and 37 touchdown passes and established a better pocket presence by cutting down on his running), culminating with a magnificent performance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, where he passed for 382 yards and four touchdowns, and added 78 yards rushing and another touchdown in leading the Aggies to a 52-48 victory over the Duke Blue Devils.
Despite only playing two years at A&M, NFL rules allow certain exceptions that allowed Manziel to declare for the draft. NFL.com explains:
NFL rules allow players who are three years removed from high school to enter the draft. Although Manziel played just two seasons at Texas A&M, he redshirted at the school in 2011, giving him the necessary three years away from from his days as a star at Kerrville (Texas) Tivy High School to enter the upcoming draft.
Manziel’s NFL star has been steadily on the rise despite some concerns that his unique style of quarterbacking — not to mention some of his off-the-field issues and party-hardy reputation — made him an NFL-caliber quarterback:
At A&M, Manziel set an SEC single-season record for total offense as a redshirt freshman in 2012 with 5,116 yards, including a league-high 1,410 rushing yards, on the way to becoming the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy. At the time, critics of Manziel’s NFL potential pointed to his size (6-foot-1, 200 pounds), his unconventional style, his unwillingness to be patient in the pocket, and his offseason reputation as a party animal as negatives.
Despite these perceived shortcomings and arguably overstated concerns about his character, Manziel undoubtedly will be a high first round draft pick and any team that drafts him certainly will have its profile raised league-wide simply by having Johnny Football on its roster. There is an undeniable aura about the young man. If he can make the transition to the NFL, he will without a doubt be one of the most compelling personalities the NFL has seen in some time.
The NFL is about to get a whole lot more crazy, kids. And much cooler. That’s just how Johnny Manziel rolls. It’s his world, we’re just living in it.
Hopefully, Manziel brings Lauren Hanley, a busty young model with whom he’s been seen gallivanting about L.A., along for the ride. Or at least to the NFL Draft.