Marcus Mariota will enter next month’s NFL draft surrounded by a lot of legitimate hype. He’s a Heisman Trophy winner with a cannon for an arm. He’s experienced tremendous success at a high level of college football for three seasons. Marcus Mariota seemingly has it all, but does he really have that “it” factor that a quarterback needs to succeed in the NFL? I say no.
I haven’t been a big fan of Marcus Mariota’s all along, but it really hit me while watching him on Gruden’s QB Camp. Is he hungover? Narcoleptic? Or is his drive seriously that low? He’s a nice kid. Says all the right things. But he has NO command over that huddle, and that’s just based on his demeanor, not even counting the fact that he’s stumbling over his words. Whether you believe it or not, there’s an “it” factor that any successful QB has, and Mariota just doesn’t seem to have “it.” He doesn’t get me excited. He doesn’t make me believe in him.
I don’t mind Marcus Mariota being a high pick in the draft. I totally get that. In a league where the QB position is more valuable than any position in sports, it’s worth taking a gamble on a guy if you don’t have one. And a guy like Mariota seems like a decent gamble if you’re a team that doesn’t have a stud at that position.
What I don’t understand, is why teams like Washington or San Diego are rumored to be interested in Mariota. Sure, Robert Griffin has had some tough times recently. But why not take the same gamble that you would be taking on Marcus Mariota on RGIII returning to the form he once was? We’ve seen Griffin produce before in the NFL, something we can’t say about Mariota. Not to mention, by doing so, you then get to use that No. 5 overall pick on a player at another position that can step in and help your team.
In the case of the Chargers, I’m even more lost. More and more teams are rumored to be interested in trading up to the No. 2 overall pick to select Mariota, and one of them is San Diego. The thing is, the Chargers have one of these guys that are hard to find at that position in Philip Rivers. Yes, Rivers may be perceived as a little off putting at times, but he’s shown that he can both lead and produce on the field in the NFL — by far the two most important qualities. Despite Mariota being much younger, are you sure you want to trade those proven qualities away for someone still with everything to prove? I know I’m not making that trade if I’m the Chargers.
The Titans might be the only team that knows what they’re doing here. They hold that No. 2 pick, and I get the feeling they share my opinion on Mariota. Their QB is Zach Mettenberger, and they’re still weighing their options on who they’d rather have. Of course, they could wind up choosing Mariota, but the fact that they are having the debate, and we’re hearing so much about the pick being traded, should say a lot.
Maybe in the end the Eagles swoop in and grab Mariota. After all, Chip Kelly’s Oregon system would keep Mariota in his comfort zone. But if he winds up anywhere else with the attitude that he displayed in the video above, he’d be eaten alive.
I could be completely wrong on this (and have been before), but I really feel as if Marcus Mariota does not have whatever “it” is that it takes to succeed as a QB in the NFL.
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