CHAOS HAS ERUPTED!! I REPEAT: CHAOS HAS ERUPTED!!
JOHNNY MANZIEL IS GOING TO CLEVELAND. I REPEAT: JOHNNY FOOTBALL IS A BROWN.
Whoo. Okay. I’m glad we got that out of the way.
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than be good.
And sometimes, if you’re really really lucky and desperate, that luck lands you the most hyped NFL prospect of the last decade.
With the NFL Draft pushed back an extra two weeks this year (what an absolute dread I must add), the rumors swirling around the league regarding the landing spot of Johnny Manziel felt more like the Vatican picking a new Pope than the drafting of a highly touted college quarterback.
Houston? Minnesota? Jacksonville? St. Louis maybe?
Almost every team in the top 10 was rumored at one point or another to be “seriously interested” in Johnny Football.
But one team above all repeatedly expressed great interest in the Heisman Trophy quarterback.
Yep, you guessed it. The Cleveland Browns.
The Browns historical lack of success has been previously documented on Bag of Chipps, but it cannot be overstated: the Browns suck, and I don’t say that lightly.
Since the Browns re-charter in 1999, they’ve had 20 different starting quarterbacks. The New England Patriots, who in that time span have won three Super Bowl titles, have had just three different starting quarterbacks since then.
In today’s NFL, a team’s success begins and ends with the quarterback. Teams with stability at the quarterback position are at a premium and everyone is in search of the next “franchise quarterback.”
With the game shifting towards spread offenses and 5,000-yard passers, the need for a “game-changing” quarterback has never been more glorified.
For the amount of media surrounding Manziel, Johnny Football had been relatively quite throughout this year’s draft process.
After being heavily scrutinized for doing the wrong things, saying the wrong things, and not being the right thing, Manziel hasn’t done much but wow scouts and former President George H.W. Bush at his revolutionary pro-day, run a 4.68 at the NFL Combine, and buy rounds of beer at the bar after draft night (c’mon is that such a crime?).
Browns first year General Manager Ray Farmer was in a huge predicament. Besides being the GM of the NFL’s laughingstock, he was cornered between who the Browns wanted and who the boss wanted.
It was reported that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was adamant about taking Manziel with the Browns No. 4 pick in the first round.
Farmer knew that Manziel’s value was not worthy of the No. 4 pick, but he also knew that the Browns needed to make a statement.
No worries lads, Farmer’s a smart man (one of the few working for the Browns).
Farmer and the Browns came into the first round of the NFL Draft with a plan, one that would satisfy the fans, the boss, and new head coach Mike Pettine.
The flow of activity began right when the Browns went on the clock with their No. 4 pick. The Browns immediately traded their pick to the Buffalo Bills (swapping picks) and received the Bills 2015 first round pick as well.
When the Minnesota Vikings went on the clock with the No. 8 pick, the Browns jumped up a spot and selected Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert.
But the Browns weren’t even close to calling it a night.
Due to last season’s trade with the Indianapolis Colts that shipped running back Trent Richardson to Indy, the Browns also had the No. 26 pick.
After the Dallas Cowboys skipped out on Johnny Football at No. 16 (that would’ve been a sight to see), the Browns made the biggest move of the night to seal their fate with Johnny Football.
The Browns traded up to the No. 22 pick and drafted the man, the myth, the legend: Johnny Manziel.
The next ten picks were irrelevant. Johnny Football was a Brown, and that’s all anyone cared about.
After a few days of overzealous enjoyment and tears, we most now ponder Manziel’s fate in a Brown’s uniform. Will he save the franchise and bring them out of NFL irrelevancy, or will Manziel became the third Browns quarterback drafted No. 22 to fail miserably (Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden holla)?
Is Manziel worthy of a first round pick?
On paper, it’s hard to deny Manziel’s success. Everyone knows his impressive resume, but he did it all while playing on an overachieving team in the toughest conference in college football.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again.
I don’t love Manziel, but I don’t hate him either. I respect Johnny Manziel. For all the show business shenanigans, off-field antics, and social media temper tantrums, he plays with more guts than anyone I’ve ever seen before.
What makes me think Johnny Manziel can be a successful starting quarterback in the NFL?
Manziel not only possesses the arm strength, pocket awareness, and work ethic to be a great quarterback, but most importantly, he has that X-Factor that only the best athletes display.
He plays his best football when it matters most. He wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. And he loves to prove his doubters wrong.
Coach Mike Pettine and owner Jimmy Haslam have said that Brian Hoyer will be the starter when training camp begins in July. That may be the case, but if history repeats itself like they say it does, I’m willing to bet we’ll be seeing a whole lot of Johnny Football in a Browns uniform next season.
Welcome to Cleveland Johnny. The Dog Pound anxiously awaits your presence in the end zone.