The Philadelphia Eagles and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota seem like a "match made in heaven" on paper. That said, there is plenty standing in the way of their impending nuptials. The Eagles are currently slated to pick at No. 20 while Mariota is projected to go as early as No. 1 to the Buccaneers. While Tampa Bay is more likely to go with FSU passer Jameis Winston, the Eagles may need to trade into the top five to get their man, IF he is their man.
The Eagles have the picks to move up, but at what cost? The team will have to decide if Mariota is the missing piece to Chip Kelly's puzzle.
A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Mariota committed to Oregon in 2011. He was redshirted as the team's No. 3 passer on the depth chart in his first year with the team. In 2012, Mariota was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after starting all 13 games. He completed 230-of-336 passes (68.5%) for 2,677 passing yards, 32 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran for 752 yards and five touchdowns.
As a redshirt sophomore, Mariota continued his success. He completed 245-of-386 passes (63.5%) for 3,665 passing yards, 31 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also ran for 715 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. Last season, Mariota won the Heisman Trophy and led the Ducks to the National Championship game. In 15 starts, Mariota completed 304-of-445 passes (68.3%) for 4,454 passing yards, 42 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He added another 770 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns.
Mariota finished his college career with the most wins for quarterback in Oregon history (35).
Weight: 222 lbs.
Arm Length: 32"
Hands: 9 7/8"
40: 4.52 sec. (first among QBs)
3-Cone: 6.87 sec. (third among QBs)
Broad Jump: 121.0 inch (tied for third among QBs)
Vertical Jump: 36.0 inch (tied for third among QBs)
Shuttle: 4.11 sec. (third among QBs)
Mariota has the ability to make every throw in the book. He has a strong presence in the pocket and rarely panics under pressure. Mariota does a good job of setting up his receivers for YAC opportunities. Mariota is good at keeping his eyes downfield and standing tall in the pocket. He is great at leading his receivers and has excellent touch on his passes.
Mariota possess elite speed for his position and is a very fluid runner. He has excellent footwork, which comes in handy both in the pocket and on the run. With 4.52 forty speed, Mariota can outrun all levels of a defense and is a big play waiting to happen on the ground. He is proficient in the read-option and offers a legit threat during every snap. His ability to run opens up space for receivers and runners.
Oregon's spread offense has allowed Mariota to operate without really having to read a defense and he was typically asked to go with his first receiving option. He tends to hesitate when receivers are heavily covered which leads to hits and sacks. He tends to throw across his body on the run, which would likely lead to more turnovers at the NFL level. He has rarely had to make an "NFL coverage" throw with little space between the receiver and the cornerback. He is not use to taking the ball under center and has never had to be a drop back passer.
At times, Mariota will let the ball get away from him. He will either throw too high or too low to open receivers during games. Despite his completion percentage, Mariota is inconsistent with his accuracy.
Most pundits and fans assume that Mariota is Kelly's "ideal quarterback." If that is the case, it is an easy decision to make for the Eagles. If you want a passer that bad, go get your guy instead of accepting average. If you aren't in love with him, hedge your bets elsewhere. I tend to believe that Kelly would love to have Mariota in Philadelphia but I think the situation will come down to price. If Kelly is feeling froggy, he may jump at the chance to get his former quarterback.
Trust Your Own Eyes
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