Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel declaring for the NFL Draft

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: January 8, 2014 - 12:02 PM

It was inevitable but now appears official: Johnny Football is heading to the NFL.

NFL.com’s Gil Brandt reports Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has submitted his papers to declare for the 2014 NFL Draft

Many questioned before the season whether Manziel was worth a first round pick with such uncertainly surrounding the quarterback on and off the field. Now it seems he’ll be a potential top five pick in the draft following two of the most exciting individual seasons in college football. The Vikings, however, have the eighth pick.

Last year’s Heisman trophy winner had career-highs across this board this season with 4,114 passing yards, 37 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a .699 completion percentage. He had nearly half as many rushing yards however (759) compared to his redshirt freshman season (1410) with 57 fewer carries.

As Brandt also mentioned in the tweet, a record 80 underclassmen have applied for the NFL Draft. That includes Lousville quarterback Teddy Bridgwater and Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles, who along with Manziel appear to be the top three quarterbacks in this year's class and potential top five selections.

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