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Trask on Manziel: GMs 'too scared to be unconventional' in 2014 NFL Draft

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

More Draft coverage: Mock Drafts | Prospect Rankings | Big Board | News

Johnny Manziel's the most polarizing figure in the 2014 NFL Draft. It's not even close. No one can say with complete certainty that he'll fail or succeed but everyone has an opinion on him.

NFL general managers and coaches have, mostly, provided those opinions. And, mostly, they like him. But would they draft him?

Former Raiders CEO and current CBS Sports analyst Amy Trask believes that most GMs will lack the, ahem, courage to draft Manziel and will be "too scared" to fail in an unconventional way.

"It's a classic risk-reward analysis. We know the risks. He's undersized, he plays a freelancing, wide-open style of football where he subjects himself to potential injury," Trask said. "But we know there may be a tremendous, tremendous reward. So as a business person or a coach or a scout or an evaluator, you're doing a risk-reward analysis.

"Remember one thing -- and I think this applies to football and general managers more or as much than any walk of life -- it's a great, great famous John Maynard Keynes quote: ‘Worldly wisdom teaches us that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.' And there are a lot of general managers out there who are not going to want to do something unconventional … and succeed."

I'll be honest: I had to Google Keynes to make sure I spelled his name right. But Trask drops a pretty good quote. If you take the guy you're "supposed to take," the player that fits the NFL mold (a.k.a. Blake Bortles) and he doesn't work out, well, no one saw that coming because he looks like a quarterback.

Take Manziel and the ride is going to be wild, whether you're winning or losing. Even the winning, because it goes against the grain in a copycat league, isn't easy.

“I believe most people in the league are too scared to be unconventional and you're right," Trask said. "It's going to take courage.”

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