Texas A&M Aggies product Johnny Manziel is the most polarizing 2014 NFL Draft prospect, and that’s saying something given the amount of attention surrounding the likes of Jadeveon Clowney and Jeremy Hill, who actually deserves the scrutiny. Manziel may not come off as the smartest person in the world, but I don’t question his football IQ or his drive to succeed. I question his ability to read through progressions, his polish, and his ability to identify open targets, but I don’t question his upside, physical tools, scrambling, or ability to be a franchise quarterback. Whether he’s the second or fourth best quarterback on your big board, I think he should be ranked somewhere between spots two and four.
Anyway, Manziel has his hands full with proving his ability to be a franchise quarterback, because he really does have his work cut out for him due to all the attention. But he doesn’t lack confidence, and that’s always important. He recently sat down and spoke with Peter King, and he spoke about his confidence and about Russell Wilson- he’s not willing to compare himself to the Super Bowl-winning QB, but it certainly sounds like he looks up to him.
Manziel said, “Convert on third down, and not turn the ball over. That’s something that Russell is incredibly good at. And he’s extremely accurate. Russell Wilson is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. I’m not going to sit myself in this seat today and compare me to him. I have a lot to do to earn my stripes and earn my position in this league. I realize nothing is going to be handed to me. I have to go work for it. That’s good. That’s right. Some people said he couldn’t do a lot of things, but he found his way.
“That’s how I am. You can tell me ‘no’ all you want, but at the end of the day I’m going to win. I’m going to be successful.”
One way to find the drive to be successful is to take some of the negative attention and criticism and use it in a helpful way by learning from the constructive criticism and using the rest to create a chip on your shoulder. It sounds like Manziel has constructed that chip.