Former Eagles QB and current ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski joined Mike Missanelli on 97.5 the Fanatic on Tuesday to discuss former Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, who reportedly met with the Eagles at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Jaws is apparently not a fan.
“I’m not crazy about him, to be honest with you. I’ve only looked at 5 games. I wouldn’t take him in the first three rounds. It’s incomplete right now, but he has not done a whole lot for me.”
It would seem that for the Eagles to meet with a player, they must have at least some level of interest in him. Jaworski explained that there could be other reasons why you would meet with a player you may not view as a fit for your team.
“There has to be an interest, but it may not necessarily be for the immediate draft. But it’s a way of stockpiling information on a guy, get to know him. And remember, no matter where he may be, the Eagles may have to play against him, so you can certainly gather information about him. Of course, you gather a lot about that from film study. I like the fact they’ve interviewed him. I’m a big believer in Nick Foles, but who knows? Manziel may fall (in the draft).
“(The Eagles) owe it to everyone in the Eagles organization and the fans to do the best they can to find out every nuance on every player in this draft, and obviously, you have a high profile guy like Johnny Manziel. It’s a guy you want to know about. You don’t want your fans to say, ‘Why didn’t you meet with Johnny Manziel? Why didn’t you talk to him? Why didn’t you find out about him?’ They’ll know everything about the guy from their tape study and the people they’ll speak to. These players now are gone over with a fine tooth comb.
"There’s nothing like looking at a person eyeball to eyeball. You learn so much about him. We seem to be hearing all these glowing reports about Johnny Manziel and how he’s impressing everyone in Indianapolis, but you have to go back and look at the history (off the field), and the history on Johnny Manziel is not very good. So I like the fact that the Eagles said ‘Hey, we want to hear this guy. We want to hear his voice. We want to look him in the eye. We want to know what he’s thinking and we get that body language that can tell you so much."
Missinelli asked if drafting Manziel meant that the Eagles liked him more than Foles. Jaws doesn’t think so.
"You have to build your roster. You have to have depth at every position. Certainly if you take a guy in the first couple of rounds, he’s a guy you’re expecting to be a starter almost immediately, although we know that the quarterback position normally takes a little bit longer. But I have no problem with Howie and all the scouts and Tommy Gamble turning over every single stone to find out about the players that are there."
On Wednesday, Jaworski went on Sirius XM radio and got into more depth about what he doesn't like about Manziel's game, via ProFootballTalk.
“He’s a random quarterback that likes to get out of the pocket and make plays with his legs,” Jaworski said. “In the NFL, he won’t last three games playing that style. He’ll get hurt. He took a lot of vicious hits at A&M in two years, and those hits that have that cumulative effect will knock him out of games in the NFL.”
Jaworski said Manziel has developed such a habit of escaping the pocket that an NFL team might not be able to coach it out of him. And Jaworski added that Manziel doesn’t read through his progressions, is careless with the ball and is inconsistent in his mechanics.
The consensus is that Manziel will likely be a top 5 pick, and some people have accused Jaworski of speaking negatively about a big name player to garner attention for himself. Deadspin previously pointed out that Jaworski over-praised Colin Kaepernick, and probably didn't really mean it. In this case, however, since he seemed to mention it almost as an aside on a Philly radio station (as opposed to on, say, SportsCenter), I do think Jaws was being truthful in his assessment of Manziel, and isn't just trying to stir the pot.