Johnny Manziel’s NFL pro day had a former president, lots of swag, a Drake soundtrack and even some football, too.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner threw for 75 officials from 30 teams on the Texas A&M campus on Thursday.
He also had some special guests, as former President George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara — and her two dogs — rolled into the facility on golf carts about 10 minutes into the workout.
The always flashy Manziel was true to his over-the-top Johnny Football persona on Thursday, trotting into the facility with his receivers as a tune by his buddy Drake blasted through the building. He wore camouflage shorts, a black Nike jersey with his white No. 2 and caused a stir by wearing shoulder pads and a helmet.
Manziel didn’t understand why it was a big deal.
“You play the game on shoulder pads on Sundays,” he said. “Why not come out and do it? … For me it was a no-brainer.”
Manziel threw about 65 passes to six receivers, including former A&M teammate Mike Evans, who like Manziel is expected to be a first round pick in May’s draft. Only two passes weren’t caught, and Evans grabbed a third long pass out of bounds.
“I felt like it was good,” Manziel said. “(I) was obviously going for perfection. So had a couple balls hit the ground. One was on me. One was a little bit high. I could’ve got it down for him a little bit.”
Quarterback guru George Whitfield ran the workout. Manziel has worked with Whitfield throughout his career and has spent a big chunk of the last 2½ months working with him in California. Whitfield raved about Manziel’s competitiveness.
“This wasn’t just merely a set of routes that he was just going to go through and throw,” Whitfield said. “It just feels like … life is riding on every pass with him.”
Eight NFL general managers and eight head coaches were among the group, including Texans general manager Rick Smith and coach Bill O’Brien. Houston has the top overall pick in the draft. Smith and O’Brien liked what they saw from Manziel, but both cautioned that this is just one step in a long process.
“He made the throws that you look for and that you wanted to see, so it was good,” Smith said. “It’s just a part of it and it was impressive.”
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