I have read all of your comparos and such, and I find them interesting. If you want to go from a maturity/mental standpoint, he's no Ryan Leaf. I don't see him as a Tommie Frazier either, because Frazier was the calmest man I've ever seen play the game. As far as skillset, he does run like Tommie though. Personality wise, they are much different. But Frazier may have been the best college QB to ever play the game (when you're going off of wins and leadership... Frazier is WAY up there... if you didn't see him play, then don't go looking at his stats and knocking me for that statement... Frazier was GREAT regardless of "combine" type of stats, arm strength, and so on).
Charlie Ward is a guy that is very similar to Manziel in his skill set and athleticism. Charlie would have gotten a good shot in today's NFL and it was always funny to me when he was playing for the Knicks and referred to weekly as the best QB in New York (which was likely true considering who was starting for the Giants and Jets). Ward was an amazing talent, an amazing leader, and to me was what Russell Wilson was in college. A consumate leader, a workout warrior, a gym rat, a winner that did everything it took at all times and one of the finest athletes to ever play the sport.
But on the side of Manziel that people are kind of picking at... he doesn't remind me of Tebow (he does in his ability to gain yards with his feet, but does it in an entirely different fashion, he finds lanes and busts through them, much like our own Russell Wilson, or like Charlie used to do).
If I had to pick one guy that he just REMINDS me of in his demeanor, personality, and general attitude toward others and things in general, it would have to be Cade McNown. Not sure how many of you remember him and his exploits at UCLA, but they are eerily similar. A young kid that came in and just basically told everybody what the score was all the time, hung out at the playboy mansion, talked a LOT, threw a nice ball, moved around well, had kind of an elitist attitude (and why not? He was a GREAT college QB). He was smallish though and a lot of his game didn't translate very well, and a big part of that was his work ethic, which wasn't that great as he got by on talent. I think Manziel has a work ethic, but in a lot of ways he's having sort of a McNown-ish run with the media and fans this offseason after really coming in and blowing the doors off of everybody last year.
Do I think Manziel can play in the NFL? For sure. I have no doubt. Do I think he needs to work on some things to become his very best? YES. Absolutely. Could he become the next Russ Wilson? That's entirely up to one person, and that's Johnny. He can be as good as he wants to be, and it was obvious before last season that he wanted to put in the work to be great. But is he satisfied with where he ended up and will just sort of ride out his college career now? I saw a kid do that. David Greene. We saw how that worked out. He just never improved as a college player, when he really showed a lot of "moxie" or whatever you want to call it early in his college career, but just never made the strides and leaps and bounds.
Everybody loves to use the Tom Brady comparison, and they just as much love to use the Alex Smith comparisons when talking about QB's. Honestly... Johnny Manziel could become either guy. He had a year last year that was eeril similar to Smith's junior year at Utah. He surprised the national media (not the locals though) and he steamrolled everybody, all the way through a BCS game. He ran a similar offense and was dominant. But he was so much more mature in how he handled everything, and was about the same age as Manziel is now at that point. Smith graduated from college in a ridiculously short amount of time (like in the 18 months range according to some people I know well... he was so far ahead he could have graduated within a year of stepping foot on campus if he wanted to). Manziel however doesn't even want to step foot on campus, because to him it seems like a bother. He's just using college as the minor leagues, and that's fine. More power to him. Cam Newton did it and it worked out ok for him. Smith and Robert Griffin handled things a lot differently. And Brady was the anti-McNown/Greene because he improved every year, totally immersed himself in learning and improving at college and now is the chance where Manziel has an opportunity to step out of the shadow of every single guy I mentioned (and I realize it was WAY too many, but I've seen a lot of guys play and picked out different parts of their game and overall makeup to try to figure out which way another guy will go). Manziel can rewrite the record books. He can break every one of Tebow's records. He can be as great of a passer as Colt McCoy was in college (and like what he's done as a pro or not, McCoy was an absolutely legendary college QB and always will be). He could become like Troy Aikman in his ability to just win (Aikman was thought of as a prima donna and a "too good for his teammates, media, and everybody else" as well... and anybody who remembers the mess with him and Oklahoma and UCLA knows what I'm talking about).
The future hasn't been written yet. If it were at this point in somebody's life, Cade McNown would be wrapping up a hall of fame career, David Greene would have been a solid NFL QB who won more than he lost, Tommie Frazier would have been the first QB to run a spread successfully in the NFL and ushered its use into the NFL 20 years earlier than it was, Charlie Ward would have been starting for the Jets and they might have actually won, Tom Brady would have been a practice squad player and bounce around the NFL as a journeyman backup like Josh McCown, Alex Smith would have dominated the NFL and won a few Superbowls by now, and Troy Aikman would have been seen as a malcontent and Jeff George'd himself out of the league being known as a pompous ass.
It will certainly be interesting to watch. If I had to bet? I'd say that Manziel will put in the work to be the best he can possibly be and will get a chance to start for an NFL team and they'll see if he can handle it. Teams NEED to do this at this point because of how much salary QB's are making. So he'll get his shot. Reading this mish-mash I wrote though I find it really a drag that Charlie Ward never gave it a go (or was told he'd never really get a chance) and that Tommie Frazier had the blood clot issues that ended his career before anybody even saw if a QB with his skillset had a place in the NFL in those days (He would now... those days, not really). But it sure would have been nice to at least find out. I hated Nebraska, but Tommie Frazier put on a clinic every week of what it took to lead a team to greatness. There's a lot of Tommie in Russell Wilson and that's why I'm damn glad he's on our team.