Name: Marcus Mariota
Position: QB
Number: 8
College: Oregon
Year: Redshirt Junior
Height: 6’4
Weight: 219
Unofficial 40-yard dash: 4.42
Projected Round in NFL Draft: 1

Mariota is in the midst of his third excellent season at Oregon. He has quite possibly been the best and most consistent NCAA player over the past three years. He is a rare combination of speed and arm talent. He’s the leader of the Ducks’ offense and has had them in the National Championship hunt since he burst on the scene as a redshirt freshman. In somewhat of a surprise, Mariota returned for his junior season, despite the fact he may have been the most highly touted QB in the 2014 draft class. A class that lacked a sure fire franchise QB. Returning was probably a great decision, it has given him time to work on his game and prove to NFL scouts that he can dominate from the pocket as well as on the ground. With the off field issues of Georgia RB Todd Gurley and Florida State QB Jameis Winston, Mariota also has a very good shot to claim the Heisman Trophy this season. It would not be a surprise to anybody if he was to be drafted first overall in the 2015 draft. The quality of his character appears to be as impressive as the quality of his play on the field.

Let’s break down the strengths and weaknesses that NFL GM’s will be looking at when he decides to enter himself in to the draft.

2012 Statistics

Passing: CMP: 230  ATT: 336  CMP%: 68.5  YDS: 2677  AVG: 8.0  TD 32  INT:QBR: 163.2
Rushing: ATT: 106  YDS: 752  AVG: 7.1  TD: 5

2013 Statistics

Passing: CMP: 245  ATT: 386  CMP%: 63.5  YDS: 3665  AVG: 9.5  TD: 31  INT: 4  QBR: 167.7
Rushing: ATT: 96  YDS: 715  AVG: 7.4  TD: 9

2014 Statistics (as of 10/17/14)

Passing: CMP: 108  ATT: 155  CMP%: 69.7  YDS: 1621  AVG: 10.5  TD: 17 INT:QBR: 193.7
Rushing: ATT: 49  YDS: 290  AVG: 5.9  TD: 5

Strengths

– Great physical skill set
– Tremendous athlete with rare mobility
– True dual-threat
– Excellent arm strength
– Stands tall in the pocket
– Accurate to all levels of the field
– Strong decision making skills
– Rarely throws interceptions
– Great at extending plays and throwing on the run
– Extremely dangerous when running
– High character

Weaknesses

– Throwing Mechanics
– Footwork
– Needs to avoid fumbles
– He could work through his progressions faster and move safeties with his eyes

Summary

Mariota looks like he can be an elite signal caller on the next level. Even his weaknesses are not that awful and are things he can easily improve on with a bit more experience. His duel-threat ability will cause all types of problems for opposing defenses. He can excel in most any scheme thanks to his arm talent and strong decision making. The Oregon Ducks play caller has a big year in front of him. We will likely see him on stage as both a Heisman finalist and a high first-round pick. First Mariota will continue his quest to get the Ducks to the first ever college football playoff this season. He is a leader both on and off the field and will be very coveted prospect by NFL teams.

Draft Range: Early First Round

NFL Player Comparison: Colin Kaepernick

About The Author Mark Morales-Smith

Long time fantasy football and basketball player. Favorite sports teams include Dolphins, Hurricane Football, Cavs, Bearcats Bball, Devils, Braves.