The offseason has been just about perfect for Johnny Manziel.
Busy? Absolutely. But that's good. Manziel had about 15-20 visits with teams, according to Ryan Flaherty, who has trained him at his Prolific Athletes facility in San Diego this offseason. That means he's in demand.
His combine was a success. His pro day was nearly perfect. There has been no weird sideshow to take away from all the good things Manziel has done since his college career ended. When NFL teams went to Texas A&M to speak to his teammates and coaches, they heard great reviews on Manziel as a teammate (there's no doubt you'd have heard about it if they hadn't). Think about it, aside from the combine and his pro day, had you heard of Manziel saying anything until he spoke at a Play 60 event in New York on Wednesday? He has just gone about his business. (Read what Manziel said from Wednesday's event here, in Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel's column.)
The same goes for Manziel's Texas A&M teammate, receiver Mike Evans. Evans' workouts this offseason have boosted his draft stock tremendously, to the point where it would be a surprise if he slips outside the top 10. He might even go ahead of Manziel, his far more celebrated teammate.
For Flaherty and others who have been the support system for those players, it's the outcome they hoped for.
"They've done everything they can," Flaherty said. "It couldn't have gone much better for each of them. Now it's up to what teams want them."
There's a lot that goes into the pre-draft process. It has been more than four months since Manziel ended his college career. Since then it has been basically a really long job interview with 20 or so different companies. He was coached up on what to say. Flaherty trained him so he could run a 4.68-second 40-yard dash at the combine. Quarterback guru George Whitfield assisted him in performing so well at pro day. His marketing team at LRMR, the same marketing firm that works with LeBron James, has kept him out of the spotlight and focused on the task at hand.
"We knew he was going to do great," Flaherty said. "It was awesome."
Now for the final few hours of waiting. Manziel is the most interesting player in this draft. Will he go in the top five? Top 10? Fall to the Rams at 13? The Cowboys at 16 (take cover if that happens)? Nobody knows.
"Whether its 1 or 200," Manziel said, according to Wetzel. "I just want to play football."
Flaherty said he senses the same thing after being around Manziel, that he's ready move on from the job interview to start the job. A few hours before the draft, nobody knows where he'll end up. But Manziel can sleep pretty easy, knowing that he probably couldn't have done any more this offseason.
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