Plenty of NFL analysts have questioned if Johnny Manziel can succeed as a pro. Merril Hoge has taken that doubt to another level, though.
The ESPN analyst isn’t afraid to voice his opinion when it comes to NFL talent evaluation, and he didn’t hold back when discussing Manziel on Wednesday morning. Hoge ripped the Cleveland Browns quarterback to shreds during an appearance on a Pittsburgh radio station.
“If you’re the (Pittsburgh) Steelers’ defense (playing Cleveland in Week 1), you want No. 2 (Manziel) to walk out on that field,” Hoge said on WDVE-FM. “You want him on that field. He has no business being on the field right now.”
Hoge made headlines for his brutally honest scouting reports of Tim Tebow after the Heisman Trophy winner was drafted. Now Manziel is in Hoge’s cross hairs.
“When I was doing the draft and I was going through and studying him, I actually got done and it was the first time other than Tim Tebow came out and I was like, ‘God, there is nothing — nothing that he does — that transitions to the National Football League,’ ” Hoge commented. “There’s not one skill set that he had that you’re like, ‘Gosh, he’s a first-rounder.’ Really, nothing.”
Hoge also tore into Manziel’s character for the quarterback’s reported text to the Browns on draft night.
“When he texted the Browns and said ‘Let’s wreck this league,’ that didn’t just burn players; it infuriates coaches,” Hoge said. “It told you, too, that he’s a juvenile punk. He was like that, and he’s still like that.”
It also sounds like Hoge isn’t very optimistic that Manziel will be able to turn things around.
“This will be the saddest, quickest ending we have seen in quite some time,” Hoge said. “It’ll be like a Tim Tebow (situation).”
It will be interesting to see if Manziel takes the Tebow route in reacting to Hoge’s criticism.
Hear more from the interview below.
Photo via Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports Images