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The Manziel Watch, aka the 2014 NFL Draft
May 9, 2014 - Shaunna Dunder Hershberger
And that was only round one.
Pardon me while I catch my breath after the first round of the highly anticipated 2014 NFL Draft. The NFL, like no other, managed to over-hype this thing to the point of ridiculousness, but the football fanatic public seemed to eat it up. Why? Because not only was there a great crop of talent available this year, but also because most teams kept quiet about who they were targeting for their first pick.
The number one pick, Jadeveon Clowney, was really no surprise. There was speculation that the Texans might trade the pick, but some reported that their asking price was something like the first born children of whoever wanted to trade, so predictably, no one bit. The Texans seem to have a myriad of problems on offense and defense, but the addition of Clowney opposite JJ Watt (who had been frequently double-teamed) should make the Texans more effective at pressuring opposing quarterbacks. On the other hand, let's hope this one doesn't turn out for the Texans like the Mario Williams pick a few years back.
The first collective gasp coming from the living room of your future commissioner and her husband came when Jacksonville picked Blake Bortles at number 3. Sure, the ranking of available quarterbacks swung around like a revolving door pre-draft, but I don't think anybody expected Bortles to go that early. Indications were the Jags wanted Johnny Manziel.
So, Manziel sat. And when the Browns made a trade with the Bills to move from 4 to 9, your commish made the assumption it was because they wanted a QB but didn't want to pick that high. This makes no sense to me. You want him and you're up to pick and he's on the board? Just pick him!
So the next collective gasp came when the Browns traded up one pick to 8 with the Vikings - I held my breath, hoping against hope it was NOT Johnny "Football" - and chose CB Justin Gilbert. A stunner, but actually a pick that makes sense.
And then Manziel sat again. Maybe Tennessee will take him? No. The Rams? No. The Cowboys will. Surely Jerry Jones wants Johnny Football, aka Johnny Money, to dazzle the crowd in Texas. Not today. Manziel sat and squirmed, trying to look cool.
This draft was reminiscent of the Brady Quinn situation a few drafts ago, when he sat so long they had to move him to a back room with no cameras. I will say that Manziel seemed to be taking his slide in stride, while a small part of Quinn's soul seemed to die inside with each team that passed him up.
I must say, the first two hours of this draft was much more exciting than this year's Super Bowl! Must see TV right here on ESPN!
But after an early morning and a long day of work, your commish, all tuckered out from the excitement, fell asleep on the couch and missed picks 17 through 21. When I woke, I asked my husband who picked Manziel. "Nobody," he answered.
I looked at the TV and noticed the Browns had suddenly traded up from 26 to 22 with the Eagles. Seriously, this is the most action-packed draft I've seen in a long time. Has ANYONE ever been up and down the draft board so many times in one night?
I knew the Browns were going QB here, but I was convinced it was going to be Carr or Bridgewater. Ray Farmer had been singing the praises of Carr, but Jimmy Haslam liked Manziel. Still, I didn't really think they would go with Manziel.
And then the Browns picked Manziel, ending his slide -- again, reminiscent of how the Browns were the ones to finally put Brady Quinn out of his misery a few years ago. More fans than I expected cheered. In fact, that place erupted with possibly the loudest reaction all night when Manziel was finally picked.
Me, I'm not ready to drink the Manziel Kool-Aid just yet. The future commissioner's official sister is convinced Manziel is the second coming of Tim Couch. While I'm not quite ready to slap that label of failure on him, I am still leery. I've seen what the Browns do to their "quarterbacks of the future."
I will say this: one thing I do like about Manziel is his attitude and how something like that could be a good thing for the Browns. Everything has always been gloom and doom --a sort of defeatist attitude that hangs over the club, i.e. The Factory of Sadness. With attitudes like that of Manziel and some of the other newbies, I think it has potential to change the entire locker room atmosphere for the better. That remains to be seen.
And you know what else remains to be seen? Three more days of the draft! And if the next few days are anything like the first, you might want to tune in!
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