Chris Simms, who calls himself a “poor man’s GM,” spends most of his day breaking down film of prospects, players and teams. After doing this for the last several months, Simms knows one thing above all else:
He absolutely cannot wait for the NFL Draft.
“I’m extremely excited,” the Bleacher Report’s NFL guru said on The MoJo Show. “I think it’s going to be one of the most excited drafts, really, in my lifetime – and I know that’s a bold statement.”
It may also be an accurate one, especially with so few “sure-things” in the draft. It also helps that franchises don’t have to invest so much money in early round selections.
“I just think there’s a huge amount of teams that are going to be looking to trade up or trade down,” Simms said. “There’s a lot of questions, and it starts right at the top.”
Johnny Manziel. Blake Bortles. Teddy Bridgewater. All could be studs. All could be busts.
“The first thing I look for (with quarterback prospects) is just, can they throw it?” Simms said. “That’s No. 1. If you really want to be a great quarterback or successful in the NFL, I’m not saying you can’t do it without arm strength, but it sure makes it a lot harder.”
Manziel, in particular, is very difficult to project.
“Johnny Manziel, hey, to me, he’s his own entity,” Simms said. “He’s a different animal than the (other) guys this year. If you want to take him, yeah, it’s high risk; it could (also) be high reward. I like Johnny as a thrower. Of course you love all the electric plays and all that. Some of that is amazing. But there’s a lot to be concerned about.
“I do question – when you study him, watch him on film – I do wonder what he’s looking at (sometimes). I see people wide open. He’s kind of looking right at them, (and) he doesn’t throw it. And of course the size is a concern, especially with his (style of) play.”
Simms played for Tampa Bay in the mid-2000s. He played against Michael Vick twice a year – when Vick was in his prime.
“Let me just tell you this,” Simms said. “He was bigger and a whole lot faster than Johnny Manziel and (had) a stronger arm – and he had a hard time staying healthy. That’s just my big concern with Johnny Manziel.
“Listen, if I was an offensive coordinator or a GM, he wouldn’t be the quarterback of my team. Let me just say that. I’m a little more traditional. I like pocket passers. But I understand somebody falling in love with him. And to me, I think he’ll end up probably being the first quarterback off the (board) because I think somebody will fall in love with all that he brings and the excitement he can bring to an organization.”
While many feel Manziel’s career could go either way, the same cannot be said for Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, Greg Robinson and Sammy Watkins.
“Those four guys,” Simms said, “are about as studly as you can get as far as NFL prospects and, in my eyes, pretty much can’t-miss NFL stars.”