NFL

Polian: Cleveland Browns need to consider Johnny Manziel magic at No. 4

May 1, 2014

The Cleveland Browns haven’t been good in a very long time. There’s a quarterback who should be available at No. 4 overall in the first round – where the Browns pick –  who can be magical. SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Bill Polian said this week that because of those two facts, Cleveland’s front office owes it to Browns fans to consider Johnny Manziel with their first overall pick.

“There was more than a ray of sunshine when Mike Holmgren and Pat Shurmur took over. In fact, they rebuilt a very good defense – it’s on the verge of being very good,” Polian said. “So now you have a new regime, you have to think, ‘I, as a general manager, at least some point in the draft room, say the following: Johnny has magic.’ There is no two ways about it. And I don’t think anybody, even Johnny’s biggest detractors, would argue that Johnny wins games with special magic, just as Doug Flutie did.”

Polian then pointed to Manziel’s impressive time in the three-cone drill – 6.75 seconds – and insisted that what fans see in their eyes “is what’s in [Manziel's] body.

He’s got charisma, he’s got leadership ability. You heard what [Texas A&M special teams coordinator] Brian Polian said earlier in the show; say his teammates believe that he was a winner, and somehow or another, Johnny would pull a game out. All you had to watch was the Alabama game two years ago in Tuscaloosa, the toughest place to play in college football in America against the best defense in America, and he dribbled the ball off his knee and found [Ryan] Swope wide open in the end zone for the winning touchdown. That’s magic.

Don’t mistake that for Polian saying Manziel is a lock for the Hall of Fame. But if the Browns can get to respectability by taking Manziel, they need to take that shot.

“You have to say to yourself, ‘With the fourth pick in the draft, should we draft Johnny knowing that, maybe, the best he’ll ever do as quarterback is 8-8?,'” Polian said. “Well, Phil Savage, who in another life was once the general manager of the Browns and never really got the chance to institute his program because of ownership, said today: ‘8-8 for the Browns is like the Super Bowl.'”

Don’t miss SiriusXM NFL Radio’s coverage of the 2014 NFL Draft on May 8th-10th, and follow them on Twitter @SiriusXMNFL.