Another day, another Marcus Mariota post. This time it's ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. weighing in on the Oregon Ducks quarterback. According to Kiper, Mariota isn't ready to play in the NFL right away, unless it's the Eagles that draft him. Read the full quote at Birds 24/7, but here's an excerpt.
"Mariota would go second, sixth, somewhere in the top ten, or maybe Philadelphia and Chip Kelly will try to trade up and get him. I don't think it would preclude you from taking him if you're one of those teams [that want him to start immediately]. But you know you have to develop him. So if you want him to play right away and be an impactful rookie or second-year guy, you're probably asking too much of him, unless you're the Eagles. And if the Eagles move up and get him, he would be NFL-ready there, and we wouldn't be talking about it if that happened."
Kiper's sentiments about Mariota dropping in the draft echo the ones that fellow ESPN personality Trent Dilfer had earlier this month. Like Dilfer, Kiper has Mariota falling out of the top 5.
This opinion isn't just shared by ESPN personalities. NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah has Mariota falling to No. 6 to the New York Jets in his latest mock draft. Fellow NFL Media member Bucky Brooks has Mariota falling all the way down to the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 18 in his mock, which is just two spots before the Eagles pick at No. 20.
If that's not enough for you, take a look at what NJ.com's Eliot Shorr-Parks had to say on Tuesday night:
"I haven't talked to one league scout here in Mobile [at the Senior Bowl] that speaks of Mariota as highly as Eagles fans do."
But while some think Mariota could drop, others are very skeptical. Take former Eagles president Joe Banner (who happened to correctly predict the outcome of the 2014 NFL season) for instance. Via his Twitter account (@JoeBanner13):
"this is ridiculous. it was just a little later than this time last year when Kiper had Manziel as 1st pick in his mock [...] not a Kiper hater, but time will prove this to be a mistake. Because of [Mariota's] intelligence & work ethic [he] is likely to be [good] sooner than most"
Whether Mariota is ready to play right away or not remains to be seen. It's still hard to imagine he'll fall within range of the Eagles, assuming they have interest. At this point it's really hard to gauge any kind of accurate read on Mariota's value.
But hey, the good news is that the draft is only a mere 99 days away.