NEW YORK (USA TODAY) — Johnny Manziel stood in the middle of a cluster of reporters, his words seemingly measured given that the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday night's NFL draft remains a mystery.
That is until the end of his 20-minute session when that signature Johnny Football swagger oozed out in front of approximately 40 media members.
Asked if teams that pass on his magic will regret it, Manziel offered a definitive response.
"I believe they will personally," he replied during an NFL Play 60 event Wednesday in Manhattan. "Because I know in my heart how good I want to be and how committed I am to this game. ... I've tried to show them how committed I am to this game and how much this is really my life. This is what I've loved doing for a very long time now.
MOCK DRAFT:Does Manziel land in top five?
"I just wouldn't be able to sleep or just live with myself if things didn't go the way I wanted. And you never know, there's some things you just can't control in football. ... But I know I'm not going to go through this process and look back at it and say I wasn't successful because I didn't put in enough time or put in enough effort."
Has the 2012 Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner eliminated concerns about his party-boy, renegade off-field image for teams during the run-up to the draft?
"I think I've done a great job of alleviating concerns of these guys, them getting to know me on a more personal level," Manziel said. "And I've answered every question, anything they wanted to hear from me. So there's nothing for me to hide.
"I don't think it's wrong of me to enjoy my life and have fun. Throughout this whole process I've continued to work hard and do the things I need to do to try and become a better football player. That's the main thing.
"I'm not getting to this level to be complacent."
The kid from the small town of Kerrville, Texas, would love to stay in-state and be the choice of the Houston Texans, who own the first pick. He'd also love to go to the Dallas Cowboys, the team he grew up rooting for, if owner Jerry Jones likes him enough.
"For me, it would obviously be a great deal to go No. 1 overall, but that's in their hands, it's out of my control," Manziel said. "We'll see what happens tomorrow.
"I haven't been told anything. All these teams, they're keeping their cards really close. The chips will all fall down tomorrow."
Manziel expects to "be very emotional" once his name is called.
"My family is here — my mom, dad and my sister will be here. I just feel like we've been through a lot the last couple of years whether it's scrutiny or a lot of people coming into our lives or whatever it is," he said.
"At the same time, it will be great to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine and be an NFL player, find out where I'm going to spend the next five years of my life."
2104 NFL Draft: Top Offensive Prospects