Former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel may have been one of the most electrifying players in college football the past two seasons, but the NFL Scouting Combine won’t be seeing much of his magic, at least not with his arm.
It should be noted that he won’t be taking part in Texas A&M’s Pro Day workout on March 5, rather choosing to have his own pro day on the 27.
Manziel might not be the only highly-touted quarterback to sit out. A.J. McCarron, a three-year starter at Alabama, along with Derek Carr of Fresno State and UCF’s Blake Bortles, have all expressed uncertainty about throwing in Indianapolis.
McCarron already skipped the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, where Carr shined. McCarron said it was because he felt a little “beat up” after three years of starting in the SEC. In truth though, a number of top quarterbacks are apprehensive about throwing to receivers they don’t normally practice with, fearful that a bad day could result in plummeting draft stock.
Both Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III opted not to throw two years ago when they were virtually considered locks to go 1-2. The year before, Cam Newton did and had a bit of a rough day. He got a second opportunity at his pro day, however, nailing it to become the first overall pick.
In the case of Manziel, whose best attribute is his ability to improvise and make plays outside the pocket, a spectacular throwing session may not mean a whole lot one way or the other. The team that decides to take him will ultimately be wowed by what they see on tape.
More importantly, it’s what he does in interviews that will convince teams he’s capable of leading at the next level.