July 23, 2014

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Johnny Manziel wants to be drafted No. 1 by Texans, but said he’ll bring a Super Bowl to Cleveland if he winds up with Browns

 Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel wants to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft in May and stay in his home state of Texas with the Houston Texans.

But if he falls to the Browns, who hold the No. 4 pick, Manziel has a plan. And it’s a big one.

“If something happens, and it’s the Cleveland Browns, I’m going to pour my heart out for the Dawg Pound and try to win a Super Bowl for Cleveland,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “I don’t care if they’ve had 20 starting quarterbacks since 1999. I’m going to be the 21st and the guy that brought them the Super Bowl.”

Reporters for the Houston Chronicle and Fort Worth Star-Telegram were recently in San Diego to watch Manziel’s workout routine and preparation for the scouting combine next week in Indianapolis. The former Texas A&M quarterback and first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy is trying to change his image off the field and prove to the teams at the top of the draft that he’s serious about his football career, deserves their trust and is worthy of the pick.

The Houston Chronicle article was posted Friday morning and instantly created a buzz among Browns fans. Manziel’s flirtation caused Cleveland to flutter.

But the louder message from the story was Manziel’s desire to be the first pick.

“I want everybody from the janitor at Reliant Stadium to the front office executive assistant all the way up to (owner) Bob McNair to say, ‘This kid is 100 percent, can’t miss. This is who we want being the face of our program. We want the Texas kid staying in Texas and leading the Texans,’” Manziel said.

Manziel might be the most captivating prospect in the draft. His talent and magnetism are undeniable, but questions must be answered before a team spends a high pick on him.

He made headlines off the field for underage drinking, an autograph scandal and tweets that ruffled feathers. He’s also smaller than the prototypical quarterback.

“I was a kid who made some goofball decisions,” said Manziel, who expects to measure 6-foot, 210 pounds at the combine. “That’s been part of my journey. Maybe it’s part of the whole Johnny Football deal that I’m trying to get away from. I’m trying to show people I’ve grown up, and I’ve learned from my experiences. I feel like you’re a stupid person if you continue to make the same wrong decisions.”

Manziel said he won’t be satisfied with just being a high draft pick. He expects to succeed on Sundays.

“People can call me crazy, and it’s not cockiness (but), I’m going to put myself in (position) to win the Super Bowl every single year,” he said. “A 5-10 guy (Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson) just won the Super Bowl in his second year in the NFL. That’s unreal. I want to be the first rookie to win the Super Bowl.”

Browns fans can spend the rest of the winter imagining him doing that for Cleveland.

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @scottpetrak.