Potential No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Johnny Manziel opted earlier this offseason to bypass throwing drills at the NFL Combine and Texas A&M Pro Day, instead using a personal workout to showcase his arm strength.
Pat Kirwan, a former talent executive with the New York Jets and current host on SiriusXM NFL Radio, explained to his co-host, Jim Miller, while Manziel’s decision to skip the Combine may scare away a handful of teams.
“He’s telling the Houston Texans, ‘It’s the biggest mistake of your life if you don’t draft me,’ and then he’s not throwing?,” Kirwan said. “Some of these guys are getting bad advice about how to handle themselves. And if you really don’t know how to handle yourself, just follow along with the greats. Follow the Andrew Lucks of the world, see how they do it, see how they behave.
“You’re not gonna throw at the Combine – OK, I understand that,” Kirwan continued. “Then you’re not gonna throw at the Texas A&M Pro Day, but you’re gonna throw at a completely orchestrated bayou rehearsal with your guys? Well, I think there’s gonna be a club or two that are gonna see the message that you’re sending. You’re still gonna get drafted really high, Johnny – you’re that good. But you’re sending a different message, and there will be some people at the top of this draft, GMs, that have seen this show before. And they’re not going down the road of bringing in a self-promoted guy who wants everything his way. I don’t think it helps you – it hurts you.”
Miller felt the same way as Kirwan, recalling Cam Newton‘s poor Combine weeks before going first overall to the Carolina Panthers. And as Kirwan said, for the executives that attend the Combine, it’s more about players showing up than showing off.
“It’s more that the coach mentality appreciates the effort to compete,” Kirwan said,” and doesn’t really care as much as people think. We took Keyshawn Johnson [when Kirwan was with the Jets], and he dropped about four passes in the gauntlet drill. And we still took him at the top of the draft.”
Movin’ the Chains with Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller airs weekdays at 3 pm ET on SiriusXM NFL Radio, channel 88.