Manziel declares for draft, Tarkenton hopes he ends up a Viking


Johnny Manziel officially declared for the NFL Draft on Wednesday, according to NFL insider Gil Brandt.

Johnny Football finished his two-year playing career at Texas A&M with 7,820 passing yards, 63 touchdowns, 22 interceptions, along with 2,169 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns. He's also the proud owner of the 2012 Heisman Trophy, which he was a finalist for again this year.

ESPN.com's Ben Goessling doubts the Vikings will try to trade up from No. 8 to pick Manziel, who joins the likes of Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Fresno State's Derek Carr and Central Florida's Blake Bortles as the top quarterback prospects entering the draft.

The latest mock draft by Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke has Manziel going to Jacksonville with the third overall pick. Burke projects the Vikings will go with Carr.

It can be argued that the Vikings haven't had a true franchise quarterback since Fran Tarkenton was breaking NFL records from 1961-78. If Tarkenton is right and Manziel ends up with the Vikings, he'll be the next franchise QB.

Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports says the Vikings, Browns, Jaguars, Raiders and Rams are all possible landing spots for Manziel. In the case of the Vikings, Edholm writes: 

Is there a chance the Vikings could stand pat at eight and still land Manziel? Sure thing. And we'd watch just about any play where Manziel is on the same field with Adrian Peterson and Cordarrelle Patterson. The Vikings offensive identity would change immediately, and it almost certainly would guarantee a strong following as the team rents out a college stadium for a few years while their new digs are built. It's another situation of not knowing who the head coach will be, but GM Rick Spielman has to know where his biggest weakness is, with Matt Cassel appearing to be an ideal backup capable of starting in a pinch and Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman more capable of ending up on someone else's roster next season. Drafting Manziel might also buy Spielman more time, as his seat ever so slightly warms, and take some heat off Peterson as he enters his pre-twilight years. It's a fascinating possibility for sure.

The draft isn't for another four months, so a lot could change between now and then.

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