I have to be honest, I wasn't totally sold on the legend of "Johnny Football" translating to the NFL but upon further review, I am now officially a believer.

I have to be honest, I wasn't totally sold on the legend of "Johnny Football" translating to the NFL but upon further review, I am now officially a believer.

I never thought I would say that a year ago, but Johnny Manziel has shown tremendous improvement in his game as his career has progressed. And after that virtuoso performance he served up in the Chic-fil-A Bowl, I say with full confidence that he's ready to be unleashed into the NFL.

Of course, heading into this season, there was all the drama and overblown hysteria over his off-the-field exploits that spawned from him attaining rock star status. Along those lines, there was that dreaded autograph scandal that threatened his eligibility.

He was able to dodge that bullet, but many people looked at him like he had just robbed three armored trucks.

I always thought that a lot of the negativity was coming from old school guys that were rubbed the wrong way by Manziel's flashy and flamboyant personality on and off the field.

But if you take away some fiery antics from the season opener against Rice--a game that he had to sit out the first half because of the autograph scandal--he was a model team player.

He never alienated himself from the guys, never gave an aura that he was better than any of his teammates but most impressively, he never showed any frustration over his defense.

The "Little Giants" probably could have put up 30 on that Aggie "D." They gave up an average of 37 points a game against SEC opponents this year.

So, it was basic. Manziel was asked to score every time he had the ball. Despite having to carry such a heavy bolder on his shoulders, he never once complained or threw that suspect Aggie defense under the bus.

What aspect I was wrong about was his ability as a passer. I always thought he didn't have enough arm strength, he could only complete short to intermediate passes and that he wasn't accurate enough for the NFL.

That may have been the case last year, but it's obvious that he worked his butt off during the offseason. He was almost a completely different quarterback this past year.

He showed much more patience in the pocket and a determination to go through all of his reads before running.

He has shown that he can chuck it downfield and as evidenced in the Chic-fil-A Bowl, his accuracy has improved greatly.

I know he was facing an average Duke defense, but he was nearly flawless. He made pin-point passes into tight windows all night and finished with a stat-line of 30-38 for 382 yards and four scores.

Overall, he finished the year with a 70 percent completion percentage.

In addition, he showed tremendous leadership and mental toughness throughout that bowl game. Despite his team being down 38-17, he kept calm, often rallied his teammates and orchestrated a miraculous comeback win.

So, my message to the Cleveland Browns: steal Johnny Football at pick No. 4 in this year's draft.

The Browns actually have some nice tools to build on.

They had a league-high five All-Pro selections, a solid offensive line with two All-Pro guys in Joe Thomas and Alex Mack and a solid defense with great young players like Joe Haden and Barkevious Mingo.

Offensively, Manziel would automatically have a go-to guy in Josh Gordon. Gordon erupted this year for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns.

The only pieces missing are at quarterback and running back. If they choose to go with Manziel at No. 4, they do have another first-round pick at No. 26 they could use to grab a solid running back.

Most importantly for the Browns, Manziel would create a spark for them and give them something to finally be excited about. He's a guy that instantly makes the guys around him better.

His improvisational skills would be a dynamic that could save Cleveland's offense from the depths of mediocrity.

My only concerns with Manziel at the next level are ball security and durability. He often carries the ball like a loaf of bread. If he does that at the next level, he'll fumble more than Stevan Ridley after he just finished eating barbecued ribs.

That can be fixed but what about durability? I fear that him being only 210 pounds and running as much as he does, he'll end up being just a newer version of Michael Vick. But even with that, I say the Browns should take the chance. Remember, playing in the SEC--the grown man's conference--and carrying the ball as many times as he did, Manziel never missed a start due to injury. Even when he has gotten nicked up, he has found a way to get back on the field and perform.

So, Cleveland, the ball is in your court. I don't know if he'll be a perennial Pro Bowler. However, I'm sure about one thing. He'll win more games for you than Brandon Weeden or the aging Jason Campbell.