Johnny Manziel vs. The NFL Draft
It took an interminable, embarrassing, gut-wrenching two hours and 43 minutes. Johnny Football was exposed, passed over time after time after time on national television.
He wasn’t the No. 1 overall pick in the National Football League draft. He didn’t go No. 2 to the St. Louis Rams. Cleveland traded down, then traded back up and still didn’t want him. Even the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets, two franchises with a history of inviting controversy for the sake of inviting controversy, passed.
No one wanted Johnny Football. He dropped and dropped and dropped, experiencing the type of public free fall on draft night that only a select few, including Aaron Rodgers, have experienced. He wasn’t the first quarterback taken. Heck, he wasn’t even the first or second player from Texas A&M taken. That honor belonged to tackle Jake Matthews, who went sixth to the Atlanta Falcons, and wide receiver Mike Evans, who went one pick later to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But a funny thing happened. This probably was the best thing for Johnny Football. Hopefully, Johnny Football stayed in the green room at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night. Hopefully, Johnny Manziel emerged humbled, hungry and, as Rodgers did all those years ago, dedicated to prove to every team that passed on him — and, ultimately, 19 did — that they made a horrible decision.
The Browns and their long-suffering fans deserve as much.
“Does it make a chip I already have on my shoulder grow and grow and grow?” Manziel asked. “I don’t think so.”
But, he added, “It does add fuel to the fire.”
That it should.