Media Days Marathon: Draft Questions From The SEC, Day 2
By Matt LaPan
Day Two of the three-day event known as SEC Media Day saw multiple players and coaches from Auburn, Tennessee and other SEC teams take the stage to talk about arguably the most dominant conference in the country. Yet with all the possible headlines surrounding the conference, Day Two was simply Johnny Manziel's day.
Following Manziel's unceremonious departure for the Manning Passing Academy, the football world waited to hear Manziel's side of the story. And on Wednesday they heard, at length, all of the details of the embattled Heisman Trophy winner's tumultuous run to media day.
Even though the day was dominated by Manziel, some other draft questions emerged.We continue our Media Day Marathon with new coaches, new story lines and three draft questions, including one about Mr. Heisman Johnny Manziel himself.
1. Does the recent negative attention detract from Johnny Manziel's draft stock?
Since winning the Heisman Trophy in December, it has been a wild ride for Manziel. Twitter troubles, party pictures and varying reports on why he was unceremoniously asked to leave the Manning Passing Academy have all plagued "Johnny Football".
Even Manziel admitted that his new role in the public eye has been difficult. "It's just been different. It's been different going from last August last July to now," said Manziel. "The whirlwind has happened so quick. It's happened so fast. And the Heisman, I feel like it was just yesterday and everything's happened so fast and we're already up to another season. I can't wait. I love football season and there's not a greater time than that. It has caused a lot of stress. It's been frustrating, It's just continuing to learn, continuing to grow up. And just being in the spotlight, it's just different."
As different as it has been for Manziel, it is going to get a lot worse in the coming months. With the recent string of character issues faced by the NFL, general managers, coaches and executives will be scrutinizing every move from college players, especially those who could go in the first round like Manziel. So unless "Johnny Heisman" wants to get a name change to "Johnny Second Round", it might be time for Manziel to change his ways off the field.
2. How high can Travis Swanson rise under Brett Bielema?
It is no secret that Brett Bielema is one of the best coaches when it comes to sending offensive linemen to the NFL via the NFL draft. In his first season at Arkansas, Bielema has another great opportunity this year with center Travis Swanson.
Swanson is a senior captain who bolsters a strong offensive line unit with a good running game behind him. Couple that with Bielema's love for running the ball and it is a recipie for success. And after seeing what Bielema's offense at Wisconsin did for 2013 first round pick Travis Frederick, Swanson could be looking at a meteoric rise heading towards the 2014 draft.
3. How many SEC QBs are legitimate NFL draft picks?
Much like the day started and ended with quarterback questions, so will our look at Day Two. Through the two days, we have seen quarterbacks like Jeff Driskel, James Franklin and Johnny Manziel step to the stage. They set the stage for other quarterbacks like AJ McCarron and Aaron Murray on Thursday.
The question looms however, how many of these guys will have an impact on the 2014 NFL draft? Although Jadeveon Clowney claims that all SEC quarterbacks are afraid of him (if they were, I would not blame them) there are some interesting prospects in the SEC this year. The "gold standard" guy in Murray will not speak until Thursday, but are guys like Manziel and Driskel going to make enough of an impact on the SEC this year to warrant a high draft pick?