Houston Texans: Is Johnny Manziel a Mistake?


Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

After only 12 seasons, it’s starting to look like the Texans might be coming full circle. And it’s terrifying. Recent reports have the Texans high on Johnny Manziel with the first pick.

I went through and looked at all the first round QBs taken since the 2002 draft; we all know who the first one was. David Carr. Obviously there have been some good ones taken, great ones even, like Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, and most recently Andrew Luck. But for every good one, there have been at least two crappy QBs selected, like Kyle Boller, J.P. Losman, Matt Leinert, Vince Young, Jamarcus Russell, and Blaine Gabbert. Oh, and don’t forget about Patrick Ramsey…exactly. Who? Of the 35 taken in the first round, I consider 26 sub-par, or roughly 75%. Of course, some are debatable, Eli Manning and Jay Cutler for example, so we’ll be liberal and say a team has a 30% chance of getting it right in the first round.

Do the Texans really want take Manziel with the first pick, and gamble the next 10 years on a 30% chance? Hell no.

Here’s why:

Athletes who have played a certain style their whole life don’t suddenly change their demeanor overnight, and become successful. Look at Tim Tebow and the way he throws a football…disgusting. Probably the main reason he’s making stupid Super Bowl commercials instead of playing in one. There are rare occasions when athletes are able to make it work. Jeff Bagwell’s unorthodox batting stance remained because it worked. He produced. Johnny Manziel will have no choice but to change his style, and change it practically overnight. Ask RG3 how his knee is holding up.

Johnny couldn’t stay healthy in college. Everyone (and by everyone, I mean Aggie fans) talks about SEC defenses being so good, but with the exception of Alabama, Manziel stunk against the top defenses in the SEC. He got massacred against a LSU team that was middle of the pack. Missouri shut him down the entire game; he finished with less than 200 yards passing. Why you ask? Because they manhandled him on the field the way EVERY NFL team is capable of. He didn’t even face the other top defenses in South Carolina and Florida.

He shined against crappy teams, much like David Carr did. I don’t think that can be so easily overlooked. David Carr led his team to a top 10 ranking his final season at Fresno State, Johnny’s team finished #18. David Carr had signature wins over BCS schools his senior season, beating Colorado, Oregon State, and Wisconsin. Colorado was a conference champion in 2001. Sure Johnny had a dramatic win in his last game, coming from way behind to get the victory, but it was against an inept Duke team. Nothing can be taken away from that.

There’s two cons for every pro with Johnny Manziel, and the stakes are entirely too high to go all in on a guy with this many question marks. The number one pick is an extraordinary asset, and it should be protected in a way that we don’t have David Carr all over again. Now one might say David Carr never got a fair shake; his o-line was Swiss cheese. I’d agree with that, Carr’s pass protection sucked more than Schaub’s pre-game Ipod playlist. But did you see this year’s protection?

Rick Smith, pay attention. We already know the probability of getting a good QB in the first round. Do we really want to gamble the Texan’s foreseeable future on a 30% chance Johnny is good? Even then, GOOD QBs don’t win Super Bowls; he’s got to be GREAT! Cleveland loves Manziel. Trade back with them and get the 4th, 33rd, and 35th pick, and AT LEAST Bortles, Bridgewater, or Clowney guaranteed. This would suck for Johnny. Cleveland is a wasteland where any quarterback potential or promise goes to die.

The chances of Manziel NOT being a phenom FAAAARRRRR outweigh the chances of him being really good at the next level. If a trade for the top draft pick can’t be made, then you have to take Manziel, Bridgewater, Bortles, or Clowney. At that point, your options are limited. But if you can get more bang for your buck, I don’t see how any of these guys trump the astronomical risk factor that comes with taking a QB no. 1 overall.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this:

Johnny Manziel (2013): 4,114 yards passing, 37-13 TD-INT, 9 rushing TDs, 69.9% Completion %, 172.9 Pass Efficiency Rating.

David Carr (2001): 4,839 yards passing, 46-9 TD-INT, 5 rushing TDs, 64.5% Completion %, 165.9 Pass Efficiency Rating.

Sleep tight…