(FootballStL) - Normally I wait until a day or two before the NFL draft to advise the Rams on whom they should pick in the first few rounds. This year will be different. I'll go ahead and make the call right now, even though the draft is still five months away.
Johnny Manziel announced on Wednesday that he will forego his final two years of college eligibility and enter the NFL draft. That's all I needed to hear to make my recommendation to Jeff Fisher and Les Sneed.
The Rams need Johnny Manziel and they need him right now! Don't trade the second overall pick in the draft to pick up more choices. Use that pick to select Johnny Football. Put an exciting new face on a franchise that hasn't produced a winning record in ten seasons. Bring in one of the most wildly popular college players in recent history. Also one of the most successful.
Manziel did some amazing things at Texas A&M. He threw for a school-record 4,114 yards and 37 touchdowns. He ran for 759 yards and nine scores. He owns the two best total-yardage seasons in SEC history, breaking Cam Newton's record last year by posting 5,116 and following it with 4,873 this season. In two seasons with the Aggies, Manziel threw for 7,820 yards and 63 touchdowns while rushing for 2,169 yards and 30 more scores. This season, he set school records for passing yards and passing touchdowns. In his 26-game career, he set at least 35 school, SEC and NCAA records. Not a bad resume.
Still, there are differing opinions about how Manziel's game will translate in the NFL, mostly because of his size. He's listed at 6'0", 200 pounds and that may be pushing it. But haven't we seen enough of Drew Brees and Russell Wilson to know that it's possible to be an outstanding NFL quarterback and not be 6'4"?
In all likelihood, Manziel won't be the first player taken in the draft. The Rams will have a chance to pick him. What could be a better way of generating buzz and excitement into otherwise bored fan base? Manziel would sell tickets by the truckload for a team that plays most of its home games in front of a thousands of empty seats. Johnny Football might just save the franchise for St. Louis.
To keep him happy, they may as well go ahead and draft Manziel's Texas A&M teammate Mike Evans, the All American wide receiver, with the 13th pick in round one. Evans would answer the Rams need for a big, number one type wide receiver. Then pick up an offensive tackle in round two. I'll go ahead and let Fisher and Sneed take it from there.