Johnny Manziel wouldn't have been Johnny Football had he not come from, and played in, the great state of Texas. And now one Texas businessman is bent on keeping him in-state.
The Houston Texans own the No. 1 draft pick, and attorney Tony Buzbee, a member of the Texas A&M Board of Regents, wants the team to use that pick to bring Manziel on board. Buzbee has posted billboards around the Houston area like the one above. He's also created a website, DraftJohnnyManziel.com, that features a petition seeking to influence the Texans' decision. (As of about 3 p.m. Eastern on Monday, the petition had about 1,100 signatures.)
Could Houston draft Manziel? Sure, it's possible, though the team has a range of pressing needs, and there's no guarantee Manziel's skills will translate to the NFL, certainly not with the speed with which Houston would need him to develop. Our Eric Edholm didn't even list Houston among the top five teams that could draft Manziel, though he did add Houston as a "wild card." But Eric's not exactly bullish on the idea of Manziel staying home:
"Given the white-hot spotlight that Manziel has endured in the great state the past several years, many people seem to think he would do best by starting his career out of town," Edholm wrote, "and perhaps far away from towns such as Miami, Las Vegas, New Orleans or any other city you can get in trouble without walking a city block."
Makes sense. But until Houston makes the first pick in the 2014 NFL draft, this story's going to have legs. And signs.