Johnny Manziel Aims to Lead 2014 Quarterback Class

Posted Feb 21, 2014

Johnny Manziel spoke to reporters about his desire to be selected with the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, as well as preparing for a long-term career in the pros.

In a media session that covered everything from the outsized exploits of his college football career to his life away from the field, Texas A&M quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel emphasized a desire to become the first quarterback—and possibly the first player—to be chosen in May’s NFL draft.

“It would be awesome,” Manziel said of the notion of being the first quarterback taken. “When you put in a ton of hard work, it’s a huge testament to my coaches and teammates all the way since I started playing this game. It’s been a long process, it’s not just a short road to get here. Whatever happens is meant to be, it’s out of my control. Just coming in here, being honest with these teams, get a chance to sit down and know some of these guys and really get to see a side of me.”

One side of Manziel that will not be on display for teams this week is a view of him throwing the football. Manziel elected not to throw during the Combine, and instead will host teams at his pro day on March 27. He will participate in all other evaluations this week.

Manziel could potentially head a quarterback class that also features Blake Bortles of Central Florida and Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, among others. Bortles has announced he will throw this week. Bridgewater did not speak with media on Friday.

The deep quarterback class is met with what appears, at least initially, to be considerable demand at the position. Manziel pointed to his competitiveness as being a factor that he hopes will separate him from the rest of the class.

“I’m probably one of the most competitive people on the planet,” Manziel said. I feel like I play the game with a lot of heart and a lot of passion that really is unrivaled. It’s the way I was brought up, the way that I was taught from when I started playing competitive football in high school.”

In addition to presenting his case as a football talent worthy of the first overall pick, Manziel also spoke extensively in regard to questions about his leadership and off-field exploits, an area of life the soon-to-be NFL rookie emphasized is in the rear view mirror.

“I have an opportunity now to move into a professional phase,” Manziel said. “This is life now. This is a job for me and I’m taking it very seriously. I’m very excited for the future.”