Redskins to Possibly Select Marcus Mariota in the 2015 NFL Draft
The Washington Redskins are coming off a down 2014 season thanks in part to injuries suffered by Robert Griffin III. The quarterback issue for the Redskins has been a problem for some time now and the quarterback controversy in Washington may be just beginning.
This past weekend, Washington Redskins’ GM Scott McCloughan stated that the Redskins would look at the possibility of selecting former Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota in this year’s 2015 NFL Draft. Mariota, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, led Oregon to the 2014 national title game and went down in the record books as one of the most successive quarterbacks in the history of the college game.
Mariota’s NFL potential has been debated for some time now and as the 2015 NFL Draft draws nearer, the speculation has only grown throughout the league. His small statue is not your typical pro style NFL quarterback, but thanks to success from quarterbacks like Russell Wilson those questions aren’t nearly as tough in today’s NFL.
So, what exactly would Mariota fix with the Redskins and their search for an elite quarterback in 2015 and beyond? I fear that Mariota is just a smaller version of Robert Griffin III and the Redskins are trying to catch lighting in a bottle with Mariota just as they did with Griffin in 2012.
Griffin led the Redskins to the playoffs as a rookie in 2012, but due to injuries of multiple types his career has gone downhill ever since. Mariota and Griffin both played in a read option, spread offense in college that allowed them to make passer friendly throws. They both also used their blistering speed to overmatch opponents at the college level.
Griffin learned fast that his speed may have worked at the college level, but after a while it will just get you hurt at the NFL level. Mariota, who is not as tall or doesn’t weigh as much as Griffin, may have even a tougher time staying healthy in the NFL.
The one difference is Mariota could be slightly better in the pocket as a passer and certainly has pocket awareness that Griffin had issues with at times. Mariota was one of the most accurate passers at the college level the past few seasons and that will serve him very well if he can translate that to the NFL game.
The question will be do the Redskins really take a chance to Mariota with the 5th overall pick? First of all, I don’t believe Mariota will be available at the 5th pick because of the need for a quarterback by the teams with the first four picks. Washington will still have a quarterback issue in 2015 even if they do select Mariota.
The Redskins are a team in limbo currently and the selection of Mariota could help the situation, or turn it into a complete mess. We all know that in the months leading up to the draft these types of rumors are always surfacing, but this Mariota to Washington is one of the most intriguing thus far.