It happened. One of the most high-profile college football players in recent memory has declared himself eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft. Per multiple sources, Johnny "Football" Manziel, the former Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A & M, decided to go pro after completing his second season as a starter for the Aggies. He was a redshirt sophomore.
Much has been made of the off-field shenanigans that Manziel has put on and caused a media firestorm, but he is one of the most exciting players at the quarterback position in some time. Recently, on ESPN's SportsCenter, draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr. likened him to Hall of Fame Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton and fan-favorite Doug Flutie. Others believe that he is a wild card of a player that could be a perennial champion or drive a franchise into the ground with his perceived immaturity.
Even though Manziel declared, there aren't as many legit quarterbacks entering the draft as initially thought. UCLA's Brett Hundley stayed put, as did a few others, so the big three of the draft include Manziel, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and University of Central Florida's Blake Bortles. All three are projected to go in the top-five or ten this year.
An interesting team to watch in the draft and what they do this year is the St. Louis Rams. They currently hold the No.2 overall pick from the 2012 Draft day trade that netted the Redskins Robert Griffin III and it's not clear what they'll do. Though former No.1 overall pick Sam Bradford has been a disappointment because of injuries, he still has a year left on his deal, so the Rams might not want to take a quarterback. Some teams starved for one of the three quarterbacks could make a mega-deal to move up and get a guy like Manziel.
Other prominent names at the position include Clemson's Tajh Boyd and Georgia's Aaron Murray. Both have been extremely productive quarterbacks at the college ranks and could be first round picks as well. There is a lot to play out here, including workouts, the Combine and pre-draft interviews. We'll see how Manziel does in those and if he cements his standing at the top of the draft.