Brett Favre looks at Johnny Manziel and sees himself.
The 21-year-old Manziel long ago detected the similarities, telling “The Dan Patrick Show” more than two years ago that he thought his skillset was cut from the same cloth as the Hall of Fame bound NFL quarterback.
This week, Favre himself joined the chorus, reliving for USA Today Sports the first chance he had to watch and evaluate the Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winning quarterback “I almost thought I was watching film of a young Brett Favre. I liked his attitude of ‘whatever it takes.’ From that standpoint, I liked him.”
The scene was the Oxford campus of Ole Miss, the stage for another SEC showdown. It’s safe to say Manziel was the main attraction and he more than lived up to the billing, passing for 346 yards and rushing for 124 more in leading A&M to a 41-38 comeback win, all the while rendering Favre a lifelong admirer.
And now that Manziel is widely considered one of the top-rated quarterbacks in this year’s NFL Draft and even projected as the top overall selection by ESPN’s Mel Kipper, the Lambeau Field Legend is among those who can’t seem to sing his praises enough.
Favre tells USA Today he’s convinced Manziel is already a better passer than he was when he entered the draft in 1991. “I didn’t throw near as well as him,” he said. “He may have that capability — unbelievable throws, and can make plays with his feet. I was impressed.”
Never bashful or lacking in confidence, Manziel remains true to form, even when he’s being compared to a signal-caller who owns most of the NFL passing records.
“If I had to throw a comparison out there, Brett Favre,” he said. “What a guy he was and a true gunslinger. If I was throwing the ball in the backyard, with my Green Bay Packers’ No. 4 jersey on, when I was a kid, that’s who I was trying to be like.”
All eyes will be on the diminutive wonder at this week’s NFL combine, where Manziel plans to be on hand, though he won’t actually throw for personnel executives until March 27.
But the word on Johnny Manziel will be out well before then… it’s already spreading. “He’s like a combination of Fran Tarkenton and Doug Flutie,” said NFL Network chief draft analyst Mike Mayock. He’s different than any quarterback I’ve studied before. I believe in the kid.”