Cleveland Browns fans are clamoring for Johnny Manziel, I believe they should be hoping Blake Bortles falls into their laps.
Bortles is a specimen with the tools to make a very good NFL quarterback. While we all fall in love with Manziel’s unique skill-set to turn a game around with his electrifying play, I just don’t think it will play for the duration of an NFL career. The Banner-Lombardi regime loved Manziel and made no secret he was their choice. Ray Farmer is playing this closer to the vest and hasn’t said much about which direction the Browns want to go.
With 10 picks in this NFL Draft, and 7 of those in the first four rounds, this should be the draft that turns the Browns fortunes. Sometimes the flashy pick isn’t always the best pick. Manziel would be flashy. He would be fun. But, I don’t think he is a long-term solution, with emphasis on “long-term.” As good as he is, he gambles too much for my liking. I don’t want a gambling gunslinger to be my QB, I want solid and consistent, and that is Bortles.
The argument against Bortles is he didn’t play against the best competition. Yes, we have heard that before and it falls hollow. Bortles is 6’4 and 220 pounds and has that prototypical NFL body. He has a cannon for an arm and is surprisingly mobile for his size. He can clearly take a hit, but wouldn’t be that hybrid type of quarterback that is now in vogue. Personally I prefer a pocket passer, with mobility when he needs it.
I am under no illusions that it will take some time for the Browns to become competitive, but I am patient, hell I’m a Browns fan. Bortles will take time to develop and that is fine. I am willing to live with the growing pains of a quarterback that clearly shows signs of turning this Cleveland situation around. In Manziel’s case, it is hard to progress if you were laid out from a hard hit as you were trying to take on a 240 pound line-backer. I don’t see Manziel staying healthy with his style of play. I think Bortles is the choice for Cleveland. The question is, does Farmer believe Bortles is the fit for them.