NFL Draft 2014: Nolan Nawrocki's Annual "Character" Salvo Hits Johnny Manziel

Categories: Game Time, Sports

Too Hollywood?

There are parts of the NFL Draft process that can be a lot of fun. The chess game between front offices, the study and analysis of game film, and the leaks of really horrible Wonderlic scores at the combine -- I love those things!

Then there's the overanalysis, the portion of the player study that bleeds over an invisible boundary from standard game film stuff and instead focuses largely on irrelevant bodily features and junior high-level gossip and bullshit.

It's through the latter, the overanalysis, where's Nolan Nawrocki (previously of Pro Football Weekly) has achieved much of his draft season relevance, to the point where we now await his annual overly personal thrashing of one of the consensus top prospects the same way we wait to see if the groundhog sees his shadow.

The year's Nawrocki salvo came yesterday, and the target was probably not all that surprising.

As it turns out, Nolan Nawrocki is not a big fan of Johnny Manziel's game, either on the field or off the field. When you consider who Nawrocki's previous most notable targets have been for his scathing personality profiles, this shouldn't come as a huge surprise (although there are some who would say that they probably expected Nawrocki to set his sights on Teddy Bridgewater, if you know what I mean).

In 2011, he had this to say about Cam Newton:

"Very disingenuous -- has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law -- does not command respect from teammates and always will struggle to win a locker room. Only a one-year producer. Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness -- is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable. Will require a very strong-willed, demanding coach to live up to his potential and avoid the trappings of fame and fortune, but even the greatest taskmaster will not be able to keep away the drama that is still swirling from a stained Heisman Trophy and littered recruiting trail that Newton left in the SEC. Can provide an initial spark, but will quickly be dissected and contained by NFL defensive coordinators, struggle to sustain success and will not prove worthy of an early investment. An overhyped, high-risk, high-reward selection with a glaring bust factor, Newton is sure to be drafted more highly than he should and could foreclose a risk-taking GM's job and taint a locker room."

And then last year, he had this to say about Geno Smith:

"Not a student of the game. Nonchalant field presence -- does not command respect from teammates and cannot inspire. Mild practice demeanor -- no urgency. Not committed or focused -- marginal work ethic. Interviewed poorly at the Combine and did not show an understanding of concepts on the white board. Opted not to compete at the Senior Bowl and has approached offseason training as if he has already arrived and it shows in his body with minimal muscle definition or strength. Has small hands and glaring ball security issues (32 career fumbles). Really struggled handling the snow in Pinstripe Bowl (took two safeties) and will be troubled by the elements. Needed to be coddled in college -- cannot handle hard coaching. A cross between Akili Smith and Aaron Brooks, Smith is a gimmick, overhyped product of the system lacking the football savvy, work habits and focus to cement a starting job and could drain energy from a QB room. Will be overdrafted and struggle to produce against NFL defensive complexities."

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The foundation of the article seems artificial. The implication is that Nolan Nawrocki is racist, and yet half the article is about how he holds Johnny Manziel to the same standard he held Cam Newton or Geno Smith?  Isn't Johnny Manziel white?


Frankly, you can view Manziel as either a smaller Jim McMahon or a combination of Doug Flutie and Joe Namath.  Granted, Namath and Ken Stabler won Super Bowls despite their off the field antics, but Johnny Football is simply not a great gamble especially when he dares the Texans to draft him or get beat by him twice a year.  Sorry son, but your mouth is bigger than your game.


Why are you contributing to the pro-Manziel hype? more page hits, I suppose? Thankfully, a voice of reason, Mike Mayock (who knows his s**t), has surfaced and ranked Bridgewater above Manziel. If you think "he just wins" or "he's a leader" or "he's a Texas kid" is reason enough to draft Manziel, then go ahead. But be prepared for a bumpy, disappointing ride. I'd much rather have a QB like Bridgewater – a QB who ran a multiple-read pro-style offense, was his own defacto OC and actually understands and employs a playbook. a QB whose first instinct isn't to freelance and get ear-holed. Nitpick the language all you want, but Hollywood is an accurate description of a guy like Manziel. Look at the evidence – he's already run what is essentially an advertorial, under the guise of a McClain column, in the Chron Sports page this weekend. One more thing, if the Texans are stupid enough to draft an entitled punk kid like Manziel – who basically threatened the entire organization – out of fear that he will come back to haunt them, then they've got bigger problems than who to start at QB.


@buttermilque The one thing that might keep Manziel off the Texans' roster is Bob McNair's open desire to have Clowney.  (My guess is McNair thinks Case Keenum might improve with the likes of Gary Kubiak gone.)  I see Manziel as a circus that will end about like Tim Tebow's.

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