With the combine less than a week away and the fate of his career set for May, Johnny Manziel is set on proving that he has what it takes to make it in the NFL.
And one of the major features holding him back from being the consensus number one overall draft pick is his lack of elite height, measuring in at 6"0.
But Manziel is confident that it's no issue because the age of the smaller QB is upon us.
“The game’s evolving,” Manziel said to reporters. “More and more (pass rushers) like (defensive end Jadeveon) Clowney are coming out of college, and they’re big, and they can run. You have to be able to create plays."
'Johnny Football' pointed to the success of Russell Wilson in winning the Super Bowl as evidence to his point that the time for shorter, mobile quarterbacks is here.
“I think he’s kicked the door wide open,” Manziel said of Wilson. “You’re seeing more guys being successful avoiding that first wave of pressure — get out and do things outside the pocket.
“Wilson does some things he’s not asked to do, when things don’t go exactly as scripted. He’s able to extend the play. One reason they were so successful early in the Super Bowl was that he was four-of-five on third down and was able to continue to push the ball down the field and get them where they needed to be.”
The former Texas A&M play caller is famous for the plays he made with his feet in college, scrambling out of the pocket and burning defenders in the open field. But in the pro's this won't be as easy, and the #2 knows he has to prove his arm is up to scratch.
“I want to be a pocket passer, too, and be able to pick apart defenses and beat teams with my arm," Manziel said, knowing that he has to show the scouts in attendance at his own personal workout, that he has to allay their fears about his ability to find receivers deep.
"But when a play breaks down, the scrambling and running ability (take over), and we’re back to doing what I’ve been doing the past six years playing football.”
The QB has been criticised frequently in the media by NFL analysts. Just last week Charley Casserly said he would be wary of drafting him so high, with the youngsters tendency to run when he has teammates open downfield.
Johnny Manziel is a precocious talent and one that polarizes opinion across the board, but he has potential and it's up to the team that selects him come May to get the best out of the 21 year old.