Jon Gruden's awful 2014 Draft takes on Johnny Manziel are a thing to behold

By , Audacy Sports

An old NFL Draft take that aged like cottage cheese under the July sun went viral on Thursday morning, ahead of the 2021 installment of the annual extravaganza.

Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden got the cold take treatment for his embarrassing advocating on behalf of Johnny Manziel during live coverage of the 2014 draft, when he was an analyst with ESPN.

Gruden, apparently a huge Manziel fan, called for the Houston Texans to make the 2012 Heisman winner the first overall pick in the entire draft.

"George Bush went Manziel's pro day," Gruden told fellow analyst Ray Lewis. "I didn't see the former president at your pro day. Johnny Football will bring a buzz to Houston, and that buzz is good. There will be a lot of excitement. I'll buy two tickets if he goes to Houston."

Taking Manziel with the first pick would be an "overdraft," fellow analyst Mel Kiper Jr. then informs Gruden.

"I don't feel like I'm overdrafting," Gruden says. "If I'm the quarterback coach, this is who I want to mold for my future in the modern-day NFL."

The Texans instead opted for defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

When the Raiders -- Gruden's former and future team -- later selected stud linebacker Khalil Mack with the fifth overall pick, Gruden wasn't so sure.

"I'm anxious to see what the Raiders do with Khalil Mack. I'm still shocked they didn't take a quarterback here -- particularly Johnny Manziel. Everybody must know something that I don't."

The Raiders later selected current starting quarterback Derek Carr in the second round.

Later in the draft, Gruden suggested that all of the Tampa Bay Bucs, Tennessee Titans or Dallas Cowboys could nab Manziel with the 7th, 11th, or 16th picks, respectively -- but none came to fruition.

Indeed the Manziel skeptics did seem to know something that Gruden -- who is now among the top-paid coaches in the league -- didn't appear to know.

The Texas A&M star was finally taken by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd overall pick, but his short-lived NFL career flamed out after just two tumultuous seasons marred by Manziel's immaturity and the Browns' constant upheaval.

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