Johnny Football Backlash?

Will Johnny Manziel be a first-round draft pick? This analyst doesn't think so

Johnny Manziel a first-round draft pick? Chris Simms doesn't think so

Johnny Manziel throw
Will Johnny Manziel be a first round draft pick?  Photo courtesy of Texas A&M

Former UT quarterback Chris Simms, now an NFL analyst for Bleacher Report, isn’t too high on brash ex-Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. In fact, Simms doesn’t list Johnny Football among his projections for the 32 first-round picks in the upcoming NFL draft.

Simms revealed his picks on a CBS Sports preview of the NFL draft that aired April 26. He appeared on the show with his dad, former NFL quarterback and current CBS Sports pro football analyst Phil Simms.

Although Chris Simms didn’t get a chance to explain Manziel’s absence from his list on the show, he did say in a Bleacher Report video that he thinks the former Aggie’s “stock is falling a little bit” and predicted he will be a second-round pick. (For the record, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Simms in the third round of the 2003 NFL draft.)

In downgrading Manziel’s NFL value, Simms cited the Heisman Trophy winner’s weak performances last season against LSU and Missouri. Simms also questioned Manziel’s quickness. “Of course, he’s got good speed. But I don’t think it’s great speed,” Simms said.

Furthermore, Simms knocked Johnny Football’s unpredictability as a passer in pocket situations. “NFL coaches don’t like the unknown,” Simms said in the Bleacher Report video, “and they’re not sure what they’re going to get with Johnny Manziel.”

Clearly this sort of unpredictability doesn’t scare Jerry Jones, because rumors are swirling that the Cowboys owner will “figure out a way” to get Manziel to Dallas. Although if Simms’ prediction holds true, the Cowboys might not even need to trade up from the No. 16 pick to snag Manziel.

On the CBS show, Simms pegged Derek Carr as the only QB to be drafted in the first round. He predicted Carr, who was a quarterback at Fresno State, will be the No. 26 overall pick.

Simms did acknowledge that some NFL teams will be “extremely intrigued” by the prospect of adding Manziel to their rosters. “He is one of the more exciting players to come through college football in a long time,” Simms said.

But he is more excited by several other college prospects. The former Longhorn forecasts Jadeveon Clowney, who was a defensive end for South Carolina, will be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft. Simms called this choice a “no-brainer” and praised Clowney’s physical prowess.

As for the No. 2 overall pick, Simms favors Greg Robinson, who was an offensive tackle at Auburn. But the analyst appears to have a special place in his heart for Khalil Mack, the outside linebacker at Buffalo, whom Simms claims as his No. 3 overall pick.

“I’m in love with Khalil Mack,” Simms said. “I just don’t think he’s quite the prospect Jadeveon Clowney is.” After professing his love for Mack, Simms added: “I’ve kind of got a man crush. There’s not a lot to dislike.”

“I’ve leaned on him a lot,” Simms said.