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Ravens' Take On 'Dynamic' Johnny Manziel


It would be absolutely stunning for the Ravens to draft Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel – even if he were available at pick No. 17.

But Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz sure does seem to like him.

When General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta, Head Coach John Harbaugh and Hortiz was asked about Manziel, they all chuckled and forwarded the question to Hortiz.

"He is a blast to watch," Hortiz said with a smile. "I'm a huge SEC fan. You just put on any game and you're going to have a lot of fun watching him.

"Now, he needs polishing. He does not play in a pro-style scheme. But they may change the scheme he plays in when he gets drafted, because of what he does and he's such a dynamic player."

Manziel certainly has his own backyard style of play, which is clear in his highlights. His brash personality and celebrations just add to it.

Similar to when Tim Tebow was in the draft in 2010, Manziel is a highly debated player. Some pundits love him and some don't. Many pundits have him in the top 10. ESPN's Ron Jaworski says he's a third-round prospect.

Hortiz told reporters he doesn't think Manziel will get past No. 8 with the Minnesota Vikings. The Ravens will be hoping Manziel gets drafted before pick No. 17, triggering a run on quarterbacks.

Any quarterback that gets selected ahead of Baltimore is a good thing because the Ravens aren't in the market for a new starter. That just pushes players at other positions down the board, giving Baltimore more players to choose from.

Generally, there are four quarterbacks projected to go in the first round: Manziel, Central Florida's Blake Bortles, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Fresno State's Derek Carr.

"In terms of the quarterbacks, whenever the run starts, it's going to start, whether it's in the beginning of the first round, the middle of the first round, the end of the first round," Hortiz said.

"At some point, teams that need quarterbacks are going to start plucking them off the board. It's so hard to predict when that's going to happen, but it will probably happen, and I'm guessing it will come in bunches when it does."

Baltimore could end up playing against Manziel twice a year. The Cleveland Browns are one team often linked to him and have the fourth and 26th-overall picks.

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