ESPN draft expert Todd McShay released his first mock draft for 2014 (2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0) on Wednesday. McShay has three quarterbacks being selected in the top four picks: Teddy Bridgewater (No. 1), Blake Bortles (No. 3) and Johnny Manziel (No. 4).
Manziel is projected to be chosen by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the fourth pick. He still has a year of eligibility remaining, and has has yet to decide on his future, but the popular opinion is that he will make the jump.
McShay is high on how Manziel has shown development in his passing game this season. He believes the biggest key to Manziel’s draft position will be how he interviews.
Following is McShay’s analysis of the Texas A&M star:
“This will be a tough decision. Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is hoping to find a leader at QB who can elevate the whole team, the way Russell Wilson did with Seattle in 2012. Is Manziel that guy? I think the key for Manziel is going to be how he interviews. Some teams are going to fall in love with his confidence, whereas others will be turned off by him. One reason why I think Manziel fits in Jacksonville is that offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch has proved throughout his career that he can successfully adapt his system to his personnel, which is a must for any team that brings in Manziel, given his exceptional mobility and improvisational skills.
“Manziel doesn’t have ideal size, but I’ve been really impressed this season with how he improved his delivery mechanics to get better velocity on his throws, and his improvement at going through his progressions. If he can continue to develop in the NFL, he has a chance to be really good.”
If the Jaguars are looking to put warm bodies in the stands and excite the fan base, Manziel has to be at the top of their list. He’s one of a handful of athletes in America that’s must-see TV. As McShay points out, Fisch has been successful at adapting to a player’s skill set. Manziel can throw the ball, he has feet that other quarterbacks can only dream of, and there is an X-factor with his game. If put in the right situation, has the tools to succeed in the NFL.