Back in 2014, former NFL running back and analyst Merril Hoge appeared on an episode of First Take prior to that year’s NFL draft.
During that episode, the topic of Johnny Manziel and all the hype surrounding him coming out of college after winning the Heisman Trophy was discussed.
“So you are going… bust?” Skip Bayless asked Merril Hoge.
“If he’s a first round, shoot, even not really, top three rounds. He’s a fifth or sixth round grade. If you have a compensatory pick, grab him there,” Hoge responded. “But not in the first round.”
“I’m sorry. I got a question,” Stephen A. Smith jumped in. “Are you saying that Johnny Manziel may not even be worth a pick in the first three rounds?”
“Oh, I wouldn’t,” Hoge replied. “There’s, the project is so massive. There are so many major flaws.”
“So what are your thoughts? What about people who believe he should be the first overall pick?” Smith then asked Hoge.
“Well, listen, you know, obviously it’s not a perfect science, but I think people who would take him in the first round, if you took him first overall I think that staff would be gone in two years and whoever made that pick would be gone too in two years,” Merril Hoge answered.
“You don’t make that pick based on the other players that are available to you. You make that pick? We gotta question your evaluating players and their transition and their ability to the National Football League very highly.
Amazing, right? Wait, it gets better.
Skip Bayless then chimes in and tells Merril Hoge, “You have never ever been more wrong in your assessment of a football player than you jst were about Johnny Manziel.
“Not only will Houston forever regret, if they don’t take Johnny with the first overall pick, but he won’t be a bust, he’s going to be a franchise player. He’s going to be a star. He will make Pro Bowls.”
Actually, as it turned out, it was Skip Bayless who may have never, ever been more wrong.
impossible for one guy to be more right while another is more wrong in a single video
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 15, 2023
After the video of Merril Hoge talking about Johnny Manziel prior to the 2014 NFL Draft resurfaced over the weekend, Hoge caught wind of it and responded.
This is why watching tape is vital to evaluating players and their ability to transition to the NFL. No STAT can EVER tell you about a college players ability to play in the NFL and no award or championship they won means they can play in the NFL. https://t.co/8Km0YIk8NL
— Merril Hoge (@merrilhoge) April 16, 2023
Gotta love it.