Johnny Manziel must unseat Browns starting quarterback Brian Hoyer. (Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski stirred up some controversy -- especially in Aggieland -- when he said he wouldn't take Johnny Manziel in the first three rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft. While Jaworski later said Johnny Football's pro day showing made him third-round material, he remained one of the highest-profiled skeptics of the 22nd overall pick.
On Wednesday, Jaworski watched the former Heisman Trophy winner perform during Browns OTA's and poured more cold water on excited Cleveland fans drooling over the chance that Manziel will be the team's starting quarterback as a rookie. "Jaws" instead predicted Brian Hoyer would win the job.
“He won’t,” Jaworski said. “Because of Hoyer.”
“Johnny just needs experience. He had a two-year college career. I think these guys need to mature mentally and physically with more college reps. This is totally different. This is your life now. You compete against guys married and have kids and they compete like hell. The more experience you have I think the better chance you have of being successful at this level.”
The Browns have publicly downplayed the likelihood of Manziel becoming the team's starting quarterback since the draft, treating him like a third-string quarterback in OTAs.
Jaworski noted Manziel had corrected some of the inconsistent mechanics he had displayed at Texas A&M -- crediting his pre-draft quarterback coach George Whitfield -- but he remained concerned that Manziel might not be equipped to survive the physical pounding of the NFL and bitterly cold weather that comes with playing in the AFC North.
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Jaworski also said Hoyer's experience and command of the offense would override Manziel's unique playmaking ability.
“It’s noticeable when you watch the offense when he’s running it or any of the other quarterbacks,” Jawotrski said. “He’s a veteran quarterback. The machinations at the line of scrimmage, the understanding, the command, the calling of the plays – you can tell he’s a veteran quarterback.
“I hope he’s ticked off,” he said. “Whenever I talk to Tom Brady and I mention (his draft status) Pick 199, the chip comes out. That still ticks him off. I think that’s what Brian needs to have – ‘Hey, this is my team, my opportunity, and I’m not letting anyone take that job.’”