Johnny Manziel to Second Round of NFL Draft?

johnny-manziel-nflTrying to predict where Johnny Manziel is going in the 2014 NFL Draft is like trying to predict which numbers will win the lottery. Every mock draft that comes out has the Texas A&M star heading to a different team, with the Houston Texans (#1 pick), Jacksonville Jaguars (#3), Cleveland Browns (#4) and Oakland Raiders (#5) often coming up in the discussion. But former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Shaun King has a different take on the matter:..

In a recent mock draft of the first round that King did, he doesn’t even have Manziel going in the first round. This is pretty shocking when you consider how mesmerized some teams like the Browns have been with Johnny Football’s duel-threat ability. So what’s the deal here? Has King bought into all of the insults that Barry Switzer hurled Manziel’s way? Is he turned off by how the Heisman Trophy winner measured just under six feet at the Combine?

Actually, King just thinks that the unpredictability that Manziel brings is enough to make head coaches and general managers worry about risking their jobs to draft him. Here’s an excerpt from King’s Yahoo post:

shaun-king-footballThe Johnny Manziel conundrum is one the more interesting evaluation dilemmas to hit NFL evaluators in a long time. I don’t have him being drafted in the first round. Not because I don’t think he has a chance to be a good player, but because I don’t think teams will be able to come to an internal consensus on him.

When a team takes a quarterback in Round 1, a lot of jobs are on the line. If that player doesn’t pan out the general manger and head coach generally aren’t there to choose a second one. Jacksonville, Cleveland and Minnesota all need QBs now, yet they all drafted one in the first round in the last three years. Only Vikings general manager Rick Spielman is left standing; the rest, including all three head coaches, are gone.

Nobody is going to take Shaun King’s mock-draft advice over Mel Kiper Jr’s. However, his reasoning for not putting Manziel does bring up a legitimate point in that Johnny Football may be too risky for one of the top five teams to bet their jobs on a running QB who’s not even six feet tall. There’s a good chance that Manziel comes out and plays like RG III did in his rookie campaign, however, there’s also the chance that he becomes the next Christian Ponder/Blaine Gabbert/Brandon Weeden.

Going back to King, he believes that Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater is the “most complete NFL ready QB since Andrew Luck,” and he has the Texans grabbing Bridgewater with the top overall pick. Predictably, Auburn OT Greg Robinson goes to the Rams at number two, while South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney goes to the Jaguars at number three. King also sends Clemson WR Sammy Watson to Cleveland with the fourth pick and Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald to the Raiders at number five.

We doubt that UCF quarterback Blake Bortles falls out of the top-5 range, especially with four teams who could really use a QB sitting there. But it’s still interesting to see a mock draft that doesn’t think teams will still be desperately reaching for the next Luck.

Tracy McGrady annoys MJD with Comments on Jacksonville Jaguars

tracy-mcgrady-jacksonville-jaguarsFrom Terrell Owens to Randy Moss, we’ve hear plenty of NFL players flirt with the idea of playing in the NBA. Tracy McGrady recently came up with a reverse scenario when he tweeted about joining the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Of course, McGrady’s tweet was more of a light-hearted jab at what many people perceive to be the NFL’s worst team this season. Here’s a look at the now-retired, seven-time NBA All-Star’s tweet:

Jacksonville @jaguars need to bring me on in for a tryout at QB or receiver!

This line might have inspired a little laughter around the sports world. But one guy who isn’t laughing is Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew. The three-time Pro Bowler fired back with the following:

You’re more than welcome to sign a waiver and come out to a live practice. We’ll see how it works out for you, if it’s that easy.

maurice-jones-drewMJD did slightly tone it down after a reporter joked about how McGrady wouldn’t last 5 plays, to which he said, “Hey you never know, he might be tougher than people think.” But it’s pretty obvious that he’s not amused with the disparaging comment about his team.

Of course, you can’t really argue with the fact that Jacksonville is quickly becoming a joke around the league. This is especially the case when you look at their offense, which has posted the following stats:

– 5.5 PPG (32nd in NFL)
– 213 total YPG (32nd)
– 160 passing YPG (28th)
– 52.5 rushing YPG (30th)

As for Jones-Drew, he’s off to a terrible, injury-plagued start after gaining just 72 yards on 25 carries. Don’t expect things to get any better for him or Jacksonville as a whole since they feature Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne at quarterback. The latter is slightly better, but not exactly capable of leading this team to many victories. And as for Gabbert, he hasn’t done anything to live up to being the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Most analysts and reporters expect the Jags to finish dead last in the NFL, which will set them up for the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. And it’s all but a given that they’ll take a quarterback with this pick in hopes of erasing their mistake of trading up to get Gabbert.

All in all, it looks like MJD is in for another rough year with his team of eight years. That said, firing back at people like McGrady is about the only thing he can look forward to.

2013 NFL Prop Bets: Denard Robinson running Wildcat for Jaguars

denard-robinson-wildcatRookie Denard Robinson doesn’t have a set position on the Jacksonville Jaguars roster. In fact, it’s still unclear exactly where he’ll play on the field when the 2013-14 NFL season starts. Despite this consideration, Robinson will no doubt make an impact on offense – especially now that he’s running the Wildcat.

The former University of Michigan quarterback was seen taking snaps in Jacksonville’s Wildcat package earlier this week. Robinson did everything from hand off to RB Maurice Jones-Drew to throwing completions and running himself out of the formation. Given his versatility, it’s no wonder why the speedster is listed under “Offensive Weapon” (OW) on the Jacksonville roster.

If you’re interested in making any 2014 NFL prop bets, Robinson might be a good pick to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. GTBets.eu currently has him listed at 12-to-1 odds of winning, which isn’t tremendously far off leaders Montee Ball (DEN) and Tavon Austin (STL), who are both sitting at 9-to-2 odds of winning.

But even with the hype that he’s being given in the betting world and press, there’s still work to be done before Robinson is a polished Wildcat star. Head coach Gus Bradley alluded to this when he discussed ball security issues in recent organized team activities.

“We did it in OTAs, and a couple of times, he ran the ball and fumbled the ball and he didn’t know how to pitch.” Bradley added, “We’re not going to give up on that. (Offensive coordinator) Jedd’s (Fisch) philosophy is to get it in the playmaker’s hands, and we want to see if he’s a playmaker and the threat he can give us.”

denard-robinson-wildcat-1In addition to doing Wildcat plays, there’s a strong chance that Robinson could be returning kickoffs and/or punts. So the options seem endless with this rookie, especially given how badly Jacksonville needs playmakers.

Despite being just a fifth round pick, the 6-foot, 200-pounder could end up making the biggest impact of any Jacksonville rookie. Robinson runs a 4.35 forty and has shown a nice array of skills, from catching passes to throwing them.

After setting multiple records at Michigan, including 502 total offensive yards against Notre Dame in 2010, Robinson appears ready to impress at the next level. The only question is if he can succeed in a Jacksonville offense that lacks any weapons beyond WR Justin Blackmon and Jones-Drew.

The quarterback situation is ugly, with Blaine Gabbert competing against Chad Henne for the starting job. Depending upon how this situation develops, we might see the Jaguars utilize Robinson in the Wildcat quite often, much like the Miami Dolphins did with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams in 2008.

Once again, if you’re looking to make some prop bets before the NFL season starts, you might give Denard Robinson a look in the Offensive Rookie of the Year category.