Teams have expressed concerns over Johnny Manziel's off-the-field distractions. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Vikings have been paying close attention to Johnny Manziel throughout the NFL draft process, and it increasingly sounds as if the former Texas A&M quarterback will not be a fit with new head coach Mike Zimmer.
Following Manziel's pro day, there was a report that Zimmer was unimpressed with the "sideshow" event, and now Zimmer is speaking out on the team's private meeting with the signal-caller.
Zimmer said that the Vikings asked Manziel a number of questions during their individual meeting, and there were some "flags" that came up during the conversation, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
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“We asked him all kinds of questions. ...There are some flags that come up,” Zimmer said.
“All of the things that happened out in Los Angeles, the commercials and all that stuff [Manziel had a cameo in a recent McDonalds commercial with LeBron James]; the position of quarterback in the NFL is such an important position and the reason these guys need to be a totally football-minded guy is the pressure of the position and being the face of an NFL team and doing everything right. That’s the thing you want to know about him -- will he be into work early every single day? Will be the last to leave? Will he be the guy that is working the hardest to get better?
“There is a change, otherwise all of these other quarterbacks that have come up through the years would have made it, from the college game to the NFL game as far as the speed of the defense and some of the complexities of the different defenses. So that position has got to be a position that really eats, breaths, and sleeps football where he is going to take it upon his shoulders to win. At least the Peyton Manning’s, Drew Brees’ of the world have done that and really all we have to go on in the NFL is past history.”
Zimmer is clearly a no-nonsense kind of guy who values character above all else in a quarterback, so it would not be a surprise to see the Vikings pass on Manziel if he was still available when they are on the clock.
There is a chance that the Vikings are just throwing up smokescreens leading up to the draft, but it seems more likely that Zimmer and Manziel's personalities just clash.