TSV Scouting Department

Johnny Manziel

Report Prepared By James MacPherson

Johnny Manziel Photo: Star Telegram


Class: RS Sophomore
Height: 5'11 3/4"
Weight: 207 lbs.
School: Texas A&M
  • 2012 Heisman Trophy Winner - first freshman in history to win the award
  • 2013 Heisman Trophy Finalist
  • 2013 First Team All-SEC QB
  • 2013 Chick-Fil-A Bowl Offensive MVP
  • Accounted for just under 10,000 total yards rushing/passing in 2 years

**Scouting report prepared by QB guru/former Wake Forest star QB James MacPherson

Combine Notes

**Manziel chose not to throw at the Combine, choosing to throw on his personal Pro Day late in March.

**Combine measurements

  • 40 yard dash - 4.68
  • Vertical jump - 31.5"
  • Broad jump - 9'5"


  • Extremely mobile and athletic quarterback who makes plays with his arm and feet.
  • Outstanding quickness and cutting ability, eludes defenders and extending pass plays
  • 4.5 speed, able to outrun defenders at the first and second level
  • Better than average arm strength capable of throwing deep outs from the opposite hash, as well as go routes accurately over the outside shoulder.
  • Keeps ball up securely with two hands when dropping back
  • Gets on top of his throws.
  • Displays decent passing mechanics from the waist up-hip rotation, arm angle, wrist snap, and shoulder drive
  • Quick release
  • Puts touch on his passes and drop the ball over defenders.
  • Alters his arm angle to make different types of throws over or around defenders.
  • Passes accurately on the run squaring his hips to his target rolling out to both his right and left.
  • Identifies defensive coverages pre-snap hitting timing quick outs, deep outs, and curls against an off Cover 3/Quarters playing corners.
  • Looks off and holds defenders with his eyes on pass plays to hit open receivers
  • Capable of making play changes, tagging receivers on pass routes at the line of scrimmage
  • Strong competitor, doesn't back down from competition and makes plays in the clutch
  • Plays through pain
  • Physical Toughness: rarely slides, lowers his shoulders bouncing off tackles/hits falling forward for additional yardage
  • Mental Toughness: Performs at a high level under constant media attention and scrutiny


  • Undersized (listed at 6'1, 210, closer to 5'11-6'0)
  • Needs to put on more muscle
  • Pulls the football down and runs too soon on pass plays, skittish v. blitz
  • Inconsistent recognizing coverages, blitzes and hitting open routes designed to attack said coverages.
  • Bad habit of not setting his feet properly and throwing falling back off of his back foot.
  • Impatient, does not always go through read progression.
  • Can he make all NFL throws? Hard to say given his improvisation skills
  • Makes some risky ill-advised throws, throwing passes up for grabs.
  • Carries the ball loosely with one hand when he scrambles.
  • Rarely see him throw the football away if it's not there, will hold onto the ball and take sacks.
  • Lazy on his naked fakes on hand offs and run plays.
  • Can he make pass drops from under center? Has taken all snaps from gun
  • Off the field issues are well documented, only 21 year old sophomore, maturity concerns

Film Room

TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown

:28 Looks off free safety vs. man free coverage, hits go route over the outside shoulder.
1:29 Gets around the corner, outruns blitzing LB
1:38 Hole shot go route vs. 2-deep safety
12:30 Misses hot throw into blitz, but eludes pass rush, scrambles for big gain, making defenders miss in second level.
13:19 Holds backside safety with eyes, throws frontside inside post route for a TD.
13:57 Recognizes man free coverage, WR appears to adjust his deep in to a go route, hits it for TD
16:14 Escapes rush during two minute drill, makes big throw downfield.

TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown

1:26 Recognizes FS rotating to man free, throws back shoulder go route for big first down
3:32 Hot throw recognition, off of a run play with a tagged backside pass route, but still a good hot throw.
4:33 Recognizes Cover 2 man with RB motion, knows he has a green light to run if defense is chasing in man and nothing is open. Makes spy defender miss scrambles for 20+ yards and wisely slides at the end of the play avoiding taking a hit.
4:54 Misses open hot receiver into a blitz.
6:29 Hits deep out on time to his left.
7:07 Threat in redzone/goalline, good coverage scrambles for a TD.
9:15 Poor read/decision, should be a high low read off of inside LB.
10:33 Carries ball too loosely away from his body, gets stripped for unnecessary fumble.
11:31 Big pass shows off arm strength when feet are set properly
13:00 Pass routes not open, makes a play with his feet selling out for TD.

TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown

1:28 Steps up in the pocket, keeps eyes downfield, shows arm strength throwing deep post accurately on the run.
3:07 Steps up and slides out of pocket to avoid rush, changes arm slot to pass around defender.
3:47 Scrambles and makes a risky ill-advised pass late over the middle resulting in an interception.
8:47 Hangs in pocket with good protection, scanning defense, sets his feet and drives a perfect backside post route.
9:54 Shows off his elusiveness and running threat, going 20+ on a QB Draw.
11:20 Sets his feet nicely and drives a back shoulder go route (after spraining throwing shoulder)
11:40/12:24 Throws a long out to his backside from opposite hash.
14:14 Underthrows go route falling off his back foot unnecessarily
14:32/14:55/15:28 3X Has decent protection, takes off to run too soon instead of finding open WR


Manziel's ability to make plays with his feet outside the pocket may be his biggest strength. However, his biggest strength may also be his most overt weakness as an NFL quarterback.  He often relies too heavily on his ability to make plays with his feet, and abandons pass plays too early.  He does not consistently read defenses, go through his progression, and beat blitzes by hitting hot receivers.  Occasionally, he'll stay in the pocket, make pre-snap and post-snap reads, execute timing throws in the quick game and even some drop back passes.  Unfortunately, he has not done this on a consistent basis.  If he abandons pass plays at the next level, there are DE and LB with the speed to track him down.  While college teams have tried to spy him with a LB or DB that may be their 3rd or 4th best cover guy.  At the NFL-level, the LB or DB spying him will be a much better athlete/player.  Additionally, he struggled in the Auburn game as the Auburn defensive line stayed fresh and maintained contain throughout the game.  Its linebackers were also fast/athletic enough to chase him down.  If he wants to be a successful NFL quarterback he must learn to stay in the pocket, hit open receivers more consistently, read defenses pre-snap and post-snap, go through progressions and beat blitzes with hot throws.

Throwing off balance and on his back foot is another weakness for Manziel.  If he plans on being a top notch NFL quarterback he must improve his footwork, consistently set his feet and not throw falling back off of his back foot.  His accuracy has suffered throwing inaccurate short passes that lose velocity.  At the NFL level, the receiving windows are smaller and accuracy is at a premium.  He has shown that he can drive throws down field with proper footwork, stepping into his passes, but, again, he must do this more consistently.  Many of the pass routes in the NFL are timing patterns where the quarterback has to take a 3-step, 5-step, and 7-step drop and throw the ball on the last step or hitch and throw after the last step.  I have seen Manziel make these throws from the gun; however, he'll need to learn to make more throws on time at the NFL level to be a successful quarterback.

Ultimately, if Johnny Manziel wants to succeed as an NFL quarterback, he will have to learn to be more consistent beating teams from the pocket.  He will have to become more consistent reading defenses, going through his progression, beating blitzes by hitting hot receivers, improve his accuracy from the pocket by setting his feet and stepping into his passes, and lastly after he does take off and run, slide to protect himself.  If he is able to do those things, he can have a ton of success in the NFL.

Passing Chart