"You've got to push him," Whisenhunt said. "You've got to challenge him, but obviously there are some things he does well and we'll incorporate those into what we're doing. It's gonna be a little bit of blend, but he's a talented young man. He has a very good feel for the position and how to process those things, and we're excited to get a chance to work with him." Mariota, too, is eager to get started and find common ground within the Titans' offense. "For me, I'm gonna to my best to try and do some of everything. I'm gonna be the player that I've always been and do whatever is asked of me," Mariota said. "Coach Whisenhunt is going to have his offense and his complexities of his system and I'm gonna do my best to execute it. I won't change the type of player I am. Hopefully, we'll continue to find success and execute well." - The Sports Xchange
05/05/2015 - Mariota immediately becomes the face of the Titans franchise after winning the Heisman Trophy in 2014. Tennessee has to hope that he can adapt quickly to being an NFL quarterback after first-round misses on VinceYoung in 2006 and Jake Locker in 2011. "I think any question that you're going to be faced when you're talking about a quarterback is how they process things," Whisenhunt said. "To me, the hardest thing about playing that position is being able to diagnose what a defense is doing, what you have do to is to try to counter that and then be able to do that all within a matter of a few second and get the ball accurately to the right spot if you're throwing it." As for what Whisenhunt will do to make Mariota fit, he said, "We've already started working on that. We'll have a plan." - The Sports Xchange
05/05/2015 - A closer look at the Titans' nine picks: Round 1/2 - Marcus Mariota, QB, 6-4, 222, Oregon...The Titans are putting the franchise and the careers of general manager Ruston Webster and head coach Ken Whisenhunt into the hands of the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner. Mariota, though not quite a fit in Whisenhunt's vertical passing game, certainly becomes the face of the franchise now. The Titans say they will adjust to Mariota's skill set while he learns their system in order to find the best mix as he jumps to the top of the depth chart. - The Sports Xchange
04/23/2015 - Marcus Mariota already is part of the lore of a famous statue, having won the 2014 Heisman Trophy. Now he has something that might not be so prestigious, but is edible. After signing on with Subway restaurants as their latest "Famous Fan," Mariota unveiled a life-size food sculpture Wednesday in his hometown of Honolulu. The main ingredient of the structure: guacamole. That made the Oregon quarterback and likely early pick in next week's draft laugh loudly. "It's really funny," Mariota said of the statue made by food sculptor Jim Victor. "The actual message is that Subway has come out with guacamole, and I like guacamole, and so the statue is made of all the ingredients in guacamole. "When they first showed it to us at the house, my mom, she made sure I got a photo with it."
Mariota joins Robert Griffin III, Ndamukong Suh, Mark Ingram, Anthony Barr and Jarvis Jones as NFL players who have been immortalized in meat, poultry and vegetables. He was a natural choice, the Subway folks say, because Mariota is a regular at their restaurants; Mariota says he ate at Subway "nearly every day in college," along with several teammates. "It really is cool to be part of that group that has had this done for them," he said. - AP Sports
03/24/2015 - Whisenhunt would start Mariota if picked No. 2...If Marcus Mariota is the No. 2 overall pick, he would also be the No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart with the Tennessee Titans. "You're talking about taking a quarterback with the first or second pick, you're probably going to play that guy," said Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt of the Oregon quarterback. "As far as whether or not he's ready to do it, we're still in the process of evaluating. We like what we've seen so far, he's a talented player." NFLDraftScout.com ranks Mariota as the No. 2 quarterback in the 2015 draft behind Florida State's Jameis Winston. The Titans don't have a franchise quarterback in place, but have also spent significant time with Southern Cal defensive tackle in addition to working out Mariota and Winston.
The mild-mannered, passive demeanor of Mariota and his college football upbringing in a fast-break offense that didn't develop certain skills vital to NFL success raised criticism from media and some in the scouting community. Whisenhunt, who has an obvious stake in hiking interest in the No. 2 pick, said he sees a pretty flawless player in evaluating Mariota. "I've been very impressed with him," Whisenhunt said. "I spent an hour and a half with him in the classroom and went out on the field and worked out with him. "How he handled that whole situation, he did a really nice job. To me, he shows a lot of the qualities of those guys who have been successful in the league. The team gravitates to him, they really like him. He's an accurate thrower, he doesn't turn the ball over much and can extend the play." How the Titans handle the No. 2 pick and the draft overall could have a serious bearing on Whisenhunt's future. Being the season for blowing smoke, Whisenhunt also had some praise for Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford -- who happens to be under contract with the team coached by Mariota's former college coach, Chip Kelly. - The Sports Xchange
03/20/2015 - Jets schedule private workout with Marcus Mariota...The New York Jets are currently planning on a quarterback competition between a highly inconsistent third-year player (Geno Smith) and a 32-year-old journeyman expected to be out until training camp while recovering from a broken leg (Ryan Fitzpatrick). So it is understandable that the owners of the No. 6 pick in next month's NFL Draft are conducting their due diligence on the top two quarterback prospects. Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan flew to Eugene, Ore.n to watch Oregon's March 12 pro day highlighted by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota. The team has also scheduled a private workout with Mariota on March 28, and Maccagnan will be joined by Jets coach Todd Bowles.
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is widely expected to go to the Buccaneers with the first overall pick, but Maccagnan will attend Winston's March 31 pro day. Maccagnan declined to publicly evaluate the two quarterbacks on a conference call Thursday. "Yeah, I would probably not want to do that," Maccagnan said, per NJ.com, "only because everybody else in the league would probably want to know what I think about that position and those two players." Mariota worked out for the Titans, who hold the No. 2 pick, after his pro day, and is reportedly scheduled to work out for the Bucs and San Diego Chargers. - Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange
03/12/2015 - Marcus Mariota delivers at Oregon Pro Day...Knocking Mariota for vertical passes that sailed slightly over outstretched arms of receivers he had running routes for him Thursday doesn't reflect the accuracy he showed. Among his primary receivers Thursday was former Oregon standout Lavasier Tuinei, a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder with good build-up speed but lacking the true explosiveness Mariota will be throwing to in the NFL. Considering he took virtually every snap out of the shotgun at Oregon, scouts wanted to see how Mariota would perform while dropping back from center. Every pass he threw Thursday came after Mariota took the snap from center Hroniss Grasu. As he showed in an impressive workout at the combine, Mariota demonstrated quickness, balance and rhythm to accurately deliver the football, including after play-action. Perhaps most impressively, Mariota showed marked improvement in the post-corners -- the route he struggled the most with in Indianapolis.
"I thought [Mariota] did a really nice job, especially considering that he did it from under center," Schneider said as the workout concluded. Mariota was harder on himself. "I thought it was OK," Mariota said. "There were some missed throws here or there. It's a little different than in a game." The general buzz following the Pro Day was that Mariota wasn't as impressive Thursday as at the combine. That may be more of a reflection of the heightened expectations following his stellar showing in Indianapolis than a poor effort Thursday from Mariota. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
03/12/2015 - Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota highlighted Oregon's pro day Thursday, looking to show he has the skillset to succeed in the NFL. Five NFL general managers, as well as Tennessee coach Ken Whisenhunt, watched the workout at the Ducks' indoor practice facility. It was not open to the public. Mariota, along with 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, also participated in the NFL Combine last month. Both quarterbacks are considered top picks when the draft starts on April 30. Tampa Bay has the top pick, followed by the Titans. Mariota hit his receiver on 60 of 67 overall throws he made at pro day, including nine of 10 into the red zone. "I thought it went OK," he said afterward. "There were some missed throws here and there but overall I thought I did well." Mariota told the NFL Network he had met with the Buccaneers and Eagles, and was also going to sit down with the Titans.
Mariota threw for 4,454 yards with 42 touchdowns and had just four interceptions as a Duck last season, leading Oregon to the national championship game. Shortly after the final loss to Ohio State, Mariota announced he would leave school early to enter the draft. The most decorated quarterback in Oregon history, Mariota not only won the Heisman Trophy, he was voted The Associated Press and Walter Camp player of the year and took home the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Maxwell Award and the Dave O'Brien Award. The questions surrounding Mariota center on whether he can make the transition from the speedy no-huddle spread offense of Oregon to the NFL. On pro day, he took snaps from under center and dropped back to pass. "I think coming out there was a little bit of butterflies," he said. "But that's OK, that's natural. Once we got in the thick of things, the group started having fun. It was enjoyable." - AP Sports
03/12/2015 - Marcus Mariota delivers at Oregon Pro Day...Marcus Mariota and a potentially record-breaking class from Oregon drew an estimated 100 scouts from all 32 NFL teams to their Pro Day workout Thursday. No team was better represented than the Tennessee Titans, holders of the No. 2 overall pick, which sent a contingent that included general manager Ruston Webster, coach Ken Whisenhunt, offensive coordinator Jason Michael, QB coach John McNulty and director of scouting Blake Beddingfield. Among other big names attending the workout was general managers John Schneider, Scot McCloughan and Mike Maccagnan, the chief decision-makers in Seattle, Washington and with the New York Jets.
After demonstrating his rare athleticism for the position at the Combine with a 4.52-second 40-yard dash and 36-inch vertical jump, Mariota elected to only throw Thursday. That wasn't surprising given his stellar workout in Indianapolis and the fact he was scheduled to hold a private workout with the Titans on campus following the Pro Day. By my count Mariota had eight incompletions among 65 passes in a well-scripted throwing session organized by new Cleveland Browns' quarterback coach Kevin O'Connell. Eight incompletions may sound like a lot considering that there were no defenders but of these throws, only two were truly poor tosses with most of the misses being deep balls. A couple of well-thrown passes just tipped off the fingertips of receivers and one pass was dropped. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
03/12/2015 - Marcus Mariota delivers at Oregon Pro Day...Having attended Pro Days since 2001, I'd grade Mariota's effort today as a solid B, not much different than performances future top five picks Andrew Luck and Mark Sanchez had during their respective Pro Days. Mariota's workout was clearly a step behind the aerial assault Sam Bradford put on at Oklahoma prior to the earning the No. 1 overall selection in 2010. Bradford's workout remains the best Pro Day from a quarterback I've seen in person.
The Heisman Trophy winner is, of course, the big name but he was far from the only NFL prospect this season at Oregon. Six former Oregon Ducks were invited to February's combine and NFLDraftScout.com currently has draftable grades on nine players from the program, including defensive lineman Arik Armstead, offensive tackle Jake Fisher, Grasu, and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, each of whom could join Mariota as possible top 100 picks. The most Ducks ever drafted into the NFL in one year is six, which interestingly enough has occurred six times, most recently in 2009. These Ducks look destined to break that mark. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
02/21/2015 - Mariota, not Winston, shows off speed...There aren't many instances during an NFL game when the quarterback is asked to run 40 yards in a straight line, but the 40-yard dash and many of the other agility tests on the field at the NFL combine help give an overall look at the athleticism of prospects. Oregon's Marcus Mariota showed off his athleticism Saturday morning with a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, the best time among the quarterbacks. His 1.57 10-yard split was also tops among the quarterbacks. Florida State's Jameis Winston wasn't expected to run anywhere near Mariotas time, but his 4.97 and 4.99 times were slower than expected. Nonetheless, the 40-yard dash isn't the type of test that will hurt his draft stock or show off his strengths. Mariota also showed well in the vertical (36-inches) and broad jump (10-foot-1), which would have been the best marks among quarterbacks last year as well. Winston wasn't as impressive with a 28.5-inch vertical and 8-foot-7 broad jump. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/19/2015 - Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota had the stage to himself Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine, given a day's head start on rival prospect Jameis Winston, who will meet with the media Friday. Most evaluators rank Winston as the No. 1 quarterback in the 2015 NFL Draft. "Doesn't really affect me at all," Mariota said at his 15-minute interview that began at 2:21 p.m. ET at Lucas Oil Stadium. "Any player would stand in front of you and tell you they're confident in their abilities. I'm no different."
Mariota had 5,224 total yards and 58 touchdowns as a junior. But as with Florida State's 2013 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, there are still doubts about Mariota's ability to transition from a wide-open spread offense to a pro-style system that demands the quarterback serve as a coach, coordinator and passer all in one tidy package. "While working with Kevin O'Connell, he gives me a play sheet and has me call the play calls out loud," Mariota said. "I haven't done it (call plays) since high school." - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
02/19/2015 - 2015 NFL Combine: 5 takeaways from quarterback interviews...5. Steady Mariota: In the same calm fashion that helped him win the Heisman Trophy and lead Oregon to the national championship game, Mariota provided thoughtful, articulate answers, refusing to take the bait when reporters asked leading questions. He seemed reasonably comfortable on the podium but his soft-spoken answers could be perceived as almost timid, raising questions about how well he'd acclimate to the intense spotlight of a major media market. Communication of another sort was one of the things that Mariota said he needed to work on in his transition to a traditional NFL offense. "For us it's going to be huddling, I haven't huddled in a while," Mariota said. "That will be one thing. It seems like a little detail, but that is kind of a big thing."
It is a big thing. Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians colorfully described how much of a transition spread quarterbacks have to make. "So many times, you're evaluating a quarterback who has never called a play in the huddle, never used a snap count," Arians said. "They hold up a card on the sideline, he kicks his foot and throws the ball. That ain't playing quarterback. There's no leadership involved there. There might be leadership on the bench, but when you get them and they have to use verbiage and they have to spit the verbiage out and change the snap count, they are light years behind." - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
02/17/2015 - 2015 DRAFT SCOUT PRE-COMBINE TOP 64 DRAFT PROSPECTS: 5/2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon, 6-4, 215, 4.52, 1...Mariota was masterful in Oregon's run-option, spread offense, which accentuated his raw athletic abilities to run and throw, often at the same time. Even conceding that his arm strength is NFL caliber (not counting a current shoulder problem), Mariota's evaluations are burdened by a stark lack of success by similarly gifted quarterbacks who rewrote college record books, but were unable to transfer that talent to the pro game. The most consistently effective quarterbacks in the NFL include Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and even Andrew Luck -- none of whom graduated from a primarily run/option college offense.
Those college stars are still inconsistent or unfulfilled promises in the NFL -- Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, and the most infamous example, Tim Tebow. Like Mariota, all but Kaepernick won a Heisman Trophy. But that obviously doesn't pave the road to NFL success. Like them, Mariota's has not proven he can process the game, go through his progressions, from within the pocket. Add the word "yet" and that is why some team will make him a high pick after being enamored with his impressive athleticism and spotless personal demeanor. And there is this -- Philadelphia's Chip Kelly recruited and coached Mariota at Oregon and brought his college-based concepts to the NFL. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
02/17/2015 - 2015 NFL Combine: Five Bold Predictions...4. Fastest quarterback 40-yard dash since RGIII...Let's be honest, the 40-yard dash has little to do with how a quarterback projects to the NFL level. But that won't stop the hype once Oregon QB Marcus Mariota steps up to the starting line. A gazelle-type of runner, Mariota has effortless strides and easy acceleration to get vertical in a hurry and if he decides to run the 40-yard dash at Lucas Oil Stadium, he will burn up the track. Only one quarterback prospect has run a sub 4.5 40-yard dash since 2007: Robert Griffin III in 2012 (4.33). Several quarterbacks have come close (Colin Kaepernick, 4.53), but Mariota will join Griffin in that category with a 40-yard dash time in the 4.45-4.49 range. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/16/2015 - Marcus Mariota says his shoulder is feeling good and that a decision will made in the next few days about whether he will throw during the NFL combine. Mariota was back in North Texas on Monday night to receive the Davey O'Brien Award that goes to the nation's top quarterback. The black-tie awards dinner was held in downtown Fort Worth, about 20 minutes from the stadium where exactly five weeks earlier he sprained his right (throwing) shoulder in Oregon's loss to Ohio State in the first College Football Playoff championship game. The Heisman Trophy winner said he's looking forward to throwing in Indianapolis if he's able to do that. Mariota graduated from Oregon in December and has been working out in the San Diego area. - AP Sports
02/16/2015 - 2015 NFL COMBINE: PROSPECTS WITH THE MOST TO GAIN OR LOSE, VERIFIED MEASUREMENTS: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon...With 27 career fumbles and concerns about his grip and ball control as a passer, Mariota's verified hand size will be a much anticipated number. Smaller hands (9 inches or smaller) don't preclude a quarterback from playing at a high level in the NFL, but it might help explain some of Mariota's struggles. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/26/2015 - Injury could keep Mariota from throwing at combine...Given the Heisman Trophy winner's incredible success at Oregon, Mariota's workout may not seem important to his final grade. Mariota completed a sparkling 66.75 percent of his passes over the past three seasons for the Ducks for 10,796 yards and threw 105 touchdowns against just 14 interceptions. The speedy 6-foot-4, 219-pounder also ran for another 2,237 yards and 29 scores, earning comparisons to San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick for his dazzling dual-threat capabilities. Few of the passes Mariota attempted at Oregon, however, translate directly to most NFL offenses and there are concerns that he will struggle with durability should he run often against NFL defenses.
Mariota is battling with Florida State's Jameis Winston to be the first quarterback selected. At this time, Winston has overtaken Mariota atop NFLDraftScout.com's board. While there are plenty of concerns about Winston off the field, his success in a pro style offense makes him an easier projection to the NFL. He is the more accurate passer from the pocket. A strong showing in Indianapolis with Mariota sidelined could give Winston momentum as the draft nears. Sources close to NFLDraftScout.com's No. 3-rated quarterback Brett Hundley suggest that the UCLA quarterback will fully participate at the combine. According to the staradvertiser.com report, Mariota has been training in San Diego with Kevin O'Connell and Ryan Flaherty of Prolific Athletes. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
01/26/2015 - Injury could keep Mariota from throwing at combine...In recent years many of the top quarterbacks have elected not to throw at the annual scouting combine, opting instead to wait until their personal pro days. Marcus Mariota may not have a choice, as he's only now starting to throw again after suffering a sprain in the AC joint of his shoulder in the national championship game loss to Ohio State on Jan. 12. "Right now we're still making that decision, whether to throw at the combine. I had to kinda rest about a week-and-a-half," Mariota said, according to Honolulu's staradvertiser.com. "I sprained the AC [shoulder] joint. But now, I'm able to throw. Feels good." The combine this year will be held Feb. 17-23. Oregon's pro day will take place in March.
Mariota was in his native Hawaii this weekend to attend the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame enshrinement of Luther Elliss, Russ Francis, Jesse Sapolu, Ray Schoenke, Mosi Tatupu and Mark Tuinei. He and his family elected to attend the enshrinement rather than compete in the 2015 Senior Bowl -- a game the redshirt junior was eligible for because he had already graduated from Oregon. "I had an opportunity to go to the Senior Bowl," Mariota said. "But as a family we decided it was best to come here and be a part of this. Being able to meet all these men is pretty remarkable. They paved the way for me and Polynesian athletes everywhere. For us, it's really just saying, 'Thank you.'" - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
01/20/2015 - The Senior Bowl isn't giving up on Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota playing. Executive director Phil Savage said Monday that "every indication has been that he has not been planning on coming." But he said that the Oregon quarterback hasn't signed with an agent. If Mariota decides to play in Saturday's showcase game for NFL teams, he would be a fourth quarterback on the North team. Savage joked that "our deadline is at 2:30 on Saturday afternoon" for Mariota to arrive. Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt is leading the North and has the second pick in the draft. Mariota and Florida State's Jameis Winston are regarded as the two top quarterback prospects available. Both left after their junior seasons, but Mariota is eligible for the Senior Bowl because he graduated. - AP Sports
01/14/2015 - Mariota makes it official, enters draft...One day prior to the deadline for underclassmen to enter the 2015 NFL Draft, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota made the announcement many expected - he's heading to the pros. "After meeting with my family I have decided to forego my final year of eligibility and apply for the 2015 NFL Draft," Mariota announced via the Ducks' official website. "My four years at the University of Oregon have been an awesome experience. I cannot thank Coach Kelly, Coach Helfrich, Coach Frost, the rest of the Oregon coaches and the support staff enough for molding me as a person, player and student-athlete. "The support I received from the University, the city of Eugene and Duck fans has been tremendous. I will always remember the great times and support I received. Once a Duck always a Duck. "I will miss being with my teammates. Being a part of this team was something special that I will always treasure."
The 6-foot-4, 215 pound redshirt junior currently ranks as NFLDraftScout.com's top prospect overall and is a projected early first round selection. He is expected to compete with Florida State's Jameis Winston to be the first quarterback selected, which could result in the No. 1 overall pick with the QB-needy Tampa Bay Buccaneers owning the rights to the selection. Frankly, with the exception of returning for another shot at a national championship, there was little for Mariota to prove by returning. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
01/14/2015 - Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is entering the NFL Draft...It's not much of a surprise considering he won the Heisman Trophy and is projected to be a first-round pick, perhaps one of the top five overall, but Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota made things official on Wednesday: he is leaving the Ducks to enter the 2015 NFL Draft. "After meeting with my family I have decided to forego my final year of eligibility and apply for the 2015 NFL Draft," Mariota said. "My four years at the University of Oregon have been an awesome experience. I cannot thank Coach Kelly, Coach Helfrich, Coach Frost, the rest of the Oregon coaches and the support staff enough for molding me as a person, player and student-athlete. "The support I received from the University, the city of Eugene and Duck fans has been tremendous. I will always remember the great times and support I received. Once a Duck always a Duck."
While Mariota did not win a national title with the Ducks, it does not change the fact that he had an outstanding career with Oregon. As a three-year starter, he finished his career with 10,976 passing yards, 2,237 rushing yards and 136 total touchdowns. He also set an NCAA record by passing for a touchdown in each of his 41 starts, and he went 36-5 in his career as a starter with the Ducks. Mariota is considered the No. 1 prospect in the 2015 draft class by CBSSports.com and could very well be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Though we have no idea how successful he'll be in the NFL, he's one of those players that the college game will definitely miss. - Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com
01/14/2015 - Mariota makes it official, enters draft...The Heisman Trophy winner enjoyed one of the greatest seasons in college football history, accounting for a staggering 58 touchdowns against just seven turnovers (four interceptions, three fumbles lost) and leading the Ducks to a Pac-12 championship, Rose Bowl victory over Florida State and berth in the national championship. Though Oregon lost 42-20 to Ohio State on Monday, the fault can't be pinned on Mariota, who threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns, despite multiple drops from his receivers. Mariota guided Oregon to three post-season bowl game victories over his career, leaving Oregon with a 36-5 record and as a three-time First-Team all-conference selection. He's been just as impressive off the field, graduating earlier this year with a degree in general science and earning praise from Oregon's coaches for his humility and maturity.
"It's been an honor to watch Marcus develop over the last four years, and I'm excited to see what his future holds," UO coach Mark Helfrich said. "He's given this program everything we could have asked, and he'll be the standard by which others are judged. Mahalo." While undeniably gifted and beloved at Oregon, Mariota is not, however, the "can't miss" prospect that some imply. Physically, he is most like Colin Kaepernick, formerly of Nevada and now with the San Francisco 49ers. Mariota is potentially a special weapon because of his speed in an era of dual-threat quarterbacks and has intriguing potential as a passer. He is a good, not great, pocket passer at this time and could struggle with the tighter windows he'll see in the NFL. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
01/14/2015 - Mahalo Marcus. Mariota Headed to Draft... Oregon junior quarterback Marcus Mariota, winner of the Heisman Trophy for the 2014 season, has filed paperwork making himself eligible for the 2015 NFL draft, he announced Wednesday. "After meeting with my family I have decided to forego my final year of eligibility and apply for the 2015 NFL Draft," Mariota said. "My four years at the University of Oregon have been an awesome experience. I cannot thank Coach Kelly, Coach Helfrich, Coach Frost, the rest of the Oregon coaches and the support staff enough for molding me as a person, player and student-athlete. "The support I received from the University, the city of Eugene and Duck fans has been tremendous. I will always remember the great times and support I received. Once a Duck always a Duck. "I will miss being with my teammates. Being a part of this team was something special that I will always treasure."
Mariota was the consensus national player of the year in college football for 2014, and led the Ducks to the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship game. He became just the second quarterback in school history to lead Oregon to three postseason wins, and was the first three-time first-team all-Pac-12 quarterback in conference history. "It's been an honor to watch Marcus develop over the last four years, and I'm excited to see what his future holds," UO coach Mark Helfrich said. "He's given this program everything we could have asked, and he'll be the standard by which others are judged. Mahalo." A three-year starter, Mariota led the Ducks to a 36-5 record, and set an NCAA record by passing for a touchdown in all 41 career starts. - Rob Moseley, GoDucks.com
01/14/2015 - Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota has declared his eligibility for the NFL draft. The Ducks quarterback announced on Oregon's website on Wednesday that he would forgo his senior season. The school said he filed paperwork on Wednesday, a day before the NFL deadline. Mariota was the humble leader of Oregon's high-flying offense. The 13-2 Ducks defeated Florida State in the Rose Bowl in college football's first playoffs, but fell 42-20 to Ohio State in Monday night's national championship game. Mariota won every major award he qualified for, starting with the Heisman Trophy, as well as AP Player of the Year and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. He set a conference record for most touchdowns in a single season with 58. - AP Sports
01/13/2015 - Mariota weighs options after loss...Mariota was attempting to become the 15th player to win the Heisman Trophy and national title in the same season. Should he leave Oregon, the Hawaiian will finish with 10,796 passing yards with 105 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions in three years. The Ducks won 35 games with Mariota under center. He became the first player in Pac-12 history to produce more than 5,000 yards of total offense in a single season, amassing 5,224 yards in 2014-15. Mariota threw a touchdown pass in all 41 of his career games, but what may be his last collegiate throw was a interception on the game's final play. "We fought through a lot of stuff and just ended up short tonight," Mariota said, "but it shouldn't take away from what we were able to do this year." Mariota completed 24 of 37 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns with the one interception Monday. - The Sports Xchange
01/13/2015 - Mariota weighs options after loss...Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota wasn't in the mood to discuss his legacy and future Monday night, and rightfully so. He put together a great season, but much if it felt hollow following the Ducks' 42-20 loss to Ohio State in the first College Football Playoff national championship game. "I don't care about legacies," Mariota said. "That's other people's opinions. My main focus was to be a great teammate. That's all I hoped to accomplish." Mariota, a redshirt junior, must decide by Thursday whether he will forgo his senior season to enter the NFL. He is projected to be one of the first picks, if not No. 1 overall. Failing a win short of the title may factor into whether he returns.
"Obviously, it hurts," Mariota said. "I'm sure it weighs in a little bit, but there's other a lot of other things that have to play into that decision. "There's starting grad school, coming back another year to improve, there's a lot of other things that could bring me back. It's just not specifically this loss." Oregon coach Mark Helfrich didn't fight back the emotion when asked about what Mariota meant to the program and the university. "I love this guy and will forever," Helfrich said. "Absolutely couldn't be luckier to coach him and be around him every day." - The Sports Xchange
01/02/2015 - Touchdown. Turnover. Touchdown. Turnover. Touchdown. And on it went for Oregon. Marcus Mariota and the Ducks are built for speed, and in a flash they turned the first College Football Playoff semifinal game into a rout. The Ducks dusted Florida State 59-20 on Thursday, and now it's on to Texas to try to win their first national championship. "It's incredible. I'm so proud of these guys right here," Mariota said. "We've got one more to take care of." The second-seeded Ducks (13-1) scored six straight times they touched the ball in the second half, with five of the touchdowns covering at least 21 yards and the last four coming after Florida State turnovers. In a span of 12:54 on the game clock, the score went from 25-20 to 59-20.
Mariota was mostly brilliant again. Directing the Ducks' warp-speed, hurry-up offense -- Oregon averaged 20.2 seconds per play, the fastest Florida State has faced this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information -- the junior passed for 338 yards and two touchdowns. When he sprinted for a 23-yard touchdown with 13:56 left in the fourth quarter, it made the score 52-20 and made the Ducks the first team to reach 50 points in Rose Bowl history. This was game No. 101. "The longer you go, the stronger you get," said Ducks safety Erick Dargan, who forced a fumble and intercepted a pass. "We went longer and we stayed stronger. Everyone kept demanding more out of each other." - AP Sports
12/09/2014 - 2014 HEISMAN TROPHY FINALIST: Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota, Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper and Wisconsin Badgers back Melvin Gordon were selected as the three finalists for the Heisman Trophy on Monday. The three players will be invited to New York to be on hand for Saturday's presentation of the award, which goes to college football's best player. The deadline for voting was Monday afternoon. Finalists are determined by votes received from 929 media members and former winners. Not among the finalists is Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, who won the Heisman Trophy last year as a redshirt freshman and led the Seminoles to an undefeated regular season this season and berth in the four-team national playoff.
Mariota is considered the front-runner to win the 80th Heisman and would become the first Oregon player to earn the trophy. "However it goes, I'm honored and grateful," Mariota, a Hawaii native, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Mariota has thrown for 3,783 yards this season, completing 68.3 percent of his passes with 38 passing touchdowns and just two interceptions. Mariota also has 669 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. The 6-foot-4, 219-pound redshirt junior and Winston will be paired in one of the national semifinal games when the Ducks play Florida State in the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl. "I wouldn't be in this position without all of my teammates," Mariota said. - The Sports Xchange
12/07/2014 - Oregon punches ticket to playoff by dominating Arizona...No. 2 Oregon left little for the College Football Playoff selection committee to contemplate regarding the Ducks' postseason status. Oregon virtually assured itself a berth in the four-team national championship playoff by squashing the No. 7 Arizona Wildcats 51-13 on Friday in the Pac-12 championship game at Levi's Stadium. The Ducks (12-1) dominated the game, outgaining Arizona 640-224 and avenging their only loss of the season - a 31-24 Arizona victory in Eugene, Ore., on Oct. 2. Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota downplayed the revenge factor, though. "We had a lot of motivation to win this game," he said. "We didn't put much emphasis on (revenge), because that can be a distraction. We just played better this time."
Oregon scored more than 40 points for the eighth consecutive game, and Mariota - voted the game's most outstanding offensive player - probably improved his Heisman Trophy chances by completing 25 of 38 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He also rushed for three touchdowns and has accounted for a conference-record 53 touchdowns this season. "If this guy isn't what the Heisman Trophy is all about, then I'm in the wrong profession," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. Freshman running back Royce Freeman rushed for 114 yards for Oregon. The only question for the Ducks is whether they will be ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. In either case, Oregon will likely play its semifinal game in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. - The Sports Xchange
11/05/2014 - Ducks jump into CFP top four...Following a 45-16 rout of Stanford, Oregon moved into fourth place in the College Football Playoff rankings that were released Tuesday. The top four teams as selected by a 12-person committee will earn berths in the inaugural college football semifinals to be played in the Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. The winners advance to the national title game, Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas. The top three remained unchanged from the previous week: Mississippi State (8-0), Florida State (8-0) and Auburn (7-1). Oregon (8-1) rose from fifth to fourth. Mississippi (7-2) fell from fourth to 11th after a 35-31 home loss to Auburn. The Bulldogs earned a 17-10 win over Arkansas on Saturday. The Seminoles erased a 21-0 deficit and defeated Louisville 42-31 last Thursday.
Rounding out the CFB top 10 are Alabama (7-1), TCU (7-1), Kansas State (7-1), Michigan State (7-1), Arizona State (7-1) and Notre Dame (7-1). Following Ole Miss, the remainder of the top 20 consists of Baylor (7-1), Nebraska (8-1), Ohio State (7-1), Oklahoma (6-2), LSU (6-2), Utah (6-2), UCLA (7-2), Arizona (6-2) and Georgia (6-2). Nos. 21 to 25, in order, are Duke (7-1), West Virginia (6-3), Georgia Tech (7-2) and Wisconsin (6-2). The third major unbeaten team, Marshall (8-0) remains unranked by the CFP panel. - The Sports Xchange
11/03/2014 - Marcus Mariota finally beat Stanford. Now on to the rest of the season and perhaps a shot at the playoffs after fifth-ranked Oregon snapped a two-game losing streak to the Cardinal with a 45-16 victory Saturday night. "To get this win was huge. It will build a lot of momentum heading into the rest of the year," Mariota said. "It was one of those things - good to get it under your belt and bury the hatchet a little." Mariota, who celebrated his 21st birthday this week, threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more scores for Oregon (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12, No. 5 CFP). Thomas Tyner returned from an injury to run for two touchdowns. For the past two seasons Oregon has looked to have a good shot at a national championship berth, and both times Stanford derailed the Ducks' season. This season Oregon climbed to No. 2 in the AP rankings but stumbled with a home loss to Arizona on Oct. 2. "I know we're on a path to be a really good team in our conference," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. "Our guys are tough. We're physically tough. They're mentally tough."
Stanford's defense had not allowed an opponent more than 30 points in a string of 31 games, the longest streak in the nation. The Cardinal (5-4, 3-3) had allowed just four total rushing touchdowns through the season's first eight games; Oregon finished with four. "The bottom line is we played against one of the best teams in the nation tonight and we fought them as hard as we could," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "We tried to stay close and we got within a score in the second half. We had to play a near perfect second half and we didn't do that." - AP Sports
10/28/2014 - OCT 27 PAC-12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, a junior from Honolulu, Hawaii, threw for 326 yards and five touchdowns in Oregon's 59-41 win over California. After the Golden Bears went ahead 14-7 in the first quarter, Mariota led Oregon to score 17 straight points to take the lead. In the first half, he completed 11-of-18 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns. It was Mariota's 34th consecutive game with a touchdown pass. He finished 18-of-30 for 326 yards and became Oregon's all-time passing leader with 8,299 yards. On the year Mariota has thrown for 2,283 yards on has completed 24 TD passes while throwing only one interception. Also nominated for Offensive Player of the Week: Anu Solomon, QB, ARIZ; Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA; Nelson Agholor, WR, USC; Travis Wilson, QB, UTAH. - Pac-12 football
10/25/2014 - Marcus Mariota threw a rare interception - his first since the Oregon State game last season - on a pass that was deflected twice. Oregon coach Mark Helfrich could only smile. The No. 6 Ducks are on a roll and Mariota's turnover hardly slowed them at all. Mariota matched his season high with five touchdown passes and broke the Oregon record for career passing yards in the Ducks' 59-41 victory over California on Friday night in the first college game at Levi's Stadium. "During the game I was upset," Mariota said. "Coach came and joked with me and got me to relax a little bit and forget about it. It's OK. It happens. I just have to learn from it."
Mariota completed 18 of 30 passes for 326 yards. The miscue ended his streak of passes without an interception at 253. Mariota pushed his career total to 8,625 yards, breaking Bill Musgrave's record of 8,343 on the Ducks' opening possession with the first of two touchdown throws to Dwayne Stanford. The junior quarterback has at least one TD pass all 34 of his career games. "You might want to go buy a lottery ticket, Marcus made a couple of mistakes," Helfrich said. "I'm actually glad, I think, that that happened to get him off the schneid." - AP Sports
10/25/2014 - The No. 6-ranked Oregon Ducks won't scare anyone with their defense. They came into Friday's game against the California Golden Bears ranked 98th of 125 FBS teams in total defense and yielded 560 yards and more than 40 points on Friday night. To make matters worse, Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota threw his first interception of the season. But the Ducks' potent offense more than made up for those shortcomings in Oregon's 59-41 Pac-12 victory over Cal before a crowd of 55,575 at Levi's Stadium. Asked afterward whether he believes in the adage that defenses win championships, Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said, "I believe in the adage that teams win championships. This was a win on the road, a short week. It was a gutty performance by our guys. Offensively, (the Bears) are lights out." The Ducks can expect a different kind of game next Saturday when they host Stanford, which has beaten Oregon the past two years with a physical team built on defense.
On Friday, though, a high-scoring game was expected, with both teams' offenses averaging more than 40 points and their defenses ranking 11th and 12th, respectively, in the Pac-12. Oregon (7-1, 4-1 in the Pac-12) rolled up 592 yards and stayed alive in its bid for one of the four national playoff spots. Mariota completed 18 of 30 passes for 326 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for 36 yards. But the talk afterward focused on his interception on a tipped ball in the second quarter, ending his run of 253 pass attempts without a pick. "I sort of messed up," Mariota said. "Coach kind of joked about. He said just flush it. It's OK. It happens." Helfrich said he was even glad the interception occurred, to end the attention paid to the streak. "He had a couple of mistakes," Helfrich said. "It's almost funny; you've come to expect him to be perfect." - The Sports Xchange
10/22/2014 - While Oregon's coaches believe something has clicked for Royce Freeman in the past two games, the Ducks' true freshman running back considers his recent success more a natural progression. Freeman ran for 169 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday night as No. 9 Oregon extended its winning streak over Washington to 11 games with a 45-20 victory. "A turning point?" Freeman asked. "I'm just trying to go every each and every week and improve and get a breakthrough. I'm just trying as hard as I can." Marcus Mariota threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns for the Ducks (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12), who won their second straight game as they distance themselves from a loss at home to Arizona on Oct. 2.
Freeman's four TDs were the most rushing touchdowns in a single game for a Duck since Kenjon Barner had five against USC in 2012. "You saw some of his elusiveness that was legendary in fall camp," said coach Mark Helfrich, who said Freeman is playing freer. Offensive coordinator Scott Frost said Freeman has turned a corner after becoming the team's first 100-yard rusher with 121 yards and two touchdowns in Oregon's victory last weekend against UCLA. "If he just runs downhill - as big and as strong as his is - he's a force," Frost said. - AP Sports
10/13/2014 - SEPT 8 PAC-12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota, a junior from Honolulu, Hawai'i, completed 17 of 28 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns and added nine carries for 42 yards in Oregon's victory over No. 7 Michigan State. Mariota completed seven of 12 passes for two TDs in the second half to pull the Ducks from a nine-point deficit to a 46-27 win. In the third quarter Mariota improvised for a remarkable 17-yard flip pass to Royce Freeman on third down to inject momentum into a team that capped its next three drives with scores. Also nominated for Offensive Player of the Week: Nick Wilson, RB, ARIZ; D.J. Foster, RB, ASU; Jared Goff, QB, CAL; Nelson Spruce, WR, COLO; Terron Ward, RB, OSU; Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA; Javorius Allen, RB, USC; Travis Wilson, QB, UTAH. - Pac-12 football
10/11/2014 - Marcus Mariota threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more as the Oregon Ducks dominated UCLA 42-30 Saturday at the Rose Bowl. The impressive road win, coming a week after the Ducks were upset at home by Arizona, kept Oregon in the Pac-12 championship race as well as in the discussion to participate in the national championship playoff. Meanwhile, Mariota reaffirmed his Heisman Trophy candidacy as the junior led his team to touchdowns on five of six possessions from the midway through the first quarter to midway through the third. Mariota completed 17 of 27 passes for 210 yards and ran seven times for 75 yards.
Mariota staked Oregon (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) to a 21-10 lead at halftime even though UCLA (4-2, 1-2) outgained the Ducks 262 yards to 224. After the Bruins' opening second-half drive stalled, Mariota directed his team on a 10-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with the quarterback running three yards, fumbling the ball, calming scooping up the ball and running another 20 yards untouched into the end zone. - The Sports Xchange
10/11/2014 - One snap after Oregon's defense recovered Brett Hundley's fumble deep in UCLA territory, Marcus Mariota found an edge and scampered around it, diving for the Ducks' first touchdown. With those back-to-back plays, the Ducks demonstrated why it has been seven years since they lost back-to-back games in the same season - and why it certainly wasn't about to happen again at the Rose Bowl. Mariota ran for two touchdowns and passed for 210 yards and two more scores as No. 12 Oregon rebounded from its first defeat with a 42-30 victory over No. 18 UCLA on Saturday. Royce Freeman rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns for the Ducks (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12), who built a 42-10 lead early in the fourth quarter with systematic superiority over UCLA, a preseason Top-10 team. Thomas Tyner and Pharaoh Brown caught TD passes as Oregon coasted home in its sixth straight win over the Bruins (4-2, 1-2).
A week after a 31-24 home loss to Arizona, Oregon showed no symptoms from the loss. "It says a lot about the character of this team that they were able to flush (last week) and just keep chugging," Mariota said. "We came out this Monday, and you could feel the intensity pick up. ... We believed in what we could do." Left tackle Jake Fisher's return from injury boosted the offense and encouraged Mariota, who had been sacked 12 times in the past two games without Fisher watching his back. - AP Sports
08/18/2014 - Oregon now paying for injury insurance for Marcus Mariota, others...Earlier this week, CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler reported that unlike a handful of other FBS schools -- including Florida State and Jameis Winston -- Oregon was not paying for Marcus Mariota's injury protection insurance, or three other Ducks' similar policies. Oregon announced Friday that that has changed. "The families of quarterback Marcus Mariota, center Hroniss Grasu, cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and defensive end Arik Armstead purchased policies this past offseason under the NCAA's 'exceptional student-athlete disability insurance' rule," the Ducks football program said in a statement. "The athletic department will reimburse them for out-of-pocket expenses related to the policies, after Texas A&M and Florida State took the previously unprecedented step of doing so for football players earlier this year."
The Ducks explained the prior lack of such reimbursements by saying they "had been operating with the understanding that paying insurance premiums would violate NCAA rules, based on previous inquiries" -- and that after seeing Florida State and Texas A&M take that step, they asked for permission from the Pac-12 and received it. The premiums will be paid through the school's NCAA-governed Student Assistance Fund. Oregon senior associate athletic director Craig Pintens previously told CBSSports.com that spending the money to cover the football players' and others' insurance premiums would deplete the Fund beyond the point where it could assist student-athletes with other issues, such as emergency dental work or trips for funerals. - Jerry Hinnen, CBSSports.com
08/07/2014 - OREGON is the favorite to win the 2014 Pac-12 Conference football title in a preseason poll of media members who cover the league. The Ducks were listed in the top spot of the North Division by 37 of 39 voters participating in the poll, collecting 232 points. Twenty-four of the pollsters picked Oregon to come out on top in the Pac-12 Championship game. UCLA received the second most Champion votes with 13 pollsters picking the Bruins to win the Pac-12 Championship game. The Bruins were the top choice for the South Division by 37 of 39 voters participating, collecting 231 points.
2013 North Division winner STANFORD was picked to finish second in the North Division, collecting 192 points. USC was picked to finish second in the South Division after tallying 181 points, just ahead of reigning South Division winner ARIZONA STATE, who tallied 163 points and was predicted to finish third. The media poll has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 28 of 53 previous polls, including 11 of the last 14. - Pac-12 football
08/04/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON MAXWELL AWARD WATCH LIST: Marcus Mariota, Oregon, Quarterback, Junior...One of the most prolific quarterbacks in school history enters his junior year already owning the program's career record for most rushing yards by an Oregon quarterback (1,467), the highest career completion percentage (.658), and has tied Joey Harrington's school standard for most total offense TDs (77)...The Hawaii native also ranks second in career touchdown passes (63) and fourth on the school's all-time list for total offense (7,809 yards). - Oregon football
08/02/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON JOHNNY UNITAS GOLDEN ARM AWARD WATCH LIST: Marcus Mariota, Oregon...Oregon's first two-time first-team all-conference quarterback in 27 years claimed a share of Oregon's Most Outstanding Player honors for a second year in a row while also being named the program's Most Inspirational Player in a vote of his teammates in 2013...The Ducks' second-leading rusher fell 3 yards shy of equaling the school record for most yards on the ground by a quarterback in one season, running 96 times for 715 yards and nine TDs...Broke Pac-12 and Oregon pinnacles for consecutive pass attempts without an interception in both a single season (285) and a career (327). - Oregon football
08/02/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON WALTER CAMP AWARD WATCH LIST: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon...The All-America candidate and Manning Award finalist was named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award (college player of the year), the Davey O'Brien Award (national quarterback award) and the Walter Camp Award (most outstanding player) in 2013...The first player in school history to eclipse 4,000 yards of total offense in a single season (4,380) was one of three league players to surpass the previous Pac-12 season record in 2013...In addition, he set school records for most points responsible for, completions (245) and most total touchdowns (40), as well as finished second on the single-season passing yards ledger (3,665). - Oregon football
08/01/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON DAVEY O'BRIEN AWARD WATCH LIST: Marcus Mariota (Oregon, Junior)...Mariota is one of six returning semifinalists along with 2013 winner Jameis Winston of Florida State, Brett Hundley of UCLA, Sean Mannion of Oregon State, Braxton Miller of Ohio State and Bryce Petty of Baylor. Mariota completed 245-of-286 passes for 3,665 yards and 31 touchdowns with four interceptions. He ran for 715 yards despite being limited by the knee injury throughout November, giving him a school-record 4,380 yards of total offense for the season. - Oregon football
06/20/2014 - Oregon's top NFL Draft-eligible prospects to watch in 2014: 1. QB Marcus Mariota, RS Junior...Boasting a combination of size, speed and passing ability that has often earned comparisons to San Francisco's star quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Mariota enters his fourth season in Eugene as a Heisman Trophy favorite and arguably the elite NFL prospect in the country. He is my personal top-rated prospect entering the 2014 season. Perhaps surprisingly, Mariota turned down the chance to be a top five pick a year ago. Few prospects are willing to put off the glamor and riches of an NFL deal but Mariota will likely be better off with this decision as another season at the collegiate level gives him time to polish his game. He is blessed with extraordinary tools and his production thus far has been outstanding (63 touchdowns/10 interceptions at a 65.8 percent completion rate and another 1,467 yards on the ground with 14 scores over the past two years), but after only emerging as a starter as a senior in high school, Mariota remains very much a work in progress. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
06/20/2014 - Oregon's top NFL Draft-eligible prospects to watch in 2014: 1. QB Marcus Mariota, RS Junior...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. He's overly reliant (at this point) on his first read, occasionally commits the cardinal sin of throwing late across his body and wasn't a year ago when injury sapped him off his maneuverability and he was forced to throw from the pocket. These are coachable skills and given that Mariota is often lauded for his intelligence, humility and work ethic, scouts expect growth in these areas in 2014.
Mariota has a quick release and flashes deadly accuracy, including when on the move. He has a very strong arm and isn't afraid to make challenging throws through tight windows. He also shows good touch to loft passes over defenders down the seam or to backs and receivers on quick swing passes. He has good balance and agility to avoid pressure and keeps his eyes downfield rather than looking for an excuse to run. Like Kaepernick, Mariota puts extreme pressure on the defense because of his scrambling ability. He offers rare straight-line speed, making him a legitimate threat for a big play via his arms or legs on every snap. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
06/05/2014 - ROB RANG'S MAY 15, 2014 TOP 32 BIG BOARD: 1. Marcus Mariota, QB, 6-4, 212, rJr., Oregon: Say what you will about Jadeveon Clowney's elite talent, if Mariota had entered the 2014 draft he would have been the first overall pick. The Hawaii native is that kind of talent. Mariota has gained 20 pounds of muscle since signing with the Ducks, adding to his arm strength and retaining his remarkable speed. He's further along as a passer already than the player he's often compared to (San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick), and is only going to get better. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com