2013 Heisman Odds: Johnny Manziel Leads, But Lots of NFL Talent In the Mix

Heisman TrophyThough we still have a few months before college football starts up, it’s never too early to predict and project how the 2013 season may play out. Yesterday, USA Today Handicapper and renowned oddsmaker Danny Sheridan released his 2013 Heisman Trophy odds, continuing to fuel the excitement of the 2013 season.

He only ranked ten players and few surprises listed, but it’s certainly a great chance to get to know the projected top players for the 2013 season. And, I’ve taken this chance to add a few potential “sleepers” that may also crash the party in the Heisman race this year.

 

Leading Sheridan’s list of Heisman favorite is, to no one’s surprise, is last year’s winner Johnny Manziel. The entire Top 15 is below:

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M 6:1

Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State 7:1

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama 8:1

Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia 8:1

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville 10:1

De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon 10:1

Marqise Lee, WR, USC 12:1

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina 12:1

AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama 15:1

Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson 15:1

We’ve already talked at length about Manziel in this article, but in short, his craftiness as a passer, athleticism in the open field, solid arm strength, and flashes of his future improvement, he seems destined for a Top 100 pick if he chooses to declare after this year.

TJ Yeldon will be just a sophomore, but his future is as bright as Trent Richardson’s was, and he’s likely to be the next great, 1st round Alabama running back prospect. Braxton Miller, though he’ll be a junior, is expected to stay in school after this year. He’s too small to be a 1st round quarterback as of now, and he’ll need to develop Russell Wilson-like fundamentals and accuracy before it’ll be worthwhile for him to declare for the NFL Draft.

Jadeveon Clowney and Marqise Lee are the two best “talents” on this list, and both could garner that “rare prospect” level of a great. Both players are up there with the Calvin Johnsons and Adrian Petersons of the Draft world as future All-Pros. However, because of their position, they’d be a major surprise to take him the Heisman trophy. De’Anthony Thomas’s elite speed and big play ability is fun to watch, and he and quarterback Marcus Marriota could be the 2013 version of Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart.

Finally, amongst the remaining quarterbacks, AJ McCarron may have the best chance of any on this list to win the Heisman Trophy, simply because he’s likely to return to the National Championship next season. However, in terms of ranking these Heisman favorites, Bridgewater will likely be the top 2014 NFL Draft quarterback if he declares, Tajh Boyd carries a Top 40 grade from us at this point with room to improve, and Aaron Murray is in the 2nd round area as a prospect along with McCarron.

As of now, my money would be on Teddy Bridgewater and Tajh Boyd, for two reasons: One, both are quarterbacks and control their team’s destiny. Two, both are super talented prospects that have the coaching staff and upside to rally off an undefeated season, which almost guarantees Heisman consideration.

A couple sleepers to note:
Three quarterbacks not on this list who could have major seasons: LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, who graded out as our top senior quarterback, Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas, who’s build and upside is reminiscent of Cam Newton if he can put it all together, and Miami (FL)’s Stephen Morris, who has a lot of room to improve but would be the catalyst in a potential Hurricane program revival.

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