Ever since Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel exploded on the scene in 2012, NFL scouts have been enamored with his playmaking ability yet wary of his 6-1, 200-pound frame. Manziel's 2013 campaign has put much of that concern to rest, as Manziel has moved up to No. 5 overall on the CBSSports.com prospect rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft.
Former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees faced much of the same size-related criticism long before leading the New Orleans Saints to the Super Bowl and breaking NFL single-season passing records. FoxSports.com reached out to Brees earlier this week to talk Manziel, and the Saints quarterback had plenty of compliments for Manziel -- and a Russell Wilson comparison.
"He is a heckuva player," Brees told FOXSports.com in a telephone interview. "He's fun to watch. He makes all kinds of plays.
"He's got all the playmaking ability to be a great player. [There are] guys like [Manziel] in this league. Russell Wilson and his ability to run the football and extend plays outside the pocket and throw the ball down the field. Intermediate [routes], I mean he can do it all."
Most importantly, Brees thinks the third-year sophomore who most expect will declare for the NFL after this season has the most necessary of intangibles — the ability to take control of a huddle and lead an NFL offense. When asked if Manziel, who is listed at 6-foot-1, could be a starter at the next level, Brees put it simply: "Yeah, absolutely."
Do you think Brees, Manziel and Russell Wilson will have their own exclusive party at the Pro Bowl one day? I'd like to think so, considering all that's been made of this whole "undersized quarterback" narrative. If they do, I'd bet 6-foot-7 quarterback Brock Osweiler (currently with the Denver Broncos) is definitely not on the list.