Greg Cosell sees “a wide variation” in Johnny Manziel’s quality of play

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Noted evaluator Greg Cosell of NFL Films has put on the tape of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

And as Cosell told 104.5 FM “The Zone” in Nashville on Wednesday, he has seen good and bad things.

“As you evaluate and transition him  . . .  there’s a wide variation in his play, so there’s a consistency issue,” said Cosell, the executive producer of “NFL Matchup” and a senior producer at NFL Films. “You have to decide how you want to deal with that issue. There’s a lot to like, but there’s also some that’s concerning, so how do you deal with that?”

Speaking on the station’s “The Midday 180” program, Cosell said that Manziel’s final two regular-season starts of 2013 — losses to LSU and Missouri — were notable in how poorly the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner played.

“If those were the first two games you put on and watched, you’d say he’s almost undraftable,” Cosell said. “He was so bad in those two games that you’d struggle to figure out, ‘Can I even draft this guy?'”

In those defeats, Manziel completed a combined 40-of-76 passes for 419 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. He was also held to 75 yards rushing on 23 attempts.

Cosell noted that any team considering Manziel had to have an idea of what he did well and what he lacked.

“I would say overall, he’s a small quarterback with outstanding movement and improvisation,” Cosell said of Manziel, who was listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds in college. “At times, he showed very strong flashes of structured pocket play that clearly project to the NFL, so I think it’ll come down to how you balance these issues.

“The other thing I say about Manziel is he’s much more of a see-it-throw-it quarterback than an anticipation thrower. He’s not really a timing/anticipation thrower on film. So you have to figure out the pros and the cons and where you stand on those pros and cons.”

Cosell said that based on his study, Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles was the passer he liked most at this time.

However, Cosell also noted that none of the draft-eligible quarterbacks were of the caliber of a recent standout.

“When you talk about quarterbacks being high picks, there’s no Andrew Luck in this draft,” Cosell said of the No. 1 overall pick of the 2012 draft by Indianapolis. “There’s no one who would even be in the same conversation.”

7 responses to “Greg Cosell sees “a wide variation” in Johnny Manziel’s quality of play

  1. I am an A&M fan and I have to agree. I think Bortles has best ability. Manziel…I wouldn’t draft him. Not in round one that’s for sure.

  2. How do you deal with the smaller portion of stuff that is bad stuff?

    – Good coaching and training.

    Can I even draft this guy without struggling through it?

    – Sure, by not honing in on a tiny sample of bad plays, every player has a bad game now and again and nobody should be evaluated on just the basis of 2 games, so I don’t see a struggle based on a 2 game evaluation because I don’t see a purpose for a 2 game evaluation in the first place.

    My question…you like Bortles more as a passer, but who do you like as the best overall QB since passing isn’t the only thing a QB does?

    And is he trying to suggest that Luck would be worse if he was mobile and improvising a lot like Manziel? I guess that’s the implication since he doesn’t seem to “balance” what a mobile QB is worth in contrast to a pocket-passer.

  3. Look at the Bama game. There were a couple times he made a great play with his feet keeping the play alive but Mike Adams was the only reason the absolute jump ball he threw up was completed.

  4. Fresh off the failed “Ponder Experiment,” mad scientist Rick Spielman is desperately searching for a fresh candidate to take back to his lab in Mankato.

    Move over Patterson, this guy will be the Viking’s new 4 for 1.

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