Aaron Rodgers was in Johnny Manziel's shoes once. Brady Quinn was, too.
And whether "Johnny Football" ends up having a career more like the Green Bay Packers star or the journeyman backup, Manziel doesn't figure to forget his own purgatory in the Radio City Music Hall green room anytime soon.
With TV cameras documenting his every move and facial expression, Manziel had to wait until the 22nd pick by the Cleveland Browns, who traded up four spots and took the draft's most dynamic playmaker – instantly making him the face of a tormented franchise.
"I'm a little biased, but I think he should have been the No. 1 pick," said Manziel's former Texas A&M teammate, receiver Mike Evans, who was drafted seventh overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "It's kind of sad. But I think he'll be (taken) by the end of the night. They're missing out on a great player."
With elite instincts and improvisation skills, Manziel passed for 63 touchdowns and ran for 30 more in two seasons with the Aggies, winning the Heisman Trophy as college football's best player in his redshirt freshman year of 2012.
There are no doubts about Manziel's playmaking ability. But he lacks prototypical NFL size, standing a shade under 6 feet tall, and has a borderline reckless style scouts worry could impact his longevity. His high-profile exploits off the field raised questions about maturity as well.
All that likely factored in his slide, which seemed to gain steam once the Browns traded up to No. 8 for Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert and then the Minnesota Vikings, who'd moved back to No. 9, took UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.