Johnny Manziel, the 6-foot tall Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Texas A&M who could be the first pick in the NFL Draft, credits Seattle Seahawks signal caller Russell Wilson for giving shorter quarterbacks a chance to succeed.
“I think he’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.”
Wilson, who is 5-feet, 11-inches tall, was a third-round pick for Seattle in 2012. He started every game as a rookie and led the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl championship in his second year. NFL experts have suggested that Wilson, who impressed scouts with his mobility and maturity, might have been drafted earlier if not for his size.
Manziel suggested that the game is changing and quarterbacks need to be able to create plays on their own, something both Wilson and Manziel are known to do.
Wilson is not the first shorter quarterback to have Super Bowl success. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, listed at 6-feet, won the Super Bowl four years ago. Unlike Wilson, he more closely resembles a classic pocket passer.
The Houston Texans have the No. 1 pick in the draft, followed by the St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders, any of which could make a legitimate argument for picking Manziel. He’ll be trying to impress those teams this week at the NFL Scouting Combine.