It took just one season to take Johnny Manziel from a relative unknown to a house hold name. Following in the footsteps of other polarizing figures (cough*, Tim Tebow, cough*), Manziel has transcended football and the real world by making headlines both on and off the field.

That’s what winning the Heisman as a freshman will do to you. Still, Manziel hasn’t been just a big name with some flashy numbers. The numbers have been flashy, to be sure, but Manziel also beat eventual national champion Alabama as a freshman and hung 42 points on them in his second meeting with them in 2013.

No one pays much mind to numbers in college, but Manziel still dazzled on the ground and through the air. He won’t exit the NCAA game with a national title, but he’ll enter the NFL with a unique personality and a dynamic skill-set. To get a better idea of where he’d fit at the next level, though, let’s break down Manziel’s pros and cons:

Player Name: Johnny Manziel

Position: QB

College: Texas A&M

40 Time: n/a


  • Extremely mobile and athletic
  • Keeps plays alive with excellent awareness and running ability
  • Has proven to be a capable leader and clutch performer
  • Good, not great arm strength
  • Has shown the ability to make every throw
  • Better than advertised accuracy
  • Has saved some of his best performances against tough competition
  • Performed at an extremely high level in the toughest conference (SEC) in college football
  • Is a natural gamer who comes up with huge game-changing plays seemingly out of nowhere
  • Has a “magic” quality, keeping his team in games almost on sheer will
  • Difficult to wrap up and contain
  • Is at his best when things go wrong, as he’s a wizard on the fly when things break down
  • Has improving pocket presence
  • Has proven he can play hurt
  • Is remarkably resilient, seemingly never quitting on plays or games as a whole
  • Saved his best for last, closing out his college career with an amazing comeback win in A&M’s bowl game


  • Doesn’t have ideal size, height and build doesn’t match NFL standards
  • Lacks elite arm strength
  • Unorthodox playing style chalks some plays up to “luck”
  • Often relies too much on athleticism and play-making of his receivers
  • Has benefited from elite pass protection
  • Decision-making can sometimes be brought into question, but it has improved
  • Maturity and off-field decisions/distractions are a real concern
  • Footwork needs work
  • Needs to prove he can work under center, spent entire college career in shotgun
  • Small frame raises durability concerns, as evidenced by nicked up sophomore campaign


Manziel isn’t really a quarterback that can be properly explained or dissected. You just need to witness it for yourself. He has some restrictions when it comes to height, size and sheer throwing ability, but that’s mostly on paper. The reality is, he’s met almost every challenge in his two years of college football head on, and he’s overcome those obstacles. He may have a learning curve at the next level due to the type of offense he ran in college and his elite athleticism won’t be quite as elite in the NFL, but he’s without a doubt a special talent with an extremely high ceiling. Ultimately, the most important thing to remember about Manziel is that he’s not like your normal quarterback, and that just might be a very good thing.

NFL Comparison: Fran Tarkenton

Draft Projection: Top-10 Pick

NCAA Highlights:

About The Author Kevin Roberts

Breaking Football's lead fantasy football expert. Top 40 finisher in FantasyPros accuracy challenge in 2012 and 2013. Your huckleberry.