NFL draft prospect Johnny Manziel does not have the ideal height of an NFL quarterback.
However, Manziel has the perfect attitude for a short quarterback prior the NFL scouting combine, which begins on Thursday.
“I’m going to measure 6 feet — I’m 72 inches on the dot,” Manziel told the Houston Chronicle. “If they want to try to jump on my shoulders and squish me down, it’s not going to be any less than that.”
That will not be one of the combine drills, but scouts will want to know Manziel’s height.
According to George Whitfield Jr., Manziel’s private quarterback coach, the prospect should measure 6-feet, 210 pounds at the combine. As long as Manziel does not shrink to 5-foot-8, he should be selected early in the NFL draft.
Manziel credits Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson (5-foot-11) with creating an opportunity for short quarterbacks in the NFL.
“I think he’s kicked the door wide open,” Manziel told the Houston Chronicle. “You’re seeing more guys being successful avoiding that first wave of pressure — get out and do things outside the pocket.
“Wilson does some things he’s not asked to do, when things don’t go exactly as scripted. He’s able to extend the play. One reason they were so successful early in the Super Bowl was that he was four-of-five on third down and was able to continue to push the ball down the field and get them where they needed to be.”
Saints quarterback Drew Brees may have something to say about being a pioneer for short quarterbacks. Brees (6-feet, 209 pounds) previously set a league passing record, plus won a Super Bowl championship, prior to Wilson’s NFL entrance.
However, Wilson is more of a dual-threat quarterback, which explains Manziel’s adoration.
Wilson may have kicked the door wide open, but Manziel must walk through it.
Hopefully, for Manziel, he does not need to walk on his toes.
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