Jake Locker

NFL Draft: LSU’s Mettenberger heading to Titans

4 Comments

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger is breathing a bit of a sigh of relief now after finally hearing his name called by an NFL team. Mettenberegr was drafted early in the sixth round by the Tennessee Titans with the 178th overall pick. At Tennessee he will likely be given a chance to back-up Jake Locker right away and perhaps make a case to put the pressure on for a starting job.

Mettenberger likely dropped so far in the draft because of injury concerns after being beat up last fall for the Tigers. He can be accurate and there really is little to doubt his toughness. If he can pick up the playbook and put together some solid practices in spring camps and training camp, it would not be a total shock to see Mettenberger get some playing time this fall, especially if Locker struggles.

The SEC regained control in the conference draft pick totals at the end of the fifth round. As the fifth round came to a close, the SEC accounted for 36 draft picks after sending 10 players in the fifth round. That helped pull back ahead of the ACC and start to create a little breathing room in the total count. The ACC ended the fifth round with 31 picks, the Pac-12 had 27 picks and the Big Ten had 25 picks.

Should Johnny Manziel go to the NFL? Decision looms for Heisman winner

23 Comments

By the time Texas A&M plays their bowl game this upcoming postseason the world will know what the future holds for Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and one of the favorites for the 2013 award is executed to make his decision before Texas A&M’s bowl game, according to reports Friday.

During a radio interview on Friday, Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said he has not had the NFL future discussion with Manziel but does expect to know what will be happening in the offseason before the Aggies play their bowl game.

“We haven’t had that conversation,” Sumlin said. “My job is to get him all the facts that we can get him. We’ll have that discussion after the Missouri game, certainly during the bowl preparation. I’m sure the announcement will be made at that time.”

The Missouri game is the final game of the regular season on Texas A&M’s schedule.

Everybody will have an opinion on what Manziel should do. If Manziel does become just the second player to win the Heisman Trophy a second time, there will be little reason to prove and return in 2014. And Manziel may very well make history as a two-time Heisman Trophy winner. His passing numbers are improved in just about eery statistical category that matters. Manziel has thrown a few more interceptions this season than last year but his passing accuracy, touchdown total and yards per attempt are all up and his passing yardage should jump up this season despite less playing time this season for one reason or another. Still, at times Manziel does things that just do not feel as though they would blend well in the NFL.

What are those concerns? Heaving passes up and hoping Mike Evans can come down with it is one. In the NFL, Manziel will lose the benefit of the doubt of having the best player in the open field every play being able to come down with passes that will be up for grabs in the NFL. Holding the football away from his body is another. When Manziel makes the decision to run, he can be quite effective in weaving in and out of trouble, but he tends to hold the football out away from his body. In the college game he can get away with that but in the NFL he will be a bit more neutralized when it comes to speed and NFL players will have a better chance of knocking a football loose unless he keeps it closer to his body.

These are just mild concerns perhaps, and they are most certainly correctable. We do not know yet whether Manziel has the ability to break that mold or if he is even aware of some potential shortcomings he may have in the NFL. Another factor in to Manziel’s decision-making could be whether or not Sumlin is back as head coach. It is likely Sumlin is the head coach at Texas A&M next season, but what if he decides to leave for USC (or Texas)?

Should Manziel leave Texas A&M and enter the NFL Draft? He would likely be a first or second round draft pick, and his stock may not get much higher than that if he returned in 2014 for one more year. There had also been plenty of good examples to learn from about quarterbacks making the decision to come back for one more year of college before leaving for the NFL that did not quite go as planned (Matt Barkley, Jake Locker).

Just a hunch, but Manziel is going to be playing Sundays in 2014.