The hope is that Johnny Manziel lands in Oakland.
That’s my humble hope, at least. That way, the Broncos would see him twice per season, meaning we would have a vested interest in watching, discussing and writing about Johnny Football. That way, we could see his Raiders jersey smash sales records for a rookie. That way, we could see what happens when the most divisive quarterback prospect since Tim Tebow — and the most-discussed quarterback prospect ever — is mixed in with the Raiders culture. Who doesn’t want to see that?
So I will be pulling for Manziel to fall/rise to the Raiders at No. 5 in Thursday’s first round. I’m a fan. Manziel checks most of the boxes on the Klee Quarterback Ranking System, an entirely unscientific study that has less to do with how a guy plays on the field and more to do with his presence off the field.
The KQBRS is usually quite accurate. Tom Brady, John Elway and, to a lesser extent, Russell Wilson would rank high. Robert Griffin III, Matt Stafford and Jay Cutler — who are productive quarterbacks in their own ways, but I don’t think you can win a Super Bowl with them, and that should be the point of all this — would rank low.
(As my Seahawks friends would tell you, I had a weird infatuation with Russell Wilson coming out of college and nailed that one. Totally whiffed on Nick Foles. So it’s not a perfect system.)
Anyway, that’s the long-winded explanation of how I come up with this list every year. If I’m an NFL GM, here is how I would rank the quarterbacks in the 2014 NFL draft:
1. Blake Bortles, Central Florida
2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
3. Derek Carr, Fresno State
4. Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois
I can’t find a fifth. Don’t love this draft for quarterbacks. After hearing John Elway talk about this QB class on Monday, I didn’t get the impression the Broncos boss is too stoked on it, either.
“It really comes down to your preference and what you like,” said Elway (above).
Draft gurus value pro days, arm strength, Wonderlic tests, release times and under-duress passing percentages. I value confidence and presence and some other off-the-field tendencies. Some guys have those things; some don’t.