With the 2013 NFL season winding down, it means it's time for NFL Mock Drafts to kick into high gear. ESPN's Todd McShay released his first mock draft of the season (Insider), so it's probably going to be terribly wrong and we can laugh at it in May.
Last season at this time McShay gave the Jaguars FSU's defensive end Bjoern Werner, which at the time we explained didn't make a ton of sense given what we thought the defensive scheme was. This year, as most early mock drafts are wont to do, McShay has a run at the quarterback position very early.
So who does he have the Jaguars picking?
No. 4: Jacksonville Jaguars - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Analysis: This will be a tough decision. Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is hoping to find a leader at QB who can elevate the whole team, the way Russell Wilson did with Seattle in 2012. Is Manziel that guy? I think the key for Manziel is going to be how he interviews. Some teams are going to fall in love with his confidence, whereas others will be turned off by him. One reason why I think Manziel fits in Jacksonville is that offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch has proved throughout his career that he can successfully adapt his system to his personnel, which is a must for any team that brings in Manziel, given his exceptional mobility and improvisational skills.
Manziel doesn't have ideal size, but I've been really impressed this season with how he improved his delivery mechanics to get better velocity on his throws, and his improvement at going through his progressions. If he can continue to develop in the NFL, he has a chance to be really good.
I feel like the token reference to Russell Wilson with Gus Bradley is going to be a tiresome recurring them leading up to the NFL Draft this season, so the first one is out of the way. I've written before I'm a fan of Manziel, but I'm still not sure I would take him in the Top 5 of the NFL Draft.
The more interesting thing is McShay has Manziel as the third quarterback off the board, with Teddy Bridgewater going first overall and Blake Bortles going third overall to the Oakland Raiders. I feel like with how his mock plays out, it's a panic pick by the Jaguars, fearing they'll miss out on a quarterback.
I have no idea how the Jaguars feel about Manziel at this point, but I think if you're picking him with the fourth overall pick, you have to really, really love him and how his game projects to the next level.