HOUSTON – Former Houston Texans defensive coordinator and interim head coach Wade Philips may not be running the team’s draft, but he does have an opinion on who should be selected No. 1 overall in May.
In a radio interview with Sports Radio 610’s Nick Wright and John Lopez Thursday morning, Phillips said he told the McNairs that they should select Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy-winner Johnny Manziel with the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
“When I did the interview with the McNairs, I told them they ought to take Johnny Football,” Phillips said. “That’s what I told them and I’m sitting here now.”
The former defensive coordinator said that he had not evaluated Manziel, but likened his playmaking ability another Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in Doug Flutie, whom he coached when he was with the Buffalo Bills.
“Those kinds of guys who can make first downs when you’re not supposed to, I think they give you something.” Phillips said. “I just think he makes plays that nobody else can make.”
Phillips also compared the possibility of drafting Manziel to when the Houston Oilers selected Hall-of-Fame running back and Heisman Trophy-winner Earl Campbell, of Tyler.
“I thought it would be the Earl Campbell of Houston, the reincarnation.” Phillips said. “Having the Heisman trophy winner come to Houston, from the state of Texas, I just thought it would be a neat deal.”
Manziel grew up in Kerrville near San Antonio before playing for the Aggies in College Station.