A lot of Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans have been left to lament and wonder what could have been by the team’s decision to pass on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in the NFL draft last week.
At least one former NFL general manager believes the Bucs made the right move and points to one crucial college performance as the reason.
NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly, a former general manager with the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans, said Manziel was seldom tested in college the way he will be in the NFL — and when he was, he suffered.
“To me, the LSU game (last season) was the closest thing to an NFL game that he faced, and what (LSU) did was box him in the pocket, make him throw from the pocket and go to his left, and he got frustrated and he didn’t play well,’’ Casserly said during a radio interview this week on WDAE (620 AM).
“So he’s going to have to overcome the kind of schemes that LSU showed him to (make it in the NFL) and there a questions as to whether he can do that.’’
Manziel ran 12 times for 54 yards but completed only 16 of 41 throws for 224 yards and one touchdown and two interceptions in Texas A&M’s 34-10 loss to the Tigers.
Despite that outing, Cleveland selected him with the 22nd overall pick. Casserly said the Browns are a good fit for Manziel because offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has experience working with his type of quarterback.
Shanahan was previously the coordinator in Washington, where he developed a run-option offense designed around the running and throwing talents of former Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Casserly said he believes Shanahan will do the same with Manziel, but he questioned whether Manziel, at 5-foot-11 and 207 pounds, has the physical makeup to survive playing in such a scheme in the NFL.
At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, “RGIII didn’t hold up, so I don’t think Johnny Manziel is going to hold up,’’ Casserly said. “You may be able to mix (the run option) in a little bit with him, but it’s not going to be something you can have a steady diet of.’’
Casserly said he agreed with the Bucs’ decision to take Manziel’s college teammate, wide receiver Mike Evans, with the seventh overall pick.
“I absolutely would not have taken Manziel with their first pick over Evans,” Casserly said.
Casserly said he also agreed with the Bucs’ decision not to trade quarterback Mike Glennon.
Glennon didn’t prove he can play and didn’t prove he can’t last year, and you don’t get rid of a guy like that,’’ he said.