Say want you want, Manziel is exciting

(KSDK Sports) -- Today, Frank Cusumano offers up his opinion on why Johnny Manziel is such an exciting story as well as a future NFL superstar. His pro-day today is certainly garnering a lot of attention.

Mike Zimmer will show up at Johnny Manziel's pro day workout on campus at Texas A&M on Thursday acting as much like private investigator.

Zimmer, the new coach of the Minnesota Vikings, will watch each of Manziel's 60 or so throws, along with coaches, general managers and scouts from dozens of NFL teams.

He'll look at Manziel's footwork and his drop backs and his release point. He'll try to judge Manziel's accuracy and see how the quarterback has improved since his last collegiate game. All of these things will matter, sure, but maybe not as much as what Zimmer will find out about Manziel once he leaves the Aggies' field house.

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"I want to talk to the custodian. I want to talk to his teammates. I want to talk to his landlord. I want to find out those things," Zimmer said Wednesday. "We'll know what kind of football player he is by the end of the day and how he does with all that other stuff, but it's all the other intangible things."

None of the top-tier quarterbacks in May's draft will receive quite as much scrutiny as the Manziel, the 2012 Heisman trophy winner, because of his improvisational style of play on the field and his often-controversial persona off it.

"We research them all the same, but that's something that's been well publicized," Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine said of Manziel, who was investigated and briefly suspended last year because of an autograph scandal. "Some guys' folders are a little bit thicker than others, but I don't think there is anything that is alarming there."

Several NFL coaches instead mentioned another, old-school quarterback red flag when it comes to Manziel: At the combine last month, Manziel was measured at just under six-feet tall.

"There are a lot of quarterbacks, but not a lot who succeed with his stature," Zimmer said. "You're going against the odds a little bit with a guy like that, but the game has changed so much now, and the offense in the NFL is a lot more like college football, spread out and opened up, so I believe he'll have a career."


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