Johnny Manziel, the man better known as "Johnny Football," could have been a Viking if things had turned out a little different during last week's NFL Draft.
According to Monday Morning Quarterback's Peter King, the Vikings were one of six teams that tried to swing a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles for the No. 22 pick in the first round – the pick that would eventually belong to the Cleveland Browns, which used it to take Manziel.
Had the Vikings won that race, GM Rick Spielman would have informed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that Manziel was their pick.
Instead, the Browns won the race and picked Manziel. King says Cleveland didn't have a deal done with the Eagles until there were 30 seconds left on the clock.
Jay Glazer reported that Minnesota thought it had a deal with Philadelphia before the Browns upped the ante at the last second.
Minnesota, King says, finished third in the race to trade for the 22nd pick, just behind an unknown team. Minnesota would have had to give up the No. 40 pick in this year's draft and a 2015 first-round pick.
King writes that the Vikings weren't convinced any quarterback in the draft is going to be a star, but head coach Mike Zimmer liked Manziel. He got to know him a little better during a private meeting following Manziel's pro day last month.
At one point, Zimmer said to Manziel, “I’ve been waiting all my life for this chance. Can I trust you?’’ Manziel said yes. Manziel told Zimmer they would win Super Bowls together. Zimmer loved it. Zimmer wasn’t sure whether he trusted him totally, but he loved it, and he loved the confidence.
Instead of Manziel, the Vikings wound up trading up to get Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater with the last pick in the first round (No. 32 overall). Bridgewater was the seventh first-round pick by the Vikings in the last three years. Michael Rand notes that Minnesota had two first-round picks in 2012, three more in 2013 and two this year.