Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Wonders If Johnny Manziel Can Take NFL Hits

On Tuesday, NFL Insider Jay Glazer reported that the Cleveland Browns won’t be drafting Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel with their fourth overall selection in the first round. Also on Tuesday, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger weighed in with his thoughts on Manziel with the 2014 NFL Draft set to begin on Thursday.

While Roethlisberger admits that Manziel is a talented athlete that’s fun to watch because of the jaw-dropping plays that he makes, he’s worried about his durability at the NFL level.

“It’s funny, because just the other day, I was in the weight room with Joey Porter, (and he was) asking me what I thought about Johnny Manziel,” said Roethlisberger in an interview on 93.7 The Fan. “I looked at Joey and said, ‘Joey, do you think if you got a good hit on him, that he would be OK? And he goes, ‘No, not at all.’ And that’s my question. You have guys like Joey Porter, who’s a big guy, or guys that are fast like Troy (Polamalu), Ike Taylor coming off the edge. Things like that. Lawrence Timmons. You’d better be real athletic, get down or be big. So I think he’s definitely got a lot of upside, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

One quarterback in this year’s draft class who Roethlisberger is high on is UCF’s Blake Bortles, who he’s worked with during the pre-draft process, as they share the same representation.

“I think he’s going to be the best one of the group because I see something in him, his competitiveness, his leadership. And I think he’s got a lot of upside,” Roethlisberger said.

Because of his size and style of play, Bortles has drawn comparisons to Roethlisberger and you have to wonder if the Browns are indeed not high on Manziel, that Bortles might be their first round selection if he’s still on the board come their time to pick.

As far as all young quarterbacks go, Roethlisberger reiterated once again that while they might play well during their rookie season, it’s even more impressive if they can do it year in and year out.

“The key I’ll say every year when I get asked this question about whether it’s RGIII (Robert Griffin III), or Andrew Luck, or whoever it is, Cam Newton. It’s not about your first year, it’s about years two, three and four. Can you sustain it when defenses like Coach LeBeau and the defense that he coaches- when they figure you out, can you find a way to stay a step above them?”

  • cencalsteeler

    Couldn’t agree more with what Ben said. Not only do I think he won’t be able to stand the big hits, I also have a feeling a lot of defensive people are going to want to welcome him to the NFL as well.

  • Luke Shabro

    My biggest fear is the Browns or Bungles getting Bortles. He’s legit and I don’t want either team to have a franchise type QB

  • dgh57

    I’m thinking they go Sammy Watkins as bad as I hate to say that.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    If I’m the Browns I definitely take Watkins, as you can get a QB later and most of them don’t convince me.

  • dgh57

    Yeah, I think the temptation will be to great for them to pass on a guy to put across from J. Gordon. They would have a awesome trio when you include J. Cameron.

  • Kareem Daniels

    This is what I’ve been saying about Johnny Football. Especially with as hard as it is to keep Ben healthy

  • Big White

    Johhny Football is just that. Roethlisberger “is” Manziel. It is the same reckless style and I don’t know what Ben is referring to. Doug Flutie was phenomenal, Jeff Blake was above average, Kordell Stewart for a few seasons was frickin’ lethal. Size doesn’t always dictate talent. Jake the Snake right out of college was dope for a few out in Zona. Stop talking Ben. Play good football.

  • Alan Felicia

    Its not about talent, Roethlisberger is merely saying, how long can these players stay being talented starters.
    You mentioned Flutie being phenomenal? When? At BC? At the Canadian Football League? Or when he played in the USFL?
    Kordell Stewart was frickin leathal? Seriously? His best year was 1997, but he had a piss poor 53% completion rate and threw 17 Interceptions!! Once defensive coordinators found out Kordell couldn’t hit water if he well off a boat, teams basically dared him throw!
    Why even mention Jeff Blake? He was a BUM!!
    And what does all these players have in common, they all didn’t last long as starters in the NFL.

  • steelster

    Johnny Football might be a modern day fran tarkenton and that would be exciting to watch.

  • MC

    I would love to see Timmons hit him the way he hit Sanchez couple seasons ago.

  • Ah English dude, English.

  • Big White

    Flutie played twenty years of professional football while being like 5’3. To me that’s phenomenal. Kordell Stewart was an AFC Offensive Player of the Year with 3,500 combined yards and 32 TD’s(11 Rush) and Jeff Blake threw probably the best deep ball in league history played 13 years in the NFL and twice threw for for over 3500 yards and twenty five touchdowns. Not exactly a bum. Sorry these three never lived up to your level of accomplishment.