A lot of things has been said about the Aggies starting quarterback and at this point of the season he might very well be one of the toughest prospect to scout in this draft class.
Before he even steps in the field and take his first snap, the first thing everyone realizes is that Manziel is a member of the new breed of shorter quarterback who can enjoy success at the next level. Currently listed at 6 foot 1 and weighting in at 210 lbs according to Texas A&M website’s (so, in other words, he could be shorter than that). His comparison with both Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, other QBs below the magical 6 foot 2 mark, are logical but not entirely.
First of all, Manziel is an elite dual threat quarterback. He is as deadly through the air as he is in ground, something that both Brees and Wilson never really were during their collegiate career. Being shorter than other QBs, his mobility has been Manziel’s key to succeed in college football. His quickness and elusiveness are a nightmare for opposing defenders as his ability to escape the pressure and/or the pocket are second to none. With those elite skills on his feet and a world-class creativity, Manziel is a tough player to sack and there were countless plays last year or this year, for example in the rematch against Alabama. In that game Manziel could have been sacked but instead found a way to make a play for positive yardage thanks to his skill-set.
But Manziel isn’t only an elite runner. He also happen to be a good passer but that’s when the flaws in Manziel’s game are exposed. Of course, there’s a lot to like as he showed a great accuracy last year and a natural talent to throw on the run. Also on the positive side : His decision making. As mentioned earlier, Manziel’s ability to make plays out of nothing are remarkable but he also did a great job to not turn the ball over in 2012. Even if he is in pace to throw more INTs than last year (8 at this point, 9 last year), he also is in pace to throw more passing TDs (22 at this point, 26 last year) than during his Heisman winning season. Finally, Manziel can throw the ball. He doesn’t have the biggest arm in college and did a very good job on a short/quick passing type of game.
Then, there’s the negative side : Even if he improved this year, his footwork in the pocket is still a work in progress. He still makes far too much off balance/difficult throws and could very well throw some costly interceptions in the next level. Also, while Manziel’s size shouldn’t be an issue, his throwing motion will be. He doesn’t enjoy a high release point like Brees or Wilson and this will be a factor in the next level. Will he be able to throw on interior routes ? Last but not least, Manziel still have to prove that he can adjust to the defense. Being creative, elusive and able to succeed even on broken plays is one thing but being able to anticipate a blitz could be a key for Johnny Football’s success in the NFL.
Granted, his offensive line featured three possible NFL starters (Ogbuehi, Matthews and Joeckel) and he benefited from both coach Sumlin’s offense but also from Mike Evans talent. But Manziel’s instinct and skills can’t be overlooked.
First ever Freshman and second Aggie to win the Heisman trophy.
First ever freshman to win the Manning and the Davey O’Brien Award.
2012 First Team All American.
2012 SEC Offensive Player of the year.
Led Texas A&M to a 11-2 season in 2012 (winning the Cotton Bowl).
Holds the FBS record for total offense for a freshman and the FBS record of the most rushing yards by a QB in a Bowl game.
On the analysis part, it was only about Manziel as a football player. Here, it will be the part that could scare most of the NFL team because as you may all know, Johnny Football hasn’t been an angel off the field. The main issue and concern is Manziel’s maturity. No need to enter the details of parties and other NCAA suspension (regardless of what you think about that ..) but you have to wonder if the Texas A&M product is ready handle the worldwide exposure that will go along with being an NFL player. How will he handle a multi-million contract ? (depending on when he gets drafted, of course) Also, will he be able to accept the fact that he may not be the only star on the team ? NFL is no longer a USA-only league. They play games in London, in Canada and some teams will ask themselves if Manziel can represent them and play as well as he does in college with the high-pressure of being an NFL starter. This is a possible huge redflag because talent doesn’t make anything in this world … and memories of off-field antics a la Ryan Leaf are still there.
Round 1-2 (Top 60 Pick): Based on talent alone, Manziel could be a Top 5 pick. But he won’t. His off-field issues and his size will scare teams but there’s a very good chance that some-one in the first round (a desperate team..), especially in the second half, will take a gamble on such an High Risk High Reward kind of prospect. After all, the need in Quarterback is higher than ever but I would not be surprised to see him fall to round 3.
Possible Match in the NFL
Every team who needs a help under center will be interested in Manziel’s profile. The Eagles would be a very good match as well as the Cardinals, the Browns or even the Jaguars (they could go Clowney with the #1 and Manziel in the second round but that’s a VERY long shot). All those team need a playmaker and could pull the trigger regardless of his off-field issues.
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Needs: Wide Receiver
The Dallas Cowboys got a jump on most NFL teams in using their 2019 draft picks. Last October, they traded this year's first rounder to the Oakland Raiders for Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper. Thanks to that move, the WR position is not a dire need in this week's draft.
While Dallas won't enjoy the usual 3-4 years of discounted play from a rookie deal, they aren't regretting trading for Cooper. He was the spark that saved their 2018 season, and he reestablished himself as one of the top receivers in football.
Along with Amari, Dallas goes into 2019 with high hopes for last year's third-round pick Michael Gallup. He ascended into a clear number-two role by the end of last season and still has plenty of room to grow.
Dallas mitigated the loss of Cole Beasley in free agency by signing another veteran, the Packers' Randall Cobb, to be their new slot receiver. They also re-signed Tavon Austin as a depth option, though perhaps primarily for his punt return skills. Allen Hurns was also retained using a team option on his contract.
That is a stout top five, and it doesn't even include some of the intriguing prospects such as Noah Brown, Cedrick Wilson, and Lance Lenoir. Dallas also signed Devin Smith, a 2015 second-round pick whose struggled with knee injuries, as a potential reclamation project.
That's nine players currently under contract, all of which provide varying levels of experience and intrigue. Given that, you have to wonder how highly the Cowboys will prioritize the receiver position in this 2019 Draft.
While it sounds like the team is loaded at WR right now, that could change very quickly. Cooper and Gallup who have clear long-term futures in Dallas.
Cobb, Austin, and Hurns will all become free agents in 2020. Noah Brown is signed thru 2020 and should be a contributor, but the rest of the players we've mentioned are far from reliable.
Dallas could easily justify drafting a new player now, a young prospect who'd have a four-year rookie deal and the change to be groomed behind veterans. They also have some measures in place to clear room for that player on the roster.
Allen Hurns may be on the roster now but can easily be released, having little dead money on his contract. In fact, many feel that Hurns is only here now as an insurance policy in case of injuries. He may not make it past final cuts as is.
The same really could go for Tavon Austin, too. If the player they draft can also be a return specialist, Austin's value to the team gets reduced.
Nothing says that any of the the younger prospects have to make the team, either. They were all just late-round picks or undrafted players. The Cowboys could decide that a player taken this year is an upgrade, or at least has more upside.
All of this means that the receiver position is a real wild card for Dallas in this 2019 Draft. They could go about as high or low as they want, depending on the talent available.
Could the Cowboys go as high as their second-round pick? Probably not, given their greater need at positions such as safety, tight end, or defensive tackle. Even a backup running back is a greater current concern than another WR.
But what if someone like Deebo Samuel is available at the 58th pick? He checks a lot boxes for Dallas; slot receiver, return man, and great value if he falls to them in the second round.
If Samuel, or some other WR prospect, is higher on their board than the available safeties or other positions, the Cowboys can justify that pick even that early in the draft.
Because of the Amari Cooper trade, the focus on the 2019 draft is much more about long-term value. Most of the immediate impact players, at least by current projections, will be gone by Dallas' first pick.
The more likely scenario is that Dallas will take a WR somewhere early on Day 3 of the draft. They have two fourth-round picks and a fifth, giving them several shots at a player they like or even the ammo needed to trade up for one.
In conclusion, had it not been for the Amari Cooper trade last year, the receiver position would have been the top priority in this draft. One way or another, Dallas used their 2019 first-round pick to fill that void.
Given the short-term contracts and uncertainty of everyone beyond their starters, they may not be done adding WR talent this year.
Draft Likelihood: 80%
Projected Round: 4th-5th
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Other Draft Needs Articles
2 Longhorns Who Could be Dallas Cowboys After the NFL Draft
Yesterday, I took a look at a few Aggies who have garnered some interest from the Dallas Cowboys during the pre-draft process. In order to not leave anybody out, let's take a look at several Texas Longhorns that could be selected by the Cowboys during the NFL Draft this week when the Cowboys go on the clock.
The Cowboys front office and scouting department has shown interest in Charles Omenihu and Lil'Jordan Humphrey from the University of Texas.
Let's take a look at these potential Dallas Cowboys draft picks.
Charles Omenihu, Defensive Line
There seems to be some debate about Texas Longhorns Defensive Lineman Charles Omenihu. Some see him as a defensive tackle because of his size, length, and athleticism, and others see him as an EDGE.
When I watched Omenihu, I had a hard time with his film. I didn't see a guy that was overly impressive in any area. He has a good motor and a good arm over, but I didn't see a guy that would win consistently on the EDGE in the NFL and was strong enough to be a defensive tackle.
He does have a frame that can add more bulk and strength to his game once he gets into an NFL strength and conditioning program and many scouts see him as a round two prospect.
Omenihu was a very productive player in college. totaling 16.5 sacks over the last three seasons in Austin, including 9.5 in his senior season. In 2018, Omenihu also had 18 tackles for loss.
The Dallas Cowboys met with Omenihu at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and looks like a player that meets Rod Marinelli's size requirements for defensive linemen. The question becomes, where does he play?
I think he could be a good rotational player and push for starting snaps after a year or two, but needs some work on his quickness and agility as well as adding strength. If the Cowboys take him, it would likely to be in the third round, but I'm not convinced the Dallas Cowboys will go after a defensive lineman early in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Projected Round: Late 2nd, Early 3rd
Cowboys Draft Probability: 50%
Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Wide Receiver
The Dallas Cowboys have been heavily interested in adding a wide receiver this offseason and did so with the addition of Randal Cobb. They aren't done, however, with Cobb and Allen Hurns set to be free agents in the 2020 offseason. In that vein, the Dallas Cowboys met with several receivers throughout the pre-draft process including Texas Wide Receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey.
Humprhey is a wide receiver type that they don't have on their roster. At 6-4 and 225 pounds, Humphrey would immediately be the biggest wide receiver on their depth chart. His size provides a nice catch radius and good red zone threat. He scored a lot of touchdowns in 2018.
Humphrey was a productive player his senior season with the Longhorns and caught 86 passes fo 1,176 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also had a touchdown rushing. For someone with his size, he had a very difficult scouting combine, running only a 4.75 40-yard dash and didn't do well in the vertical or broad jump.
It's odd to me that a guy standing 6-4 would only jump in the 27th percentile at the wide receiver position.
The Dallas Cowboys have been looking at wide receivers, but it's likely they're looking at guys who are slot receivers or who have sub-4.4 speed. So think of names like Deebo Samuel, Andy Isabella, or Jalen Hurd in the slot. The speed guys they've looked into are Emanuel Hall and Mecole Hardman.
Humphrey is a possibility as the team thought enough of his film to make sure they met with him while in Indianapolis, but I think it's highly unlikely that he hears his name called by the Dallas Cowboys this weekend.
Projected Round: 5th Round
Cowboys Draft Probability: 10%
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
One guy I didn't mention that could find his name called by the Cowboys is Cornerback Kris Boyd. He's likely a fifth or sixth round defensive back target, but he hasn't been linked with the Cowboys in the pre-draft process. It's not the most important thing, but they like to draft players that they've met with.
The other thing that makes it unlikely that Boyd wears a star on his helmet is his height. Under Richard, the Cowboys are looking to get taller at cornerback. Most of the corners they've brought in in the pre-draft process are 6-0 or taller. Boyd at 5-11 will get drafted by someone, but it won't be the Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys could take a shot on one of these players in the draft that starts on Thursday. Many analysts like Charles Omenihu more than I do, and I can see why. He's a really intriguing player. With Rod Marinelli, he could become a really good player, but he needs some work. If there was a Texas player they were going to draft, it would be Omenihu in the second or third round this week and he'd immediately compete for snaps at 3-tech and right defensive end.
Mauricio’s 2019 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Full Two Rounds
I can't wait for the 2019 NFL Draft and I'm sure you can't either. We're only a few days away from knowing how things will work out on a draft class filled with intriguing storylines, starting from the first overall pick.
I've written my second and final Mock Draft of the year, this time doing a deep dive into the second round. The Dallas Cowboys don't pick until the 58th spot, the only second round pick for which I have written a brief description. Make sure to let me know what you think about my latest Mock Draft in the comments section below or on Twitter @MauNFL!
Note: This mock doesn't include any sort of trades. Enjoy!
R1/1 - ARI: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
The Cardinals find a new QB for Kliff Kingsbury's offense. It's a wild story line, but it certainly seems like a true one. This will happen. The question is where will Josh Rosen end up?
R1/2 - SF: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Best player in the class. Nick Bosa will be a successful pass rusher in the NFL and the 49ers are very luck to see him "fall" to the second overall pick.
R1/3 - NYJ: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
If the Jets can't trade this pick away, Quinnen Williams might be the way to go. Lately, pressure in the interior has grown more and more important in the NFL. Ed Oliver could also be an option here, and his name has been making a buzz at #3.
R1/4 - OAK: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Ed Oliver has been disrespected throughout this process. Many have him falling to the teens in their mock drafts, but not me. The Raiders find an insanely talented defensive tackle at four.
R1/5 - TB: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
The Bucs get a premium pass rusher for their defense early in the Draft. A quarterback wouldn't surprise me, but they opt for the best player available.
R1/6 - NYG: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Time for a new era in New York. I believe that era begins with Dwayne Haskins, a QB they reportedly like and want in this upcoming Draft. That's a rumor I'm buying.
R1/7 - JAC: T.J. Hockenson, TE , Iowa
Jawaan Taylor has been the most heard name at this pick, but I believe T.J. Hockenson ends up being too good of a player to pass on here. Nick Foles succeeded in Philly with quality tight ends and the Jaguars give him one of the best prospects in the Draft in Hockenson.
R1/8 - DET: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Many doubt how far will Montez Sweat will fall but I have the Lions taking a chance on one of the best prospects in the Draft.
R1/9 - BUF: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
The Bills will be tempted to go for a skill player at this pick, but Jonah Williams is a very wise selection. They get offensive line help that can play anywhere they ask him to.
R1/10 - DEN: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Joe Flacco might be the guy for 2019, but the Broncos get a young prospect for the future. Lock can make all the throws and has ton of potential.
R1/11 - CIN: Devin White, LB, LSU
Devin White is your ideal middle linebacker. He has the speed and range needed to be a quality starter in the NFL and the Bengals fill an important need.
R1/12 - GB: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
The Packers prepare for life after often-injured 30-year old Ryan Bulaga. Jawaan Taylor is a physical prospect with tons of upside at right tackle.
R1/13 - MIA: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
The Dolphins must get help at offensive line. They start by adding Andre Dillard, a player ready to step in and play.
R1/14 - ATL: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
Gary has a lot of athletic talent and the Falcons will try to exploit it in Atlanta. Fourteen is great value for Rashan Gary.
R1/15 - WAS: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
The Redskins could use a QB, but Josh Rosen might be their way to address that need. Here they find one of the best defensive prospects in Devin Bush. The linebacker class won't look pretty after the top two prospects are gone.
R1/16 - CAR: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
The Panthers need to help their offensive and defensive line. In this scenario the best prospect is on the defensive side. Brian Burns heads to Carolina.
R1/17 - NYG: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
Wilkins might end up surprising all of us and be gone earlier than expected. The Giants find a quality interior defender who can rush the passer.
R1/18 - MIN: OL, Cody Ford, Oklahoma
The Vikings need to help their offensive line. If there's no one available, they probably should reach for one. Cody Ford provides decent value, and the Vikings get help.
R1/19 - TEN: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
At 19, Metcalf could be a steal. He's a WR1 in the NFL and the Titans will pair him up with Corey Davis.
R1/20 - PIT: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Williams has prototypical size for the NFL. The Steelers take the first cornerback off the board.
R1/21 - SEA: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Russell Wilson just got paid and the Seahawks opt to get him a weapon early in the Draft. Marquise Brown is a dangerous play-maker and should thrive with Wilson as his QB.
R1/22 - BAL: Clelin Ferrell , EDGE, Clemson
The Ravens need to invest on a pass rusher. Ferrell has a high floor for the NFL and could contribute right away.
R1/23 - HOU: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Hockenson might be the best prospect from Iowa but Fant isn't far behind. He's a very complete tight end who can block and produce in the passing game. Deshaun Watson gets a new friend at tight end.
R1/24 - OAK: Lonnie Johnson, CB, Kentucky
Lonnie Johnson's name has been buzzing in first round rumors and the Raiders could emerge as a possible landing spot. Lonnie Johnson has a lot of traits needed to shine in the NFL and would be a good pick by Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden. Raiders scouts likely won't get a say in this one since they'll be watching the Draft at home.
R1/25 - PHI: Jefferey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Jeffery Simmons is way too good to slip out of the first round. The Eagles are a complete team that can take the risk here.
R1/26 - IND: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
The Colts could find a WR here, but they own the 34th pick. They'd be better off by securing the safety they want.
R1/27 - OAK: Irv Smith, TE, Alabama
The Raiders get another weapon for their offense in Irv Smith, a full-rounded TE. He'll contribute right away.
R1/28 - LAC: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Byron Murphy fills a need and is the best DB available here. The Chargers shouldn't overthink this one.
R1/29 - KC: Garrett Bradbury, OC, N.C. State
The Chiefs should avoid reaching for an edge rusher and wait for later instead. Garrett Bradbury would be an excellent pick. Get Mahomes a long-term center.
R1/30 - GB: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
If Daniel Jones is still on the board here, I wouldn't be surprised if the Packers do the same they did when they drafted Aaron Rodgers. Get a young player with talent for the future. Green Bay has done its homework on the QB class throughout this process.
R1/31 - LAR: DT, Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
The Rams add talent to their defensive line with Dexter Lawrence. At the end of Round 1, Lawrence is worth it. Lawrence is great against the run, but he's also able to rush the passer when needed.
R1/32 - NE: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
With the final pick of the first round, the Patriots get Tom Brady an athletic WR who can get open and has a lot of upside.
R2/33 - ARI: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
R2/34 - IND: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
R2/35 - OAK: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
R2/36 - SF: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
R2/37 - NYG: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
R2/38 - JAC: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
R2/39 - TB: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
R2/40 - BUF: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
R2/41 - DEN: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
R2/42 - CIN: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State
R2/43 - DET: Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan
R2/44 - GB: Nassir Aderley, S, Delaware
R2/45 - ATL: Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State
R2/46 - WAS: Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
R2/47 - CAR: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
R2/48 - MIA: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
R2/49 - CLE: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
R2/50 - MIN: Erik McCoy, OC, Texas A&M
R2/51 - TEN: Mack WIlson, LB, Alabama
R2/52 - PIT: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
R2/53 - PHI: Elgton Jenkins , OC, Mississippi State
R2/54 - HOU: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
R2/55 - HOU: Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech
R2/56 - NE: Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan
R2/57 - PHI: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
R2/58 - DAL: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
The Cowboys biggest need lies at safety. At 58, the Cowboys aren't likely to find guys like Taylor Rapp or Jonathan Abram. Instead, I think they'll be in the range of Juan Thornhill, Amani Hooker, Darnell Savage and perhaps Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Out of this group of guys, I like Thornhill the best.
He is a great tackler, a natural ball-hawk and a smart player. He would be an excellent player to pair with Xavier Woods and take the Cowboys' defense to the next level.
R2/59 - IND: Amani Hooker, S, Iowa
R2/60 - LAC: Dre'mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
R2/61 - KC: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
R2/62 - NO: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
R2/63 - KC: Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt
R2/64 - NE: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
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