First round draft picks should never have chips on their shoulders

Sean Gardner

It's one thing to come into the league as an undrafted free agent, like so many NFL prospects do each and every season, but it's quite another to come into training camp as a number one draft pick. However, that doesn't stop certain first rounders from developing huge chips on their shoulders if they're not picked where they want to be, like Johnny Manziel, who may have a Dorito-sized chip if he isn't selected by his home-state Texans this May.

I'm not much of a draftnik, really, but I do get a kick out of the whole NFL Draft process, including the NFL Combine, and how so many young men spend an entire weekend performing drills, interviewing with coaches and politicking through the media about where and by whom they should be drafted.

For instance, Johnny "Johnny Football" Manziel, former Heisman trophy winner and Texas A&M Aggie is warning the Texans, his home-state team and the franchise with the number one overall selection in the NFL Draft this May, that if they don't pick him, it'll be the biggest mistake in the history of the universe:

"It would be the worst decision they've ever made. I'd be in the same division playing against them twice a year. Sorry, but you just turned that chip on my shoulder from a Frito into a Dorito."

Go ahead, just try and knock that chip off. He dares you.

So, let me get this straight, if Manziel doesn't get drafted number one, but "slips" two spots to Jacksonville, the other AFC South team he was referring to, he'll be so damn angry, he'll use it as motivation to defeat the Texans?

Shouldn't he be motivated to do that, anyway?

Or maybe he's secretly hoping Houston will trade for him, 'cause, you know, that always happens.

What kind of message would that huge chip send to the Jaguars? It's kind of like when your girlfriend runs into her ex when she's out with you, and then acts angry and distracted the rest of the night. And you want to say, "So, you still love ME, though, right, Honey?"

Anyway, it's too bad all the politicking and threats about the size of the chip on his shoulder (maybe for a Frito Lay endorsement?) isn't going to change the fact that Manziel is 6'1, and it'll be much easier for those big, nasty pass-rushers to feast on that chip when it's sitting right there on a shoulder that's practically table-height to some of them.

Again, I find the whole process funny, because, really, is there much of a difference between a first and a third overall pick, other than a little more slot money?

OK, so if a player doesn't quite have the measurables to be a number one overall pick, what's it mean when he's selected third? I mean, he's still supposed to be pretty good, right? The franchise that selects him is still REALLY counting on him, isn't it?

What about the poor guy who falls out of the top 10, or worse, is picked at the very end of the first round? Is that player even any good?

No wonder David DeCastro is so moody. Can you imagine the stigma of everyone knowing you're only considered the 24th best football prospect in the entire world?

Honestly, I think all these guys who get picked in the first round should be happy, regardless of where it might be. Will it mean more or less money in their rookie contracts? Oh course, but that will be made up in the future if they meet the expectations that come with every single first round selection.

Be happy, guys, there's a reason your new boss will hold a press conference and hand you you a jersey with your name and "No. 1" written on it--even if your draft selection was No. 32. He's happy to have you, he'll be paying you a lot of money, and oh yes, he'll be counting on you.

So, would it be a mistake for the Texans to pass on Manziel? I don't know, but if I were Johnny Football, I'd be worried about  being the next Tim Tebow--that would be a mistake the team that selects him will regret every single day and twice on Sunday.

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