The Ravens coaching staff will be doing plenty of homework on Johnny Manziel, after the Browns traded up with the Eagles to get Manziel with the 22nd pick in the draft Thursday night.
Where Manziel would land, and how long it would take, became the biggest story of draft night. The Browns provided the answer. Now Manziel will have a chance to prove he can be the answer to the Browns’ long-time quarterback problems.
At the very least, Manziel will bring excitement to a fan base eager to see the Browns finally escape the AFC North basement. The Browns have a new front office led by general manager Ray Farmer, and a new head coach in Mike Pettine. The first round of the draft was the new regime’s coming out party, as the Browns maneuvered up and down the board, trading down from No. 4 to No. 8 before taking cornerback Justin Gilbert.
But getting Manziel is the move that will likely determine whether this draft is a success or failure for the Browns. Manziel’s first challenge will be to beat out Brian Hoyer for the starting job. Manziel was not even the first quarterback taken in this draft, as the Jaguars passed over Manziel and took Blake Bortles with the No. 3 pick.
Some scouts worry that Manziel (5-foot-11, 207 pounds) is too small, and that he will take too many hits to stay healthy in the NFL. Some teams are not convinced that Manziel’s unconventional style will translate into success.
However, after waiting almost three hours at Radio City Music Hall to be drafted, Manziel is headed to Cleveland. And if Manziel becomes the Browns’ starter, the Ravens will try to figure out how to stop him.