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Drew Brees thinks Johnny Manziel could ‘absolutely’ be an NFL starter

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel has established himself as one of the most exciting players in college football, but many have wondered whether his frenetic style of play would translate in the NFL.

One NFL quarterback thinks it will.

Drew Brees, a quarterback known for defying odd and become one of the league’s best passers despite his 6-foot frame, told FoxSports.com that he thought Manziel would succeed at the next level.

“He is a heckuva player,” Brees said in a telephone interview. “He’s fun to watch. He makes all kinds of plays.

“He’s got all the playmaking ability to be a great player. [There are] guys like [Manziel] in this league. Russell Wilson and his ability to run the football and extend plays outside the pocket and throw the ball down the field. Intermediate [routes], I mean he can do it all.”

Brees noted that being an NFL quarterback isn’t necessarily about having the perfect measureables – Manziel is 6-foot-1 – but being able to make plays and give his team the best chance for victory.

“There’s way too much weight put into physical stature as opposed to can you find the open guy,” Brees said. “Can you deliver it accurately? Can you make plays? Can you lead your team to victory? Can you lead them? Period.

“I think the physical qualities are not nearly as important as the psychological qualities of playing the quarterback position. Certainly you have to have some level of throwing ability and fundamentals and that kind of thing. But speed, height, arm strength those things are way overrated when playing the quarterback position.”

Manziel, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, is arguably having a better season this year. Even though he’s lost some tough games and he’s thrown more interceptions, pundits would argue his accuracy is better and his arm strength has improved. His work in the offseason with notable quarterbacking coach George Whitfield Jr. is well documented.

There’s no doubt someone will give Manziel a shot in the NFL – he’s too much of a playmaker not to – but when he’ll get drafted is the question, especially with a deep quarterbacking class this year.

Still, having a player like Brees in your corner is quite the compliment.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!

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