Player Profile: Johnny Manziel

Categories: NCAA FBS, NFL Draft, Statistics
Comments: No Comments
Published on: January 8, 2014

Player:  Johnny Manziel

School:  Texas A&M

Year:  Sophomore

Career CAA:  41.7

Predicted 4-Year NFL Rating:  76.5

Predicted 4-Year NFL ANY/A:  4.97

The most polarizing prospect in the 2014 draft declared today.  The gloriously nicknamed Johnny Football.  I’m not going to tell you much you don’t already know.  Some people love his skill set.  Others think his skills won’t translate to the next level.  I’m going to come down right in the middle.

My biggest concern is that Manziel has very little experience compared to the rest of the class. By my reckoning, he had a very good season in 2013.  But that doesn’t mean that I think he’s a wonderful prospect worthy of a first round pick.  If he had another season in college that was similar to last season, maybe we would have something.  Alas, we don’t.

But that also doesn’t mean he won’t be a good NFL quarterback.  He showed skills this year – an ability to be accurate and an ability to improve on accuracy from year to year.

Take Home Point

This sounds like the most wishy-washy evaluation.  I don’t love him, I don’t hate him.  He’s just a giant lump of there that refuses to go away.  But that’s where I have him.  A middling prospect that everyone seems to want to talk about.

Do you draft him?

Not where he’s going to go.

Player Profile: Nathan Scheelhaase

Player:  Nathan Scheelhaase

School:  Illinois

Year:  Senior

Career CAA:  +54.9

Predicted 4-Year NFL Rating:  78.4

Predicted 4-Year NFL ANY/A:  5.19

I featured Nate Scheelhaase in my “Quarterbacks to Watch” article at the opening of the season.  In that article, I called him a controversial prospect because he had been so variable during his first three years as a quarterback at the University of Illinois.  I asked for the real Nate Scheelhaase to please stand up.  It appears he stood up.  Statistically, this season has been the best of his career, posting career highs in attempts, completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns, and interceptions (can’t be all good with all those attempts :D).  Prior to the bowl games, I have him as the 15th best quarterback in the nation for the 2013 season-above much loved prospects like Zach Mettenberger, Aaron Murray, and Sean Mannion.

But I don’t see much discussion out there about Scheelhaase.  As far as I know, he hasn’t been invited to any of the off-season all-star games.  Most other websites I’ve seen list him as a player that won’t get drafted and won’t make a team as an undrafted free agent.  I respectfully disagree.  I understand that the level of competition in the Big 10 is less than it has been in the past.  I also understand that Illinois only won four games this season.  But you can’t use that as a knock on Scheelhaase.  Did you see that defense out there?  They gave up 52 points to Indiana and 34 points to Southern Illinois.  No quarterback can be asked to make up for that on his own.

Take Home Point

If you’re not convinced on Scheelhaase, I have to ask.  What you want from an NFL prospect?  Scheelhaase has decent size, is mobile enough to avoid pressure, and can deliver the football with accuracy.  I only care about the last two, honestly, so the size is just a bonus.

Do you draft him?

In a vacuum, yes I would draft him.  However, draft decisions aren’t made in a vacuum.  Given how little attention he’s getting, my sense is that you target him as an undrafted free agent and thank the rest of the league for your free quarterback.

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