2015 NFL Draft: Marcus Mariota Will Be A Bust


Marcus Mariota went on to have one of the more historic years in college football history last season. A season that led to him winning the Heisman trophy award and leading the Oregon Ducks to the National Title game. Sometimes, as fans we get blindsided by popularity and don’t understand the true value of a player. I feel as though Marcus is one of those players.

His name recognition is one of, if not the largest in this year’s draft class. People seem to believe whatever team he ends up with will be getting a franchise quarterback. I beg to differ. Mariota is a great athlete there’s no question about that, but so are many quarterbacks at the college level these days.

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Players at the collegiate and even high school level are able to rely on their athletic skills more because the competition and game-planning is far less superior than it is at the NFL level.

For instance, guys likes Michael Vick and Jay Cutler were able to rely on their respective talents without putting much mental and preparatory effort into the game most of their life because nobody compared to them. Even initially at the NFL level their transcendent talents were effective, but their long-term success suffered because that was the only phase of the game they put much stock into.

If you’re expecting to rely mainly on athleticism at the NFL level for long-term success you will likely fall short. Aaron Rodgers was a prospect who played junior college ball and had to work his way to the University of California. Yes, he still possessed great talent, but nothing was handed to him. The same goes with Tom Brady and even Drew Brees because of his small stature at the position.

Also, who says Mariota isn’t yet another Oregon mirage? Remember Jeremiah Masoli? How about Darron Thomas? Oh yeah, and Dennis Dixon? All of which were super productive quarterbacks who fit the system at Oregon who couldn’t convert to the NFL game. This has to be worrisome for organizations considering taking Mariota high in the draft. He could be yet another system quarterback that Oregon has been known to produce.

My biggest gripe of all about Mariota is his body language. Have you seen him talk to the media lately? It just seems like he lacks confidence when he talks. His head is usually down, his lips don’t move, and he just seems lifeless. One team is going to invest not only a top draft pick in Mariota, but also a lot of money, and to quote Uncle Ben from Spider-Man,”with great power comes great responsibility.” He’s going to be the face of the franchise whether he likes it or not with big-time responsibilities both on and off the field.

Feb 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota throws a pass during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

How will he handle getting into a huddle with veteran players circled around looking into his eyes knowing he’s the leader? Better yet, how will he even handle a huddle? Huddling up offensively didn’t exist at Oregon and neither did taking snaps under center. Do you really think his transition is going to be easy in a pro-style offense?

In the modern day NFL if you don’t have success off the bat an organization is more than willing to replace you. What happens if he struggles adapting in year one and an entire fan base wants him gone? The Cleveland Browns can speak to that with Johnny Manziel this past season.

Unless Mariota ends up with the Philadelphia Eagles or even the Kansas City Chiefs with Andy Reid for that matter, I just don’t see him being very effective at the next level, but hey, I guess we’ll just have to watch and see.

Next: 2015 NFL Draft: New York Giants To Meet With Kevin White?

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