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Johnny Manziel didn’t watch tape; GM who drafted him now scout for the Rams

Ray Farmer said ‘I have to own it’ when it comes to drafting Manziel, now he’s in the Rams front office

St. Louis Rams v Cleveland Browns

The viral football story of Wednesday is Johnny Manziel’s ‘Untold’ documentary on Netflix, with the most-shared highlight being the admission that he never watched tape. Manziel’s agent Erik Burkhardt shares an exchange between himself and the Cleveland Browns general manager in which the team was complaining that he didn’t watch any tape.

“EB, his iPad hours is 0.00.”

“Zero,” says Manziel himself in the documentary.

Now Browns former general manager Ray Farmer is a scouting consultant for Les Snead in the L.A. Rams organization.

What must have gone into the 2014 draft scouting process to completely overlook the fact that Manziel didn’t have an ounce of work ethic?

After he was fired by the Browns, Farmer said that it is no single person’s decision to make a draft pick but that he has to “own it” anyway.

“It’s the reality of the National Football League that whoever gets selected, that name is going to get attributed to the general manager,” Farmer said, per Brinson. “Whether he selected that guy or not. So for good, worse, better, doesn’t really matter, Johnny Manziel is mine, and I have to own it.”

Despite winning the Heisman trophy and being one of the most famous and popular college football players of all-time, Manziel didn’t get selected in the top-20 picks of the 2014 NFL Draft. That alone signals that most teams were aware that something was off with Manziel during their scouting process. There were 21 names picked ahead of Manziel and two of them went to the Rams: Greg Robinson and Aaron Donald.

Manziel was the second quarterback off of the board after Blake Bortles.

Farmer’s Browns picked cornerback Justin Gilbert and Manziel in the first round, one of the worst day one double-dips in NFL history.

The Browns fired Farmer in 2016 not only after several disappointing drafts, but also a four-game suspension in 2015 for sending texts to coaches during games. Farmer was out of the NFL for four years prior to Snead, who also gave Farmer his first NFL job back in 2002, brought him in as a scouting consultant in 2020. Farmer interviewed for the Jaguars GM job in 2021 but did not get it.

It probably wasn’t entirely Farmer’s fault that the Browns drafted Johnny Manziel. It’s not like Cleveland has a history of great draft decisions and then one bad GM came along. But someone had to step in and say, “This guy isn’t going to put in the work to be an NFL player” and Farmer himself said he has to own it.