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Dynasty & Redraft: QB Marcus Mariota, Titans

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Peter King: At least 2 NFL teams in love with Marcus Mariota

By Dan Greenspan

College Football 24/7 writer

For those of you just now jumping on the Marcus Mariota bandwagon, what took you so long?

In the wake of his exceptional performance at Washington, the Oregon quarterback is in the thick of Heisman Trophy race and is starting to be mentioned as a potential top pick whenever the redshirt sophomore decides to enter the NFL Draft.

Peter King of MMQB.com believes at least two NFL teams would put Mariota ahead of Bridgewater on their boards.

"What was once a virtual certainty -- either Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater or South Carolina pass rusher Jadaveon Clowney being the first pick in the draft next May -- is now in doubt," King wrote in his Monday column. "Mariota will be draft-eligible next May (as will many other attractive quarterbacks, including Johnny Manziel) because he's in his third college season out of high school. And at least two teams love Mariota to the point that I believe if he comes out those teams would have him higher on their board than Bridgewater."

Mariota shredded the Huskies for 366 passing yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and 88 rushing yards and one touchdown, the kind of performance that has become old hat for him. It was Mariota's eighth-straight game with both a rushing and passing score, a feat he has accomplished in 11 of his 19 career games as a Duck.

Mariota has completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 4,401 yards and 49 touchdowns with six interceptions at UO, with an absurd 17:0 TD-to-INT ratio this season, and averages 8.01 yards per carry.

But the best argument in favor of Mariota might be the game tape, or more specifically the lack thereof. Mariota didn't start for St. Louis High in Honolulu until his senior season, and won't turn 21 until Oct. 30, 2014, when he could be halfway through his rookie season.

Much like Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions, Mariota will only be scratching the surface of his prime years when his first NFL contract expires. And for all his remarkable physical skills (6-foot-4, 211 pounds) and unreal accomplishments, he can still get better.

Mariota's touch on the deep ball can be refined. Against UW, wide receiver Bralon Addison was wide open and would have had a walk-in touchdown if hit in stride. Instead, Addison had to make a leaping catch. Mariota's accuracy and timing can get away from him for brief stretches.

Those are minor complaints, but they're the kind of throws that separate good quarterbacks from the transcendent.

What is clear is Mariota has an upside as great as any player in the game, so pull up a seat. It's going to be a fun ride.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

Edited by Faust
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Steve Sarkisian: Marcus Mariota will be a top-5 NFL draft pick

By Andy Fenelon NFL.com

Coming out of Oregon's impressive bullying of Washington on Saturday was a quote from Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian that received a lot of play around the country. Sarkisian touted Oregon's Marcus Mariota as the best quarterback in the country, worthy of winning the Heisman Trophy this season.

But it was something else Sarkisian said that caught our attention:

"I don't know when he is planning on going to the NFL," the coach said, moments after Mariota put up 454 yards of total offense against one of the nation's stingiest defenses intent on stopping the quarterback, "but when he does, I think he'll be a top-five draft pick."

Being a redshirt sophomore, Mariota is eligible to enter the 2014 NFL Draft. And it makes sense that Sarkisian would gob praise on the quarterback, elevating him to the best in the college biz, a surefire top NFL pick, a future Hall of Famer. OK, so he didn't go that far, but he might as well have.

This isn't the first time a coach has linked a star opposing player to a high NFL draft pick. It's done all the time in an attempt to plant a seed with the player or prospective agent in hopes of getting the player to leave early.

No matter what Sarkisian's motive was in saying what he did, the fact is there would be nothing better for him -- and every other Pac-12 coach -- than to have Mariota out of college football the next two years.

Follow Andy Fenelon on Twitter @Andy_Fenelon

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Rotoworld:

Oregon redshirt QB Marcus Mariota said he will not discuss his NFL future until the after the season.

"My family and I have decided to hold off on these conversations until after the season," Mariota told a Portland radio station. "We're obviously going to put the pros and cons together, and we're going to do what's best for the family. At the same time, my education is important... I love Oregon. I love the community. We'll decide when the time is right." We fully expect Mariota to enter May's draft, and that decision will be made in January.

SI.com's Andy Staples jumped Oregon redshirt sophomore QB Marcus Mariota from No. 23 to 6 in his 2014 NFL Draft Big Board.

Staples was one of few holdouts left, criminally underrating Mariota prior to his about-face this week. Staples deemed that change of heart necessary after watching Mariota shred Washington for 454 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in a 45-24 victory on Saturday. "I had him ranked way too low before," Staples wrote.

Oregon redshirt sophomore QB Marcus Mariota leads the nation with 10.4 yards per rush and is tied for lead among quarterbacks with eight rushing touchdowns.

Oregon averages 8.6 yards per play when Mariota is in at quarterback and scores a touchdown on 5.7/10 drives, according to ESPN. The redshirt sophomore is one of, if not the top, playmakers in the country thanks to his ability to win with his arm and legs. He is a perfect fit in Oregon's tempo offense.

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler found that only three redshirt sophomore QBs have been selected in the first-round since 1970.

We think this relates more to quarterbacks staying in school longer than a knock on the probability of having three redshirt sophomores at the position selected in the first-round in May. Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, and Johnny Manziel are all redshirt sophomores, and we expect all three to earn a first-round grade from multiple teams.

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I watch him play every weekend and he is unbelievable. He can hit all the passes, he can run, and has a strong arm. Very poised also. I have a hunch he stays in college one more year.

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is it more system or is this kid legit?

I'm having a hard time figuring that out right now. I like his physical tools. I'm just not sure how challenging his reads are in that Oregon offense and how it will translate to the NFL. I wish I got to see more Oregon games but it's just too difficult living on the east.

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25 total tds thru 6 games is impressive... Honestly if anyone was to knock off Alabama I would take these Ducks to be the ones to probably do it, as I think they battle for National Championship this year.... Mariota, Deanthony are pretty crazy good.

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Rotoworld:

Oregon redshirt sophomore QB Marcus Mariota accounted for 394 total yards, including three touchdowns, in the school's 62-38 win over Washington State.

Mariota completed 23 of 32 attempts for 327 yards and two touchdowns, adding 67 yards and another touchdown on the ground. The redshirt sophomore took one carry for a 57 yard score. He is the Heisman favorite and a viable option for the No. 1 pick.
Edited by Faust

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He's skinnier than I would ideally like him to be but he does have an otherworldly skill set. We'll have to see how well he transitions from Oregon's system to an NFL system which would presumably require more traditional dropbacks and read progressions. I would also like to see him stay another year but if he's going to be a top 3-5 pick, that train has probably left the station.

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Rotoworld:

One NFC North scout believes it is too soon "to make sweeping assertions" about Oregon redshirt sophomore Marcus Mariota's potential as a franchise QB.

"He is athletic and does have some arm talent, but we haven't seen enough of him to determine if he can make big-time throws in a pro offense," the scout added. "I need to see more of him before I'm convinced he's an upper-echelon guy." This is proof that Mariota doesn't get enough credit for winning in the pocket. He is poised and decisive despite many former Oregon passers not possessing this trait. One vice president of player personnel for an NFC team called Mariota "the real deal," and another NFC South scout seemed to agree with that statement.
Source: NFL.com

Oregon redshirt sophomore Marcus Mariota has jumped Texas A&M redshirt sophomore Johnny Manziel on NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks' list of the top QBs.

Florida State freshman Jameis Winston checks in at No. 3, with Teddy Bridgewater at No. 4, and Fresno State's Derek Carr at No. 5. "The Ducks' offensive supremacy is seemingly system-driven until you take a close look at the performance of Mariota," Brooks writes. "The redshirt sophomore is undoubtedly the driving force of the offense with his explosive skills as a dual-threat playmaker in the backfield."
Source: NFL.com

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I have been watching a lot of Oregon this year because I have Thomas Tyner in a couple dev leagues.

Their offense is an absolute machine. Maybe one of the most efficient and devastating offenses I've ever seen in college. They just destroy every team who lines up against them. They have 3 good RBs who have low-mid 10.X speed in the 100m. Their WRs are quick and dangerous in space. Their QB is extremely mobile. Add it all up and they stretch teams out and then slice right through them. We will see what happens when they come up against Stanford and whoever in their bowl game, but as of right now they look pretty unstoppable.

I think that makes it kind of hard to judge Mariota. He's tall, extremely mobile, and he can throw ropes all over the field. Will he be able to thrive under pressure against an NFL pass rush? I think that's tougher to say. A lot of QBs can look great if you give them all day to throw. Sometimes you don't really know what a QB is made of until you see him forced out of his comfort zone, which is what the NFL is all about when you're a QB.

I think Mariota is a much better prospect than Darron Thomas and Dennis Dixon, but the fact that any QB can step into this offense and thrive would have me a little worried if I were holding a top 5 NFL draft pick and thinking about using it on Mariota.

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I'm surprised to see Mariota's ability to make all the throws questioned. There are scheme questions, certainly.

But for me he's the definition of a "tools guy". Kind of like Kaepernick in that regard, but less freakish and less raw.

But he's a piece of clay for the right coaching staff in the NFL. I didn't even think it was in question that he can make all the throws.

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NFL Draft prospects: Mariota answers questions vs. Washington

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
October 12, 2013 7:26 pm ET

With explosive running back De'Anthony Thomas sidelined because of an ankle injury and tight end Colt Lyerla abruptly quitting the team last weekend, there was more pressure on quarterback Marcus Mariota in Saturday's Pac-12 showdown with rival Washington than perhaps any other game in the redshirt sophomore's young career.

Consider it a challenge accepted, and in dominating fashion.

While Mariota's statistics weren't as impressive in Saturday's 45-24 over the Huskies as they have been in many of his prior 18 games, this was the type of performance that might be more valued by NFL scouts than Heisman voters.

Tuning out a passionate crowd and facing an athletic and physical defense that boasts several NFL prospects of their own, Mariota completed 24 of 31 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He rushed for another 88 yards and a score.

Just more of what we've seen from Mariota and the explosive Ducks offense, right?

Not quite.

While Oregon went into halftime with a seemingly comfortable 21-7 lead, this game was tighter than the score indicated. The Ducks' first touchdown came on a controversial fourth-and-1 plunge from running back Byron Marshall. The sophomore was ruled to have scored but replays seemed to show that he was stopped short. The replay was not definitive, however, and Washington proved their own worst enemy, at times, turning the ball over twice.

With the Pac-12's leading rusher Bishop Sankey turning a fourth and 1 into a 60-yard touchdown to jump start Washington on their first drive of the second half, the pressure was on Mariota to respond -- precisely what scouts wanted.

One of the few questions pro talent evaluators still have about Mariota is whether he possesses the poise so critical to NFL success. With Oregon regularly scorching opponents, Mariota rarely has to take meaningful second-half snaps. In this game he did and the young signal-caller responded beautifully, lofting a beautiful deep ball to senior wideout Josh Huff for a 65-yard touchdown seconds after Sankey's run gave the Huskies' crowd reason to bark.

The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Mariota is the physical prototype for today's up-tempo offenses. Possessing a combination of agility, straight line speed and a rocket of a right arm, Mariota has earned comparisons from scouts to San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. Frankly, the Oregon signal-caller is further along than Kaepernick was at a similar point in his collegiate career at Nevada.

Unlike Kaepernick, whose baseball-like delivery played a role in his lasting until the second round, Mariota is technically sound. He has an efficient set-up, setting his feet quickly, keeping his shoulders square and delivering the ball with a tight, over-the-top release. Best of all, the football simply explodes out of Mariota's hand.

There is no denying that Mariota -- like previous Oregon quarterbacks -- is significantly aided by the Ducks' spread offense. Creative scheming and the Ducks' talent at the skill positions routinely leaves Mariota wide-open receivers from which to choose from. As such, scouts are left to largely ignore his 68.5 completion percentage and instead appreciate Mariota's uncommon ball-placement, which gives his targets the opportunity to run after the catch.

"Run" is often the operative word with Mariota. His ability to buy time in the pocket and scramble makes him virtually unstoppable when he decides to tuck the ball. He was especially willing to do as the game tightened, demonstrating his unique vision and acceleration for the position in gaining 35 yards on the last play of the third quarter and 5 yards for a touchdown to give Oregon a 38-24 lead early in the final stanza.

Players rarely make the NFL jump with two years of collegiate eligibility and it is even more historic when it comes at the quarterback position. Should Mariota and the Ducks continue their dream season with a national championship, however, he could have quite a decision to make in January.
Edited by Faust

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I remember reading an article posted by one of the member here several years ago with a ratio of QBs who complete four years of college vs QBs who do less years 1-3 IIRC and it blew me away. I've only drafted four years QBs and have been doing very successful with this formula and please consider I don't judge a QB until after his 1 year of starting in the NFL once defensive coordinators get enough tape to plan against the QB.

I wish I had that link.............

Tex

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Before the season, I remember thinking "Man, can't wait till Chip gets him." Now I don't see anyway the Eagles get him unless they package a bunch of picks and move up. What if the Bucs fire Schiano, hire Kevin Sumlin, and have a top 5 pick? Kid is a stud.

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I remember reading an article posted by one of the member here several years ago with a ratio of QBs who complete four years of college vs QBs who do less years 1-3 IIRC and it blew me away. I've only drafted four years QBs and have been doing very successful with this formula and please consider I don't judge a QB until after his 1 year of starting in the NFL once defensive coordinators get enough tape to plan against the QB.

I wish I had that link.............

Tex

This was definitely a thing.

But, the way the NFL is trending, it's becoming easier and easier for QB's to translate from the college ranks to the NFL. Young QB's are finding it easier and easier to have early success, and get on the field earlier, than ever before. As the NFL becomes more of a passing league (aided by rule changes in the last decade+), and NFL teams utilize more and more college passing concepts, QB's need less experience.

I think that if an NFL team spends a 1st rounder, especially a high one, on Mariota you have to trust their evaluation/projection of him into the NFL. Because in this day and age, it's easier than ever for college experience to prepare a QB prospect for the pro game.

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I remember reading an article posted by one of the member here several years ago with a ratio of QBs who complete four years of college vs QBs who do less years 1-3 IIRC and it blew me away. I've only drafted four years QBs and have been doing very successful with this formula and please consider I don't judge a QB until after his 1 year of starting in the NFL once defensive coordinators get enough tape to plan against the QB.

I wish I had that link.............

Tex

This was definitely a thing.

But, the way the NFL is trending, it's becoming easier and easier for QB's to translate from the college ranks to the NFL. Young QB's are finding it easier and easier to have early success, and get on the field earlier, than ever before. As the NFL becomes more of a passing league (aided by rule changes in the last decade+), and NFL teams utilize more and more college passing concepts, QB's need less experience.

I think that if an NFL team spends a 1st rounder, especially a high one, on Mariota you have to trust their evaluation/projection of him into the NFL. Because in this day and age, it's easier than ever for college experience to prepare a QB prospect for the pro game.

I agree we are still seeing the same trend even though non-4 yr Rookie QBs are starting their 1st year which some seem to have success but they struggle after that. Then you have your A. Luck, R. Wilson, the Manning brothers, P. Rivers etc...who stayed in college all 4 yrs do better than those that don't and I don't know all the numbers but I think Big Ben maybe one of the few exceptions but I'm not surprised to see Cam struggle and I NEVER believed in Vince Young.

Now, in no way, shape or form am I saying that all 4yr college QB have success in the NFL I'm just saying they have a better success rate when compared to those that have 3 yrs or less.

Let me also add, I can't think of a single QB that played in that type of Offense and was successful at the next level. Someone correct me if I'm wrong....I'm being serious.

Give me the great QB that plays in a Pro Style offense with 4yrs of college any day over the next great QB who's going to change the NFL with the awkward style of offense because he puts up great numbers and only starts 1 or 2 years at QB.

This is just my opinion,

Tex

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doesn't really matter about historical info prior to kelly era, but i was curious...

best pro QBs from oregon were very good, but few and far between...

norm van brocklin and dan fouts...

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I remember reading an article posted by one of the member here several years ago with a ratio of QBs who complete four years of college vs QBs who do less years 1-3 IIRC and it blew me away. I've only drafted four years QBs and have been doing very successful with this formula and please consider I don't judge a QB until after his 1 year of starting in the NFL once defensive coordinators get enough tape to plan against the QB.

I wish I had that link.............

Tex

This was definitely a thing.

But, the way the NFL is trending, it's becoming easier and easier for QB's to translate from the college ranks to the NFL. Young QB's are finding it easier and easier to have early success, and get on the field earlier, than ever before. As the NFL becomes more of a passing league (aided by rule changes in the last decade+), and NFL teams utilize more and more college passing concepts, QB's need less experience.

I think that if an NFL team spends a 1st rounder, especially a high one, on Mariota you have to trust their evaluation/projection of him into the NFL. Because in this day and age, it's easier than ever for college experience to prepare a QB prospect for the pro game.

This is true as was the 4 year college QB of the past. QBing in the NFL has never been easier. You are no longer in fear of being hit repeatedly. A QB will never take a brutal hit like in the old days because it gets a flag. No QB will ever be slammed to the ground again without a huge fine and penalty. Receivers can't be hit across the middle without a flag. Take that out of the game and playing QB is easier....except for clowns like Gabbert and Freeman. They would suck at flag football.

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Rotoworld:

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco passes along word that Oregon redshirt sophomore QB Marcus Mariota's one concern is accuracy, according to "some scouts."

The box scores back this up, as he completed 44, 50, 57.1, and 59.3 percent of his throws in four games this season. The lowest of those games pitted Oregon against Cal in a torrential downpour. Mariota has completed a higher percentage of his passes against top competition, and his placement against Washington was excellent at every level of the field. We aren't worrying too much about these accuracy questions.

Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay now lists Oregon redshirt sophomore Marcus Mariota as the class' No. 1 QB and No. 2 overall prospect.

McShay previously ranked Mariota at No. 22. "He has a very quick release and good arm strength, elite speed as a runner and he has shown significant improvement so far this season with his accuracy," McShay writes. "He's still raw, but his potential is through the roof." There is a legitimate case for Mariota being the No. 1 pick in May since he wins from the pocket and when stretching defenses with his feet.
Source: ESPN

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doesn't really matter about historical info prior to kelly era, but i was curious...

best pro QBs from oregon were very good, but few and far between...

norm van brocklin and dan fouts...

doesn't really matter about historical info prior to kelly era, but i was curious...

best pro QBs from oregon were very good, but few and far between...

norm van brocklin and dan fouts...

I disagree, we've seen very highly taughted QBs by these so called College Guru run a shot gun style offense and have a very hard time taking a simple snap from the center Vince Young is the first to come to mind. MY argument is not limited to Oregon but to college teams who run these awkward styles of offense.

Tex

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As NFL prospects, I still like Teddy more. I feel more certain about him, being able to watch him against a top 2 or 3 defense (Florida/2012), in a more traditional offense, make throw after throw, right on the money.

As fantasy prospects, I give the edge to Mariota. I like the running ability that he will offer; it increases is floor, at the very least, fantasy wise.

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doesn't really matter about historical info prior to kelly era, but i was curious...

best pro QBs from oregon were very good, but few and far between...

norm van brocklin and dan fouts...

doesn't really matter about historical info prior to kelly era, but i was curious...

best pro QBs from oregon were very good, but few and far between...

norm van brocklin and dan fouts...

I disagree, we've seen very highly taughted QBs by these so called College Guru run a shot gun style offense and have a very hard time taking a simple snap from the center Vince Young is the first to come to mind. MY argument is not limited to Oregon but to college teams who run these awkward styles of offense.

Tex

Cam Newton count? He's been just fine and will be around for years.

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I think there are a couple of things that make it hard to project Mariota's success in the NFL:

Can he read a defense- at Oregon he just goes through his progressions until he finds the next open guy - he's not asked to read defensive schemes and react.

Can he throw with anticipation - He mostly throws to wide open receivers because of the talent gap Oregon has over most of the competition, can he make the throw in the right spot before the WR has made his break?

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doesn't really matter about historical info prior to kelly era, but i was curious...

best pro QBs from oregon were very good, but few and far between...

norm van brocklin and dan fouts...

doesn't really matter about historical info prior to kelly era, but i was curious...

best pro QBs from oregon were very good, but few and far between...

norm van brocklin and dan fouts...

I disagree, we've seen very highly taughted QBs by these so called College Guru run a shot gun style offense and have a very hard time taking a simple snap from the center Vince Young is the first to come to mind. MY argument is not limited to Oregon but to college teams who run these awkward styles of offense.

Tex

i was only speaking of best QBs FROM OREGON prior to kelly... the doesn't really matter part referred to it being unclear how looking at what norm van brocklin or dan fouts did in the NFL would assist us in projecting mariota (both different eras and schemes)... i was just curous who the best QBs were to come from the school, historically speaking...

but while on the subject, does kaepernick count for this style of QB?

RGIII ran a pretty wide open scheme at baylor...

geno smith ran air raid attack in WV...

not sure what percentage of plays were run out of shotgun, though...

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doesn't really matter about historical info prior to kelly era, but i was curious...

best pro QBs from oregon were very good, but few and far between...

norm van brocklin and dan fouts...

doesn't really matter about historical info prior to kelly era, but i was curious...

best pro QBs from oregon were very good, but few and far between...

norm van brocklin and dan fouts...

I disagree, we've seen very highly taughted QBs by these so called College Guru run a shot gun style offense and have a very hard time taking a simple snap from the center Vince Young is the first to come to mind. MY argument is not limited to Oregon but to college teams who run these awkward styles of offense.

Tex

Cam Newton count? He's been just fine and will be around for years.

I don't really know the answer to the following question but how did he do his 2nd year? IIRC he stunk it up and he's not an every week starter this year. Did Cam have like 1 good year in college? I'm just going off memory but I believe I'm correct so I'm beating against Cam for his entire career. A good athlete but avg to below avg QB. His ability to run the ball seems to be the only thing that saves him. Again, I haven't honestly looked at his numbers but I do remember some of the games, I don't following him or any player on that team so it is what it is.

If I'm wrong then I stand corrected,

Tex

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doesn't really matter about historical info prior to kelly era, but i was curious...

best pro QBs from oregon were very good, but few and far between...

norm van brocklin and dan fouts...

doesn't really matter about historical info prior to kelly era, but i was curious...

best pro QBs from oregon were very good, but few and far between...

norm van brocklin and dan fouts...

I disagree, we've seen very highly taughted QBs by these so called College Guru run a shot gun style offense and have a very hard time taking a simple snap from the center Vince Young is the first to come to mind. MY argument is not limited to Oregon but to college teams who run these awkward styles of offense.

Tex

i was only speaking of best QBs FROM OREGON prior to kelly... the doesn't really matter part referred to it being unclear how looking at what norm van brocklin or dan fouts did in the NFL would assist us in projecting mariota (both different eras and schemes)... i was just curous who the best QBs were to come from the school, historically speaking...

but while on the subject, does kaepernick count for this style of QB?

RGIII ran a pretty wide open scheme at baylor...

geno smith ran air raid attack in WV...

not sure what percentage of plays were run out of shotgun, though...

Ok I see where you are coming from. I think the jury is seill out on all those QBs you've mentioned. Kaepernick caught everyone by surprise when he took over last year but he's not doing what he did last year same for RGIII. Geno I'm not so sure about, I did draft him but he was passed over so many times at the point I drafted him I got extremely great value but he may never be a starter on my team because I have better QBs ahead of him. He may end up as trade bait at some point.

Tex

Edited by BigTex

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I feel kind of validated seeing other Kaep/Mariota comparisons floating around draftnik circles. I still think it's a very good comparison--with Kaep being more of a freak athlete, and Mariota being a more polished QB. But they're both very toolsy.

Edited by ConnSKINS26

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Rotoworld:

Oregon redshirt sophomore QB Marcus Mariota completed 21 of 28 attempts for 230 yards and a touchdown in a 42-14 win over UCLA.

Mariota added 18 rushing yards. the team fumbled near the goal line on a poor snap, so the score could have been even more lopsided. A decisive Mariota was difficult to stop once Oregon's offense got on a roll. He has a realistic shot at being the No. 1 pick.

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Rotoworld:

Former Oregon head coach and current ESPN analyst Mike Bellotti said Ducks redshirt sophomore Marcus Mariota will be better than Cam Newton in the NFL.

"I think he'll be a fine quarterback at the (NFL) level, much like a (Colin) Kaepernick-type guy ... better than Carolina's quarterback right now," Belotti said on Tuesday. Newton is more physically gifted than Mariota, but Belotti believes that Mariota is a "better student of the game" and that Newton skates by on his natural ability. "Cam has never had to work as hard, and I think he is finally now starting to get it and spend time in the classroom with the coaches," Bellotti said. "A lot of things come really easy to Cam. I think he still thinks he can just go out there and do it. I think Marcus is a combination of the athlete and the student."
Source: NFL.com

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Rotoworld:

Stanford head coach David Shaw considers Oregon redshirt sophomore Marcus Mariota the best QB in college football.

"I thought last year he was the best quarterback in the nation. I feel the same way this year," Shaw told reporters. Obviously Shaw doesn't have to worry about Teddy Bridgewater or Jameis Winston for now, but Mariota does plenty of noteworthy things in Oregon's offense. His decision making in running and quick passing situations are impressive.

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Rotoworld:

Oregon redshirt sophomore QB Marcus Mariota is dealing with a partially sprained MCL, according to KVAL sports reporter Collin Harmon.

We aren't sure when the injury occurred, possibly against Washington, but Mariota has likely played through it this season. Not only has Mariota played, but it has been at a high level with both his feet and his arms. The redshirt sophomore could improve his placement and third/fourth down conversions, but this injury shouldn't hurt Mariota's evaluation.

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I think sometimes you never really know what a QB is made of until you see him facing adversity. Oregon had been pounding inferior teams all season, but against the wicked Stanford front he looked totally pedestrian. Could not make a play under pressure to save his life. No confidence in his posture or demeanor. Looked scared. Only started to get something together when he had all day to throw. It's just one game, but those are very troubling signs IMO.

At least with a guy like Manziel you know he's gonna ball out and won't shy away from the big moment. He may have physical limitations that Mariota doesn't possess, but he'll rise to the occasion. Rather roll the dice on someone like that than draft someone who doesn't have the right mentality. Would not be surprised to see Mariota come back to school for another season after this embarrassment. We'll see.

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I think sometimes you never really know what a QB is made of until you see him facing adversity. Oregon had been pounding inferior teams all season, but against the wicked Stanford front he looked totally pedestrian. Could not make a play under pressure to save his life. No confidence in his posture or demeanor. Looked scared. Only started to get something together when he had all day to throw. It's just one game, but those are very troubling signs IMO.

At least with a guy like Manziel you know he's gonna ball out and won't shy away from the big moment. He may have physical limitations that Mariota doesn't possess, but he'll rise to the occasion. Rather roll the dice on someone like that than draft someone who doesn't have the right mentality. Would not be surprised to see Mariota come back to school for another season after this embarrassment. We'll see.

I was impressed with how bad he looked. Every other time I've seen him he's looked great, not only in terms of athleticism but also pocket presence. He looked awful all night long tonight. He does have legs, and a gun of an arm, but he's not as far along as I expected him to be.

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I think sometimes you never really know what a QB is made of until you see him facing adversity. Oregon had been pounding inferior teams all season, but against the wicked Stanford front he looked totally pedestrian. Could not make a play under pressure to save his life. No confidence in his posture or demeanor. Looked scared. Only started to get something together when he had all day to throw. It's just one game, but those are very troubling signs IMO.

At least with a guy like Manziel you know he's gonna ball out and won't shy away from the big moment. He may have physical limitations that Mariota doesn't possess, but he'll rise to the occasion. Rather roll the dice on someone like that than draft someone who doesn't have the right mentality. Would not be surprised to see Mariota come back to school for another season after this embarrassment. We'll see.

I was impressed with how bad he looked. Every other time I've seen him he's looked great, not only in terms of athleticism but also pocket presence. He looked awful all night long tonight. He does have legs, and a gun of an arm, but he's not as far along as I expected him to be.

What's weird is that his stat line is actually pretty respectable. Doesn't reflect what happened out there on the field though. Stanford didn't press him enough in the end and he was able to get some garbage time yards. When the game was more in doubt he was pretty weak.

Anyway, I don't need to keep piling it on. I honestly think the kid will go back for another year and take this as a learning experience.

Will I be high on him for the 2015 draft cycle? :oldunsure:

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I'm seeing reports that he was playing last night with a sprained MCL and was wearing a brace on his left knee. While still giving Stanford's defense full credit for the first three quarters, this might at least partially explain his running output from last night and perhaps his problems from the pocket last night if he was already feeling less confident about his plant leg.

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Going back to my posts above, I'm not at all shocked by the outcome of either game we saw last night.

Tex

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I'd eat dirty socks before spending a high first on this guy. Having not gotten to see him much until last night, I'd say he's way overrated.

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Daniel Jeremiah was at the game.

Here is his take on what he saw.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000278193/article/marcus-mariota-avoids-major-harm-to-reputation-in-loss

Marcus Mariota avoids major harm to reputation in loss
  • By Daniel Jeremiah
  • NFL Media analyst
  • Published: Nov. 8, 2013 at 01:27 a.m.
  • Updated: Nov. 8, 2013 at 07:48 a.m.

STANFORD, Calif. -- The press box was loaded with NFL personnel executives and scouts at Thursday night's Pac-12 showdown between Oregon and Stanford. Prior to the game, I had a chance to visit with more than a dozen of them and every one of them spoke highly of Ducks QB Marcus Mariota. He didn't play very well against the Cardinal, but he still showed enough tools to avoid a major hit to his reputation with NFL evaluators.

When I studied him on tape, my biggest concern was a lack of consistency with his accuracy. That was once again an issue tonight. He underthrew a wide-open deep ball in the first half that would have resulted in a score. He also misfired on a couple of quick, underneath throws. His refusal to throw the ball away was also an issue. He fumbled twice on plays where he had time to throw the ball out of bounds and save field position. Both of those plays came with the Ducks inside the red zone.

There were some positives to take away from his performance. He made a few special throws, including a cross-body dart in the first half and a few stick throws in the beginning of the fourth quarter. His touchdown pass on 4th-and-goal from the 12-yard line was outstanding.

After the game, Mariota addressed reports that he had suffered an MCL injury prior to the game and acknowledged his knee is "a little banged up." That would explain why he was so reluctant to run the football. There were several plays where a lane opened up for him to take off and he refused to leave the pocket. His mobility is a huge asset to his game and Oregon's offense wasn't quite the same with this missing element.

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