Not an OU post but a football post nonetheless.
An ESPN story broke on Friday about Cleveland quarterback Johnny Manziel texting the Browns on the opening night of the draft to tell them to hurry up and draft him already. As the story goes, the former Heisman winner was watching himself slip down the order of the first round of the draft and decided to take matters into his own hands. Grabbing his phone, he texted the following to Cleveland quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains.
"I wish you guys would come get me. Hurry up and draft me because I want to wreck this league together."
While the story of the text itself played out over the internet and social media on Friday, with all kinds of opinions weighing in, it did teach us a couple of things about the NFL and Manziel.
As if we didn't already know, it taught us that its tough to crack into the league. Johnny Manziel was king in College Station but decided to leave college life early for the fame and celebrity of the NFL. You only do that as an underclassman (especially if you still have two years of eligibility remaining) if you're a lock to go early and Manziel was dangerously close to falling too far in the draft. Its not because he doesn't have the ability to make big plays, no one had more highlights on ESPN last fall than Manziel. Its not because he didn't have enough popularity points. No one was talked about more than Manziel on the draft's opening night and no first round guy sold as many season tickets and jerseys as he did either.
So why did it take so long for his name to be called? Because the NFL is cautious about who they draft, and where, in an effort to maximize the protection of their investments. The lower you go the less the investment. A guy like Manziel isn't gonna come cheap but he also isn't a prototypical NFL quarterback either, which will make some teams stay away and make others keep a cautious eye on him. Thirteen teams drafted quarterbacks this year and eight of them had opportunity to take Manziel off the board. Even the Browns chose take a defensive back with their first pick when they selected Justin Gilbert with the 8th overall pick. A first round quarterback is going to demand a lot of coin but a late first rounder won't go for the same cost as a top ten pick. For all he was in college, no one wanted Manziel at a top ten price...or top twenty for that matter.
It taught us that sometimes you have to forge your on way to destiny, even if it lands you in Cleveland. You can't escape the feeling that this wasn't the first time that Johnny Manziel told someone to do something (even via text) and they did it. Johnny Manziel is a guy who makes things happen both on and off the field. He's absolutely used to having people jump through hoops for him and Cleveland was more than willing to fall in line for a guy who could become the new face to their franchise. What's shocking was that Manziel was more than willing to jump in with Cleveland. The Browns have been atrocious on quarterbacks for more than a decade. It has become the place where quarterbacks go to watch their careers die. It the last three seasons the Browns have started six different quarterbacks. In the last five season that number balloons to nine. You have to go all the way back to 2001 to find a single quarterback who started every game for the Browns and then to the 1980 and 1981 seasons to find a quarterback who started every single game in back-to-back seasons.
The Browns are desperate to change their fortunes with quarterbacks and on the opening night of the NFL draft Johnny Manziel was desperate to stop sliding. He may be a lot of things but in that moment he sure wasn't too proud to beg. It was a proposal, of sorts, via text and the Browns were more than happy to accept. They even traded up a few spots in the draft to nab him at twenty-two. Its a match made in heaven...or quarterback hell.