28. QB Johnny Manziel, 2014 – 22nd Overall
I have a soft spot in my heart for comeback stories and redemption arcs. Michael Vick and Buff Bagwell? Yes, please. I so hoped that Johnny Manziel would be one of those guys. Granted, I didn’t like him in college, didn’t like him in the draft and I didn’t like him when he got drafted by the Browns.
He wasn’t a good player, and while he was exciting in college, that style was never going to adapt well to the NFL, not without a lot of work and improving on your throwing. So to see Manziel come to the Browns with his “Johnny Football” mentality, things were always going to go bad.
Made worse by the fact that Cleveland-area quarterback, Brian Hoyer, had joined his hometown franchise at the same time as Manziel’s “ascent”, and I use that term loosely. Due to the Browns wanting Manziel to payoff, they messed with the chemistry, and Hoyer’s improbable 2014 campaign fell apart under pressure from the execs.
Manziel would be just as lazy as Gilbert, would have the same issues with substances as Gilbert, and would last in the NFL for just a hair shorter than his draft-mate as well. Unlike Gilbert, Manziel tried catching on in the CFL, the AAF, and more recently the Fan Controlled Football League.
So at least he’s trying to rehab his career.