On Wednesday, ESPN’s NFL Draft expert, Mel Kiper Jr., released his first mock draft for 2014. The most surprising selection begins right at the top, where he has Johnny Manziel going to the Houston Texans with pick No. 1.
Manziel is undoubtedly the most polarizing player in this year’s draft. From concerns about his style of play, to his off-the-field exploits, no player will be more heavily scrutinized.
Between the NFL’s acceptance of spread offenses, Houston’s need for a quarterback, and Manziel’s marketability (especially within the state of Texas), Kiper envisions the former Heisman winner being the first name called on May 8.
Aside from Manziel, Kiper has two other quarterbacks going in the first round. Cleveland will select Blake Bortles at No. 3 and Minnesota will take Teddy Bridgewater at No. 8.
For comparison, ESPN’s other draft guru, Todd McShay, in his initial mock draft, had the Texans selecting Teddy Bridgewater No. 1 and Manziel going to the Jacksonville Jaguars.