Posted February 21, 2014

Johnny Manziel misses 6-foot mark at NFL scouting combine

2014 Scouting Combine, NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014
Height could be less of a concern for Johnny Manziel (top) given the success of smaller QBs like Russell Wilson.

Height could be less of a concern for Johnny Manziel (top) given the success of smaller QBs like Russell Wilson. (John W. McDonough/SI)

INDIANAPOLIS — “I’m going to measure 6 feet,” Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel told the Houston Chronicle this week. “I’m 72 inches on the dot.”

Almost. But not quite.

Manziel checked in at 5-foot-11 and 3/4 Friday morning at the NFL scouting combine, narrowly missing that 6-0 cutoff. Will that quarter-of-an-inch deficiency hurt Manziel in the long run? Probably not. At this point, Manziel’s lack of ideal height is a known quantity. He even talked about the importance of Russell Wilson’s success in the NFL after Wilson recorded a 5-10 5/8 height mark at the combine two years ago.

“I think he’s kicked the door wide open,” Manziel told the Houston Chronicle. “You’re seeing more guys being successful avoiding that first wave of pressure — get out and do things outside the pocket.”

MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft | 2014 NFL Draft Big Board | Burning questions for combine

For what it’s worth, Manziel also fell well shy (as everyone knew he would) of fellow potential first-round QB picks Teddy Bridgewater (6-2 1/8) and Blake Bortles (6-5).

Manziel’s reputation as more of a playmaker and less of a pocket passer could minimize how badly NFL teams dock him for the sub-6 foot height. Wilson wound up being selected in Round 3 by the Seahawks, who then took advantage of his ability to shift the pocket while reworking their offense. Manziel should offer similar positives once he makes it to the league.

Still, there is a bit of a stigma in the NFL regarding committing to a “short” quarterback as a franchise guy. The dream QB candidate stands closer to Bortles’ height. Even Bridgewater, at a little more than 6-2, is bordering on being undersized.

Like Wilson, Manziel did measure well in hand size, another important attribute for QBs — the larger the hand, the less the perceived risk of fumbling or mishandling snaps. Wilson hit at 10 1/4-inch in that category at the combine; Manziel was at 9 7/8 on Friday, better than Bridgewater or Bortles (9 1/4 and 9 3/8, respectively).

95 comments
HoustonBeerMan
HoustonBeerMan

He might be 5'11", but he plays like he's 5'7". He's got BUST written all over him. As a Texans fan. I hope we don't waste our number one pick.

AlanDean
AlanDean

How can Johnny football do that he is 6 foot tall and I bet he will do better in nfl

pirate
pirate

Classic. "Even Bridgewater at 6-2 is bordering on being undersized." Did any of these guys  watch the Super Bowl? As Pete Carroll said, it's easy to look at these kids and see what they can't do. You have to look at what they can do and how you can make that work for you. I'm not a Manziel fan, but after I read crap like this it makes me hope he goes out and wins three Super Bowls. 

Just not for a team from Texas.

JimJakato
JimJakato

You do not  have to go farther than the headlines on this kid.  He may be tearing up his division at Tex A&M, but the pro's are a different bread.  They are the big boys he has trouble with now, when playing some of the teams with drafting right-of-way, that through the years have produced quality D-lines around the NFL.


Having four monsters coming in at him going between 6'2"(might be about the limit of players size he can work around) and 6'7" who when coming straight up on him will give problems of vision to his receivers and their routes.  Bring in three (3) monsters average 6'5" - 333 LBS, and they can be enough of a vision blockage that he will lose the whole field almost.  Not only that but speed will cause timing problems, that with three (3) red dogging monsters left beating their O-linemen in about 1.7 seconds, he only has about 2.2 if he's lucky to throw the ball or run away out of the pocket, if there's an open field to run to and he's aware of it.  So, you see; I wondered about everything falling in place for him when the headlines started last week on him.  Will he be that good in the Pro's?  Now, to see the size issue, I hae real strong doubts about that.  He seems to be just like we saw in headlines a year, two , three...etc years back, who made it to the pro's only to go free agent in a couple years with no interest given to him because the drafted team he went to dumped him, and the stats he worked for were not there.  I could be wrong, but unless he has a miracle jump and pass routine (highly unlikely) he's a wash out.

MOJO1
MOJO1

Just who, for ^%$#'s sake, gives a rip?  Over blown, over hyped.  As sick of hearing about him as I am of Sams and that bail-of-hay cornpone brained (I wish I was) Incognito.  Boy they do grow some 

double-digit IQs in Nebraska.


I look forward to your comments.

ChiefG
ChiefG

Manziel thinks he is 7ft.  That might just be his enormous head.

With his ego he is a giant. We will see when he actually plays against the Pros in the NFL

ballhawk2925
ballhawk2925

I don't think scouts look at hand size as an indicator that the QB will fumble less or won't mishandle snaps. It's more about the QB's control of the football while in the act of passing. Can he grip the ball firmly and release a tight spiral, especially if the ball is wet or he can't get a hold of the laces? At least, that's why people say Russell Wilson's big hands are an asset. 

Lohikaarme
Lohikaarme

Ok he is small in height, how about his brain size?

tarheel2
tarheel2

Ridiculous!  The same geniuses that pay attention to these numbers are the same ones that told us Brady was no better than a sixth round pick and Kurt Warner was not even worthy of drafting at all.  Also the same ones that told us "because of his height and skills, Ryan Leaf is going to be the prototypical NFL quarterback.  These numbers mean nothing.

badcyclist1
badcyclist1

Manziel's future is like Dolly Parton.

NON SMILEY
NON SMILEY

You know what they say about men with big hands.

They fumble less.

bobdevo
bobdevo

Hmmm - how tall was Joe Montana?

HectorRamirez
HectorRamirez

not just height but he also looks small, will look like a kid in the NFL. this guy will be a bust at the next level, id pass on him.

The_truth_hurts
The_truth_hurts

Sounds like this guy has problems being called short like Aaron Rodgers. I wonder if he likes boys too.

amolad
amolad

5-foot-11 and 3/4 makes him exactly the same size as Drew Brees, with Brees' huge hands as well.

But I don't think the real concern with Johnny Football is with either of those things.

norcalrunner
norcalrunner

It's really too bad you couldn't mix this kids skills with Tim Tebow's humility. 

6marK6
6marK6

I think people are confusing size with style. Russell Wilson is a drop back passer, He can scramble and run if need be, but he is a pocket passer first. Manziel is an improvise, slash and burn QB. He is not a patient drop back passer and wants to leave the pocket, where he will encounter 250 lb. linebackers that will kill him.

OconnorPainting
OconnorPainting

this kid better get over himself pretty quick he treats people like they are not his equal 

yes he is a good collage qb but he has not proven anything yet he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth just go prove yourself first stop acting like you have done anything yet you have not     my niece went to school with him so i have hurd how he can be  just hope he takes it one day at a time and stay humble you are lucky to have this chance in life

Marchoir
Marchoir

@pirate Here's some "crap" for you to read. Forty six Super Bowls have been played since 1967. Counting the winning and losing QB's, that total 92 QB's that have started in a Super Bowl. Russell Wilson was the first QB ever to start a Super Bowl that was under six feet tall. ONE. Don't know what kind of math or statistics you subscribe to, but 1 of 92 isn't a convincing case. Bridgewater IS bordering undersized. There is a football axiom that says "fast is good, but big and fast beats fast just about every time". Size matters. In the NFL, and in just about everything else you can think of. If she tells you it doesn't, she's lying. Haven't you been watching the AT&T commercials? "Bigger IS better".

pirate
pirate

@JimJakato The poros are a different bread? What kind? Whole wheat? Pumpernickel? Rye?

JimJakato
JimJakato

@MOJO1  Hey bud, cool it.  they have to write about something.  Maybe the writer was his brother-in-law or some s/#*.  He's too short.  6'2" A Rodgers is really 6'4" and has trouble seeing through 356LB 6'6" apes coming like dragsters.  Bring in 2 or 3 of them, and good-bye

pirate
pirate

@ballhawk2925 Sure they do. It's why they measure them. Dave Kreig was a pretty good QB for the Seahawks and later Bears back in the 80s, but he set a record for fumbles – and it was because he had some of the smallest hands of any quarterback.

KevinG
KevinG

@unitcaptain11 Really?  You are actually talking crap about someone's face.  Look in the mirror buddy


KevinG
KevinG

@badcyclist1 This makes no sense whatsoever.  Go home, think of something clever, and try again.


bobdevo
bobdevo

@HectorRamirez Your ignorance is not SMALL at ALL. Care to bet on how he does in the NFL? In my book, he's the closest thing I've seen to Joe Montana.

james_2001
james_2001

@amolad The only real concern is his style of play.  If he adapts and uses his legs to extend the play behind the line of scrimmage, as you see w/ Wilson and Tarkenton, then he will excel in the league.  The outrage over the off-field stuff is ridiculous. 

bobdevo
bobdevo

@6marK6 Manziel was the leading passer %-wise from the pocket in his conference - 73% completion rate when he throws out of the pocket.  A&M couldn't set a pocket - if he gets a good offensive line he will be terrifying. It would be helpful if you knew what you were talking about.

bobdevo
bobdevo

@OconnorPainting Apparently you did not see his bowl game, where he gathered his team, told them forget about the scoreboard, and said let's go win this thing.

james_2001
james_2001

@OconnorPainting He's proven himself at every level he's played.  As a freshman, people said he was too small and would get crushed by SEC defenses.  What's he do?  Becomes first freshman to ever win the Heisman.  As a sophomore, everyone guaranteed he couldn't do it again.  SEC defenses would be ready for him this time.  What's he do?  Becomes an even better passer, and ends season as a Heisman finalist, while having his way w/ the vaunted Bama defense for a 2nd straight season.

As for his arrogance, virtually all athletes at this level are arrogant.  It's part of what drives them.  Relax and just sit back and enjoy one of the most exciting players to ever play the game.

TheBalls
TheBalls

@bobdevo @HectorRamirez  Say what?  Montana?  You would probably be in the very small minority there.  Montana was precise with his passes, no guess work.  This kid closes his eyes and tosses it up in the air, which he did twice agains Bama this year.  Lucky for him he had 6' 6" receivers...

OconnorPainting
OconnorPainting

@james_2001 @OconnorPaintingim talking about a kid that treats fellow students like they are under him he should realize he has a talent but it is not yet proven in the nfl and he will not treat people that way there or they will crush him

Wired
Wired

@james_2001 @TheBalls @bobdevo @HectorRamirez  You could argue that Cam Newton had those things.  Plus cam threw a better deep ball in college.  Johnny is an excellent play creator, but NFL cornerbacks are better than college ones.  He has too many "chuck and Pray" plays.  Which will result in turnovers.  I don't see his skill-set paying off in the NFL.

james_2001
james_2001

@TheBalls @bobdevo@HectorRamirezBut, yes, the comparison to Montana, while I've seen it made elsewhere, is not that common.  More common are comparisons to Fran Tarkenton, Flutie, and Favre. 

In reality, we've never seen someone with his combination of passing abilities, running abilities, instinct, and vision.  There's been better passers.  There's been better runners.  There's been some that have had better instinct and vision (although that list is VERY short).  There's never been someone with all those.

james_2001
james_2001

@TheBalls @bobdevo@HectorRamirezYou clearly never watched Manziel, other than what you saw in highlights.  He threw a greater % of downfield passes than any of the other top qb's in the draft, and his completion % was higher than the others. 

He's an extremely accurate passer.  It's not just "close eyes, and heave". 

donald5
donald5

@james_2001 @donald5 @OconnorPainting   I saw their games, their corners sucked.


Alabama played the following teams with their passing Offensive ranking to follow... then you might know why their passing defensive stats were so good


Virginia Tech              61st

Texas A&M                  7th

Colorado State          30th (helps to play in the MWC right)

Ole Miss                     23rd

Georgia State            Unranked

Kentucky                     98th

Arkansas                   114th

Tennessee               109th

LSU                             44th

Miss State                  53rd

Auburn                      106th

Oklahoma                  90th


Throw in an FCS team.  Without even considering 2 teams that were not ranked, they averaged playing the 57th ranked passing offense in the country.  Out of 13 games they played 9 teams below 50th.  Alabama had a pretty good overall defense last year.  And honestly, you need to toss Colorado State out of the equation.  So basically they only played against 3 top 50 passing teams.  If you think that means nothing, fine.  I can't look past the fact that their secondary was protected by a schedule severely lacking in any real passing attacks.


james_2001
james_2001

@donald5 @OconnorPaintingAlabama was #5 in Total Defense, #11 in Passing Defense, and #4 in Scoring Defense.  Were they as dominant as in year's past?  No, but relative to the rest of college football, it was an elite defense that Manziel hung 42 points and 562 yards on. 

WilliamCross
WilliamCross

Are you a student at A&M? And I've never heard any of his teammates say anything bad about the guy. It's pretty obvious that you've developed a personal problem with a stranger, and you're projectiong that highly suspect and subjective bias onto nfl players who will "crush him" if he doesn't change. You should see somebody, maybe like a team of psychiatrists, get a grip on this thing before it spins out of control.

james_2001
james_2001

@OconnorPainting @james_2001And the way he is is no different than any other elite athlete.  It's par for the course.  Unfortunately, like w/ other elite athletes, only the "bad" incidents are reported, and relationships like the one he has with Charlie Dina are completely ignored.  It wouldn't support your incomplete narrative of the kid, so it is just ignored.