He has absolutely no instinct or feel for pocket awareness. He has an instinct to run. That's a bad instinct if you're going to have that in the National Football League," Hoge said on "SportsCenter" on Wednesday. "You have to play in the pocket with traffic around you and throw it. When traffic comes around him, he runs, and that's dangerous in the National Football League. His skill set does not transition to the National Football League, and it is a big, big risk. In fact, I see bust written all over him, especially if he's drafted in the first round.
Hoge seldom pulls punches in his analysis. It's why people tend to love or hate him. And, of course, he's often prone to being wildly wrong — anyone remember Hoge's predictions that Brian Brohm would be better than Aaron Rodgers?
But it's not as if Hoge, who knows the league inside and out, is the only one sounding the alarm bells on the unique Manziel, who will scare both the team that drafts him and the teams he eventually faces. With his improvisational style, Manziel almost certainly will force an offensive coordinator to adapt his scheme around the quarterback's style, which is not easy to replicate.
Hoge is questioning Manziel's awareness in the pocket and his decision-making, and those are going to be two areas that he must answer the bell on — in any NFL offense, altered to his skills or not.
We'll see if NFL teams agree with Hoge on this one. The gut feeling is that some team in Round 1, especially with a bunch of clubs in the top 10 seeking QB help, will fall under the Manziel spell on May 8.
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- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Merril Hoge
- Johnny Manziel