Last year Johnny Manziel could not have been more highly honored. He beat Alabama and he won the Heisman. This year the Texas A& M quarterback is watching his draft stock plummet after a sobering performance against his division rivals, the LSU Tigers.
Last year Manziel had arguably his best game at the most important time. It was the end of the year and he was on the biggest stage of his life.
This year the story is almost entirely in reverse. Manziel had his worst game this Saturday at the end of the year, on a big stage, just weeks before he is scheduled to announce whether he will go to the NFL or not.
Some recent mock drafts had predicted Manziel going third overall to the Minnesota Vikings. After Saturday, Manziel can be almost guaranteed that he will not be taken that high. The quarterback’s draft stock has severely plummeted since experts made those predictions.
Head coach Kevin Sumlin has said that he and Manziel have not talked much about his future in the NFL yet, but did suggest it would be something that they would discuss soon. He also confirmed that fans can expect an answer from Manziel before the season is over.
How bad was Manziel’s day? Bad enough is the answer. Manziel played for an atrocious 16 for 41 on passing attempts. LSU’s defense was constantly in Manziel’s face and scouts may taken note of that, but the fact is it was not pretty, no matter how you look at it.
Manziel threw for only 224 yards. The Aggies only scored one touchdown and Manziel had two interceptions. The magical legs that Manziel had been using to carve defenses up were not there either. Manziel rushed for only 54 yards on 12 attempts.
The 34-10 final score was more than a blowout; it was also the lowest total Manziel has put up in his entire career at A&M.
The obvious question that is now being asked is if Manziel cannot compete with LSU, how can he compete in the NFL? It is a tough question because every player is entitled to a bad game. Some of Manziel’s fellow Heisman hopefuls also suffered bad games this weekend. Also, Manziel’s performance against Alabama last year is certainly valid as a counter argument.
If one thinks that Manziel’s stock has fallen so far that he will not turn pro, that prediction would bewrong. The quarterback is still electrifying enough to have several NFL teams interested in him come draft time. There are also many, many NFL teams right now looking for answers at the quarterback position.
The question has not become will Manziel get drafted, the question has become when? The Vikings will probably not waste a top five pick on him unless something out of the ordinary happens in the coming weeks. However, in the third or fourth round expect someone to take a chance on a small quarterback who could be dominated in the NFL, but could also be an electrifying sensation.
Whether the LSU defense is really that good or not they have proven that Manziel is not all he is thought to be. After an embarrassing loss Johnny Manziel’s draft stock has plummeted, but is not completely washed away.
By Nick Manai