2015 NFL Draft: 5 Reasons Marcus Mariota Will Be A Flat-Out Bust
Listening to the media around the Philadelphia area, it sounds like the Eagles are involved in some covert operation to get in position to take Marcus Mariota in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The plan might as well be top secret and run by the government because moving from the 20th spot in the draft potentially to as high as second overall might take an act of Congress to make it work.
Mark Eckel of NJ.com writes that there is a plan and people close to the team say there is more than one scenario the team is looking at so they can obtain the Heisman Trophy winner and reunite him with his former coach, Chip Kelly.
"From No. 20 it’s certainly not going to be easy,'' said the person, who requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak on the subject. "It's probably going to take moving up twice to do it. There's going to be some wheeling and dealing involved.''
Asked if he thought it could happen, the response was telling.
"Can it happen?'' he asked. "I don't know. But they're going to try.''
The Eagles missed the playoffs this season while playing with both Nick Foles and then Mark Sanchez behind center. Sanchez was in the lineup at the end of the season and is expected to test the free agent market
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly recruited Mariota to Oregon and coached him for his first two years there. Kelly has not hidden his feelings about the quarterback, calling him the "most talented kid I coached in college," while reminding reporters he predicted Mariota would win the Heisman Trophy when he saw him as a freshman. (Mariota won the award in 2014.) Most recently, Kelly compared Mariota to future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.
To add to the potential reunion, Mariota was quoted as saying it would be fun to be with his old college coach again.
Mariota’s college days saw him become one of the most productive passers ever and under both Kelly and Mark Helfrich, the Oregon Ducks were highly ranked and competed for a national title.
Some say that although he might be as high as the first overall selection in the NFL Draft, Mariota may not have the skill set to be a long term success in the NFL. Here are five reasons why Mariota will fail as a signal caller in the NFL.
When I heard about the potential for a reunion with Chip Kelly, I immediately thought of Steve Spurrier and the Washington Redskins.
While Kelly proved he could coach in the NFL and the Eagles can make the playoffs with Kelly on the sideline, it does not mean Mariota will find success in the same system with the Eagles.
Spurrier signed Danny Wuerfell to be his quarterback. Washington never recovered and Spurrier was out of the league in two seasons.
IS HE REALLLLLY THAT GOOD?
When a quarterback who dominates a conference and college football, the prevailing question becomes is he a system quarterback, or does he really have the goods.
Mariota is a better prospect than Johnny Manziel and Tim Tebow, but he is a few steps behind someone like Jameis Winston.
The numbers are inflated because the Pac 12 is offense dominated and defense poor. Yes, I would love to see how he does against the SEC. Ohio State proved (a Big 10 school) that a solid defense can slow him down.
There is no doubt he will play on Sundays, but until we see him in a Combine or in a workout, there will still be a debate over how truly good he is.
BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER
I say this about any great dominant player who makes the leap to the NFL. The players in college are good, the players in the NFL are better. Mariota played at times against inferior competition and was able to pick teams apart.
The NFL is different.
The defensive schemes are more complicated. The speed of the game is faster and of course, the players are bigger and stronger. Can his 6’4”, 215 pound frame hold up against better competition?
According to CBSsports.com and their draft assessment, there are holes in his game.
Rob Rang of CBSsports.com wrote…
The Ducks' innovative offense simplifies QB decisions and this is roughly the same scheme Mariota played in high school. As such, some of the basics like taking the ball from under center and scanning downfield while dropping back are skills Mariota hasn't been asked to master yet.
Overly reliant on his first read, and occasionally commits the cardinal sin of throwing late across his body. Accuracy can be an issue, as Mariota misses too many open receivers, including high-percentage underneath passes.
There is work to be done.
The type of offense he runs at Oregon may not be the most conducive to the pro-style game. Tim Tebow learned that in Denver. He is a solid kid with a nice arm, but not a cannon like Jameis Winston. CBSsports.com wrote he compares a lot to Colin Kaepernick.
Inconsistent accuracy is one of several reasons why Mariota most closely resembles Kaepernick among current NFL quarterbacks. Because of their extraordinary acceleration, each is a true dual-threat. Further, both adept at sliding laterally to create wider throwing lanes and using their velocity to zip passes through them. Neither Kaepernick nor Mariota, however, consistently throw their receivers open, only sporadically providing teammates run-after-the-catch opportunities.