Johnny Manziel declares for 2014 NFL Draft, per report

Ronald Martinez

Johnny Football is going pro after dazzling in the college ranks the last two seasons.

Johnny Manziel has submitted his name to enter the 2014 NFL Draft as an underclassman, Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports. Manziel is part of a record 80-member underclassman pool of draft prospects.

Manziel is considered a potential first-round pick in a class that is rife with quarterback talent. There are several teams with high draft picks who will likely be talking to Manziel leading up to the draft in May. Teams with top 10 draft picks in the market for new quarterbacks include the Houston Texans (No. 1 overall), the Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 3), the Cleveland Browns (No. 4), the Oakland Raiders (No. 5), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 7) and the Minnesota Vikings (No. 8).

Manziel dazzled his way to a Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman at Texas A&M in 2012, when he passed for 3,706 yards and rushed for 1,410 yards while accounting for 47 total touchdowns. Manziel's numbers were nearly as impressive during his sophomore season. He improved as a passer, completing 69.9 percent of his passes for 4,114 yards, 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His rushing totals dipped a bit, though 759 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground were good enough to earn him a spot as a 2013 Heisman finalist.

Manziel isn't a perfect prospect, however, as SB Nation's Dan Kadar points out. Johnny Football's struggles against LSU could signal rocky outings ahead at the next level:

The key for Manziel is to get completions early to suck defenders back in coverage allowing him to run the ball. Completing just 16 of 41 passes, Manziel missed his target a few times early, namely a deep out to star receiver Mike Evans. With Manziel's throws being off, that allowed LSU to keep its linebackers closer to the line of scrimmage.

It helps that LSU was able to match Manziel's athleticism - something that Alabama can't do, but NFL defenses can. Namely, junior defensive end Jermauria Rasco was able to get free and chase Manziel down.

As he gets ready to go pro, the book on Manziel it out.

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