Ex-Browns CEO Banner ‘still mystified’ team actually drafted Manziel

Posted: 21/05/2017 in NFL, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

Joe Banner wasn’t part of the group who drafted Johnny Manziel to the Cleveland Browns, but he almost was and he’s not sure how that happened.

Banner was hired as Browns CEO in 2012, but was dismissed by the team along with general manager Mike Lombardi in February of 2014.

The former league executive says that when he was preparing for the draft, Manziel was not on the Browns’ draft board, yet somehow, the quarterback ended up being one of their first-round round picks.

“In the case of Manziel, we wouldn’t have picked him. When I left, he wasn’t on our draft board. We had concerns off and on field,” Banner told Sirius XM NFL Radio on Saturday. “After I left, I’m still mystified what took place in those 60 days that Johnny ended up being their pick.”

On top of the obvious off-field concerns that came back to bite the Browns several times during Manziel’s tenure, his ability to translate the gunslinger style of play he used in college to the pro game should have also been a major red flag.

The decision to draft Manziel was infamously made by team owner Jimmy Haslam, who apparently had been convinced by a homeless person that the quarterback was his man.

The Texas A&M product and fellow first-rounder Justin Gilbert were two of the worst picks the Browns have made in recent history as neither lasted past the 2015 season in Cleveland. Both players are currently without an NFL job.

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