INDIANAPOLIS — Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is one of the most elusive players in recent NCAA history, frequently juking defenders to the ground and criss-crossing the field to pick up yards.
Sunday morning at the NFL scouting combine, Manziel ran in a straight line.
He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 and 4.63 seconds, unofficial times just slower than the 4.55 that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson ran when he was entering the NFL.
Manziel won't throw at the combine, but plans to do so March 27 at Texas A&M on advice of his agent, Erik Burkhardt.
Manziel's ability to improvise is a well-known part of his game.
“Absolutely, there’s times where plays aren’t going to go as scripted as people draw them up on the white board,” Manziel said. “Whenever that does happen and you go through your reads and you do certain things, there’s going to be times where you need to take off and get outside the pocket and extend plays. At the same time, I want to be a guy who can drop back and go through my progressions, go through my reads and really take what’s given to me by the defense.”
Manziel will audition for teams in private workouts starting next month.
“I’m participating in everything except the throwing,” Manziel said. “From what I’ve told every team if they want to work me out privately, any throw they want to see me make at my pro day, any interview, any question they want to ask me, any throw they want to see me make at any time, I’m more than willing to do that.
“I’ll be in a situation March 27 where I’ll have Mike Evans and a group of receivers that I’ve very comfortable with, very familiar with that I want to give those guys an opportunity to go and show what they can showcase as well. Extremely hard decision for me not to throw here, I’m an extremely competitive person. It’s something that my agent really kind of advised me on, but at the same time telling these teams anything they want to see, anything they want to hear from me, more than willing.”
Here are the 40-yard dash times for the quarterbacks:
Blake Bortles Central Florida 4.81 4.88
Tajh Boyd Clemson 4.75 4.84
Derek Carr Fresno State 4.68 4.65
David Fales San Jose State 4.94 5.03
Jimmy Garoppolo Eastern Illinois 4.93 4.95
Jordan Lynch Northern Illinois 4.72 4.72
Johnny Manziel Texas A&M 4.63 4.56
Jeff Mathews Cornell DNR
AJ McCarron Alabama 4.94 4.91