After widely being suspected as the the top quarterback in the NFL draft, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel was selected by the Cleveland Browns No. 22 overall — a precipitous drop for the electrifying playmaker.
The former Heisman winner was the most scrutinized player in the draft, praised for his ability to keep plays alive and criticized for bailing out on his reads too early. That didn’t deter Cleveland, which passed on selecting Manziel twice before moving up four spots to nab him.
“I’m going to pour my heart out for this team and this organization,” Manziel told a national TV audience.
Manziel, in two seasons for Texas A&M, threw for 7,820 yards, 63 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. He ran for 2,169 yards and 30 touchdowns as well. He won the Heisman in 2012 as a true freshman, the first player to ever do so.
The rookie will join a Browns quarterbacks group that includes former Patriot Brian Hoyer, former Heisman winner Vince Young, Tyler Thigpen, and Alex Tanney.
Manziel was the second quarterback selected in the first round. Jacksonville selected Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick, a slot many draft experts had perceived Manziel would land.