1999 1st Rd. QB Comparisons: Should Johnny Manziel Sit This Year?

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May 28, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) and Brian Hoyer(6) drop back to pass during organized team activities at Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns drafted Johnny Manziel in the first round of the NFL Draft. Since then the media frenzy around Manziel has been extreme, to say the least. Manziel will most likely always be a high attention player, for as long as he is in the NFL. Tim Tebow was such, but since being out of the league the news about him dried up quickly. The Browns have to hope that the same doesn’t happen for Manziel, or at least for the same reasons.

More importantly for Manziel and the Browns is how he develops on the field of play. Will Manziel be able to develop from the creative, spread offense college Heisman Trophy winner into a full fledged Franchise QB? How will his first off-season in the NFL system help him break down bad habits and create new ones that move him forward in his professional career.

The biggest obstacle between Manziel and the field may not be his development but incumbent starter Brian Hoyer. Hoyer hasn’t been a franchise QB in any of his 4 stops, that includes the Patriots, Cardinals, Steelers and now the Browns. Yet last year, in his limited time before getting injured, Hoyer showed the ability to make the right plays, with quick decision making, a solid arm and ability to make plays with his feet. Both Manziel and Hoyer are starting in a new offense under Kyle Shanahan, one in which their skill sets can be put to great use.

Today we are going to take a non-scientific, scientific approach to this question: Does the history of 1st round quarterbacks suggest that Manziel and the Browns would be best suited with him sitting for a year? We will start with the 1999 draft working are way up to last year’s draft.

We will look at every first round quarterback drafted since the Browns return, a season per page write up, today we start with the 1999 NFL Draft. We will note whether each QB started any games their rookie season. We will then give out grades for their rookie season, their first 3 seasons together and their entire career. Players who didn’t play during their rookie year and those who haven’t played in more then 3 full seasons will not be given a grade.

Those grades will then be averaged to get information that will help answer the question. A final writeup will complete the final analysis of all draft classes. Will QBs who started during their rookie years fare similar to those who sat for a season? Which group has the best 3 year grade? Career grade? Based on this system players like Peyton Manning also won’t ruin the curve with his superior grade. QBs will be given pure letter grades: A, B, C, D and F.

  • A = Franchise Guy during time frame reviewed.
  • B = Solid Starter
  • C = Easily Replaceable
  • D = Can Win a Game or Two But Team Looking For a Replacement
  • F = Pure Failure
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Tags: Cleveland Browns Johnny Manziel

  • Brown4Life

    This is a VERY decent read and synopsis giving some excellent comparable(s) to theorize on..IMO, JF should develop more than just his game. Weight and strength are a real issue for him even though he is comparable to Drew Brees in size and stature. In foresight, it might not be a bad idea for him to take some time and learn from the man (Brees) Superbowl winning qb’s as a mentor are hard to come by and it doesn’t seem as if Hoyer is willing to impart any qb wisdom to JF since they’re competing against each other.

  • Bryan Stewart

    No