The New England Patriots were among 13 teams who witnessed quarterback Johnny Manziel throw during the University of San Diego’s Pro Day. According to Eric Williams of ESPN, Manziel agreed to attend San Diego’s Pro Day because the school didn't have a quarterback to throw. Also, Williams said that Manziel saw this as an opportunity to showcase his talent in front of NFL scouts. Williams said that among those who were on hand to witness Manziel throw to San Diego’s receivers were the Patriots, Chicago Bears, San Diego Chargers, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Manziel’s former team, the Cleveland Browns.

This was Manziel’s first showcase since he was cut by the Browns in 2016 due to off-field issues.

Manziel throws long bombs to receivers

According to celebrity website TMZ, Manziel threw a few dozen passes in front of a larger-than-normal crowd, including some end-zone heaves from about 40 yards out. Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports reported that Manziel threw 38 passes in the morning session. According to Feldman, George Whitfield, who has been training Manziel over the last three weeks, said the quarterback’s arm strength is actually better compared to when he was coming out of Texas A&M. In a quick interview with Fernando Ramirez of NBC San Diego after the Pro Day, Manziel said he has "changed drastically" and is focused on becoming the best version of himself.

Patriots interested in Manziel?

Manziel’s performance during San Diego’s Pro Day got the Patriots’ interest as they brought in the quarterback to get an official weight, according to Feldman. The Patriots are expected to take a quarterback at some point in the 2018 NFL Draft as a possible backup and heir-apparent to Tom Brady, who plans to play until he’s 45 years old.

Currently, the Patriots have Brian Hoyer as a backup, but he’s not part of the team’s long-term plans.

In a recent interview with TMZ, the 25-year-old Manziel said he would accept a backup role with the Patriots, saying he would go to New England in a heartbeat. Manziel added that it would be a big honor to learn under Brady, whom he calls the greatest of all-time.

Manziel, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2012, entered the league in 2014 with high expectations, with the Browns selecting him as the 22nd overall pick to be their franchise quarterback. However, Manziel went just 2-6 as starter in his stint with the Browns. Also, Manziel’s off-field troubles derailed his career, forcing the Browns to release him.