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Merrill Hoge: Johnny Manziel 'has no business' playing in NFL yet

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Johnny Manziel might get reps against the Steelers in Week 1.
Merrill Hoge is not a fan of Johnny Manziel. (USATSI)

Johnny Manziel is extremely polarizing. He has many fans and probably more critics. Count Merrill Hoge among them, in a big way.

Hoge appeared on 102.5 WDVE in Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning and completely torched the Browns rookie quarterback. Hoge claimed Manziel "has no business" playing in the NFL right now and the Steelers -- who are preparing for Manziel to play -- want him "to walk out on that field."

"If you're the Steelers defense you want No. 2 to walk out on that field. You want him on that field," Hoge said. "He has no business being on the field right now. This is the one thing that probably burns me more about the NFL more than anything, is when a player like Johnny Manziel is drafted based on hype and excitement, not a true football skill.

"He really had no business being drafted in the first round. When I was doing the draft and I was going through and studying him. I actually got done and it's the first time, aside from when Tim Tebow came out, there's nothing, nothing he does that transitions to the National Football League. There's not one skill set he had where you say ‘Gosh he's a first-rounder.' Really nothing."

Oh my goodness. Hoge, unsurprisingly, doesn't think Manziel gives the Browns a chance to win.

"If they put him on the field, quite honestly, he's jeopardizing their chances to win," Hoge said. "He's not helping their chances to win. I have not seen as elementary packages for a guy in preseason in a long time and he can't execute them."

Hoge thinks Manziel would've been better as a "flier" in "the seventh round" as opposed to a first-round pick.

"If you really want to be fair and he wants to a shot to play in the NFL, take a flier on him in the seventh round," Hoge said. "When you watch him in preseason, he looks out of place. He has no business being on the field. And whatever packages — they're going to be forced to play him."

Hoge continued to go off on Manziel's text to coaches about wanting to "wreck this league" and then concluded on the lengthy interview (after a diatribe about Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys) by predicting the "saddest, quickest ending" to an NFL career "in quite some time."

"This will be the saddest, quickest ending we've seen in quite some time. It'll be like a Tim Tebow," Hoge said. "He is exciting. They keep coming back to it, and I go that's great but it's not a skill set that transitions in our league."

It's probably worth noting Merrill Hoge is not 100 percent accurate with his quarterback evaluations:

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