Ever since Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel exploded on the scene in 2012, NFL scouts have been enamored with his playmaking ability yet wary of his 6-1, 200-pound frame. Manziel's 2013 campaign has put much of that concern to rest, as Manziel has moved up to No. 5 overall on the CBSSports.com prospect rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft.

Former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees faced much of the same size-related criticism long before leading the New Orleans Saints to the Super Bowl and breaking NFL single-season passing records. FoxSports.com reached out to Brees earlier this week to talk Manziel, and the Saints quarterback had plenty of compliments for Manziel -- and a Russell Wilson comparison.

"He is a heckuva player," Brees told FOXSports.com in a telephone interview. "He's fun to watch. He makes all kinds of plays.
"He's got all the playmaking ability to be a great player. [There are] guys like [Manziel] in this league. Russell Wilson and his ability to run the football and extend plays outside the pocket and throw the ball down the field. Intermediate [routes], I mean he can do it all."

Most importantly, Brees thinks the third-year sophomore who most expect will declare for the NFL after this season has the most necessary of intangibles — the ability to take control of a huddle and lead an NFL offense. When asked if Manziel, who is listed at 6-foot-1, could be a starter at the next level, Brees put it simply: "Yeah, absolutely."