2014 NFL Draft: Mel Kiper, Jr. Says The Houston Texans Will Draft Johnny Manziel At No. 1

Kiper says this man is a Houston Texan. - Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

One of ESPN's resident draft gurus has spoken, and he says the Houston Texans will nab Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel with the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. Given Manziel's polarizing effect on football fans, Texans fans are sure to react strongly one way or the other on Battle Red Blog.

ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr. has released his first mock draft of 2014, and he has your Houston Texans doing something with the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft that would likely see the City of Houston flash back to April 29, 2006.

In declaring that the Texans will select Johnny Manziel (QB--Texas A&M), Kiper provides the following rationale:

Analysis: I spoke to a number of high-ranking NFL evaluators this week, and this is the one QB anyone felt certain was a top-5 pick. So consider this an early bet, with one major caveat: Bill O'Brien just arrived, is still putting his staff together, knows a good QB when he sees one, and hasn't had enough time (if any) to study the draft class. But we know quarterback is a major need here. O'Brien likes a QB with presence, a leader and a guy who will out-prepare the competition. And while Manziel has gotten his share of bad press, he's a dynamic talent, and I feel he can lead at the next level; I'm not alone in that opinion. While Manziel is currently ranked No. 11 on my Big Board, this reflects the draft.

Manziel doesn't fit the old prototypes of a QB drafted No. 1, and I have concerns about how well he can protect himself given his smaller frame, but he is a magician on the field, and is made for the current NFL. This league protects and welcomes QBs who can improvise, run and make plays beyond the playbook. It's early, but Manziel is a special player and has the draft process to prove it further.

Overreact in the Comments below. Me, on the other hand, I'm gonna keep my co--HOW CAN THE TEXANS PASS ON TEDDY BRIDGEWATER LIKE THAT? HOW? WHY? WHAT DID I DO FOR YOU TO FORSAKE ME LIKE THIS, BILL O'BRIEN?

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