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2014 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Rumors: ESPN Analyst Calls Johnny Manziel a Bust; Falcons Working Out Anthony Barr

ESPN NFL analyst Merrill Hoge said Manziel has “bust written all over him.”

Johnny Manziel
Johnny Manziel

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

If there is such a thing as momentum leading up to the NFL Draft, only one of the top three quarterbacks is winning.

Central Florida’s Blake Bortles has garnered a lot of positive attention after a strong Pro Day workout, while concerns about Teddy Bridgewater and his use of gloves surfaced following his. Johnny Manziel was quiet for a while — until now.

ESPN NFL analyst Merrill Hoge said Manziel has “bust written all over him.” After reviewing the tape, Hoge said on multiple ESPN NFL platforms he would not draft Manziel, especially in the first round.

“He’s got to be a good decision maker. He’s got to be accurate, has to have a feel for the pocket and awareness and understanding of how to play in structure,” Hoge said. “All that being said, (Manziel’s) got none of that,” adding that Manziel did not play “smart” and that viewers “get blinded into thinking excitement translates to the NFL. That is not a skill set.”

For a while, Manziel considered a likely candidate to land to the Houston Texans with the No. 1 overall pick. In the XN Sports Mock Draft 1.0, Johnny Football is projected to land fourth overall the Cleveland Browns.

Speaking of the mock draft, XN Sports projects UCLA edge rusher Anthony Barr to come off the board seventh to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, he would be available when the Atlanta Falcons are on the clock a pick before, and perhaps the team is tipping their hand.

The Falcons have scheduled a private workout with Barr, according to ESPN, who would fit in as an outside linebacker in their newly implemented 3-4 front. Barr has a second private workout scheduled with the team before the end of the month. Both he and Buffalo’s Khalil Mack are the top outside linebackers in this year’s draft class, and the Falcons appear to be most needy in that area. Kroy Biermann, Jonathan Massaquoi and Osi Umenyiora are the top candidates to play outside backer heading into the season.

Michael Sam won’t be taken in the first round, and his stock was already a bit shaky. An injury during the Missouri Pro Day is the latest setback for the NFL’s potentially first openly gay player.

Sam injured his hamstring after running the 40-yard dash in 4.72 seconds Thursday. The time was an improvement over the 4.91 time he posted during the NFL Scouting Combine. Sam also improved his bench-press numbers, finishing with 19 reps of 225 pounds, two more than he did at the combine.

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