Based upon past Heisman Trophy winners who were drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, the odds are right around 50% that Johnny Manziel will end up a bust if he is taken in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Odds are 50-50 Johnny Manziel will be another Heisman quarterback bust in NFL
Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks who were first round busts in the NFL
- Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 while playing for the Florida Gators. Tebow was then drafted with the 25th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Despite leading the Broncos to a playoff win in early 2012, Tim Tebow is now out of the NFL and has to be considered a bust (his career completion percentage is 47.9%).
- Matt Leinart
Matt Leinart won the Heisman Trophy in 2004 while playing for USC. Leinart was then taken with the 10th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Since then, Leinart has started 18 NFL games, and has record of 8-10 while throwing 21 interceptions vs just 15 touchdowns.
- Andre Ware
Andre Ware won the Heisman Trophy in 1989 playing for the Houston Cougars. Ware was then drafted with the 7th overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Andre Ware was a complete bust as a NFL quarterback. He only played for four seasons, and started just six games in his NFL career.
- Steve Spurrier
Steve Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy in 1966 while playing for the Florida Gators. Spurrier was then taken with the 3rd overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1967 NFL Draft. Steve Spurrier did play 10 years in the NFL, but he was mainly just a back-up quarterback. In the 38 games Spurrier did start, his teams combined record was 13-24-1.
- Terry Baker
Terry Baker won the Heisman Trophy in 1963 while playing for Oregon State. Baker was then taken with the first overall pick in the 1963 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams.
Terry Baker was complete bust in the NFL. He lasted just three seasons, and started one game in his NFL career before heading to Canada to play in the CFL.
Heisman Trophy quarterbacks who were not first round draft pick busts in NFL
- Robert Griffin III
Robert Griffin III, or RG3, won the Heisman Trophy in 2011 while playing for Baylor, and then he was taken by the Washington Redskins with the 2nd overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. RG3 is heading into his third year and he was clearly not a NFL bust. He has thrown for 36 touchdowns vs just 17 interceptions so far in his career, and he made the Pro Bowl and was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012.
- Cam Newton
Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy in 2010 while playing for Auburn. Newton was then taken with the 1st overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. So far in the NFL, Cam Newton has started 48 games and has a record of 25-23.
- Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer won the Heisman Trophy in 2002 while playing for USC. Palmer was then taken with the first overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. While I would not call Carson Palmer a great NFL quarterback, he has not been a bust. He led the league in touchdown passes in 2005, and he's thrown over 213 TDs in his career to date.
- Vinny Testaverde
Vinny Testaverde won the Heisman Trophy in 1986 while playing for the University of Miami. Testaverde was then taken with the first overall pick in the 1987 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Vinny Testaverde then played in the NFL for 21 years. He was never really a great quarterback, but he was not a bust.
- Jim Plunkett
Jim Plunkett won the Heisman Trophy in 1970 while playing for Stanford. Plunkett was then taken with the 1st overall pick in the 1970 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. Jim Plunkett went on to win two Super Bowls with the Raiders.
Jury still out
- Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford won the Heisman Trophy in 2008 while playing for Oklahoma. Bradford was then taken with the 1st overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams.
So far in his NFL career, Sam Bradford has started 49 games and has a record of 18-30-1. I would not call Bradford a total bust yet, but unless he starts winning some games he's heading into bust territory.
So what about Johnny Manziel?
Whatever you think of Johnny Manziel, based upon the past history of Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks who were drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, the odds are 50-50 he will end up as a bust if he his taken in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.