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.


NFL Combine aftermath: Johnny Manziel

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion under NFL draft Updated: February 27, 2014 - 1:46 PM

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel didn’t throw at the NFL Combine, but he participated in every other event last week.

Manziel measured at 5-11¾ and 207 pounds with 9 7/8 hands. His massive hands eased some of the concerns with his height. Yes, Seahawks quarterback Russell just won a Super Bowl at 5-11 but not every quarterback under 6 feet will be a success story. Manziel will break a barrier as a first round quarterback under 6 feet partly due to Wilson, who was drafted in the third round in 2012.

“I think [Wilson’s] kicked the door wide open,” Manziel told the Houston Chronicle. “You’re seeing more guys being successful avoiding that first wave of pressure — get out and do things outside the pocket.

Johnny Football displayed his athleticism during the other events, including the 40-yard dash where he had the fourth fastest time at 4.68 seconds. He also had a 31.5-inch vertical jump and 113-inch broad jump.

Manziel also did well during his teams interviews, including the Vikings on Saturday. He also reportedly interviewed well with the Jaguars and Raiders.

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner will throw at Texas A&M’s Pro Day on March 5. Manziel’s drawing comparisons to Vikings Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton and Doug Flutie.

Two quarterbacks with two drastically different caers are the best comparisons for Manziel because there really hasn’t been someone like him in the modern draft era. Outside of his personality and celebrity status, the biggest question is how will Manziel's talents translate at the next level. 

Will he be a Tarkenton, which Vikings fans would love in Minnesota, or a Flutie? Manziel's career will be fun to follow over the next four years even if he doesn't get picked by the Vikings.

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