Today is the last day of notable pro days for the week. Texas A&M has their second Pro Day, but really it's the Johnny Manziel show, with a side of Mike Evans. Today's docket also includes Ball State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, and Louisiana Tech.
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M quarterback: A lot was made of Manziel deciding not to throw at the Combine. While I always find it lame that a player doesn't decide to throw and compete with other prospects at the Combine, it didn't effect his draft stock much. What Manziel did do at the combine is show teams he's nearly as fast as Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick, running a 4.68 forty.
Manziel is one of the most talked about prospects in recent years. Will he be good in the NFL? Is he too short? Is he smart enough? Is he too cocky? Will he get hurt running the way he does? So many questions and no definitive answers to any of them. Manziel has a definite love for the game and has shown he's a leader, but how about the on the field attributes? He has a lot of great film, throwing lasers deep down the field with stellar accuracy. There's other film where you see a quarterback who runs at the first sign of pressure and doesn't have the same type of poise as a Russell Wilson. I question if he will be able to make quick decisions in the NFL with the faster pace, as some of the great ad-lib plays of his in college will be interceptions on Sundays. It will be big risk drafting Manziel early, but high reward as well. I expect him to be lights out today for his pro day. With no pads and no defense breathing down his neck, this should be a walk in the park for Johnny Football.
Television note: NFL Network will be airing Johnny Football's performance starting at 8:30 a.m. PT. Expected first round pick Mike Evans will be catching passes from Manziel. The Texas A&M QB is actually expected to throw in pads and helmet, so that's something.
Political note: Manziel's pro day has generated a lot of talk nationwide, not only fans are interested, but politicians as well. Former President George H.W. Bush, and current Governor of Texas, Rick Perry will be on hand for Manziel's pro day. Maybe they're going to put pressure on the Texans to draft Manziel number one. For more on Manziel Madness, check out our Texas A&M blog, Good Bull Hunting.
Willie Snead, Wide Receiver: The MAC Conference wideout had a HUGE season, amassing 106 receptions, 1,516 receiving yards, and 15 touchdowns. While those numbers are great and Snead has reliable hands and above average route running, he does have red flags. Snead doesn't have the ability to gain much separation from defenders, leading to a quarterback throwing into tighter windows than would be desired. He ran a 4.62 forty at the combine, which I don't think he can improve on much today. Speed isn't everything, but for a 5'11" prospect, his lack of speed is a bit concerning. As long as Snead continues to improve his already good route running, he has a shot to be a slot receiver in the NFL.
Lorenzo Taliaferro, Running Back: Old school and smash-mouth would be words to definie how Taliaferro runs. He's a mid 4.5 forty runner that has sleeper upside. Taliaferro has the ability to break tackles and run between the tackles with authority. Rushing for 1,487 yards and 23 rushing touchdowns, Taliaferro is a late round prospect.
Justin Ellis, Defensive Tackle: While I'm not necessarily advocating for the 49ers to draft Ellis in May, I would like to see them draft a true nose tackle. Ellis is a load at 6'2" 334 lb, and has had a good off-season to boost his stock, playing in the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. While he isn't a pass rushing threat on the interior d-line, he could be come a legitimate run stuffer.