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NFL Draft Rumors: Marcus Mariota could fall to Eagles

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It's draft madness season.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

No one has a clue which team will take Marcus Mariota in the 2015 NFL Draft. Considering the recent visits he's had with teams at near the top of the order, most assume he'll go early. Mike Mayock recently ranked the Oregon quarterback as his No. 1 passer in the draft. Yes, over Jameis Winston. And that could easily be the case because it only takes one team.

But according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, at least one NFL executive thinks Mariota could tumble further than expected on draft day. Such a situation would compare to what happened with Aaron Rodgers 10 years ago. Bold emphasis is mine:

"If [Mariota] doesn't go in the top six picks, he could do an Aaron Rodgers," he said.

This was a dark nod toward draft torture. Specifically, the 2005 first round, when Rodgers did a slow bake on national television as his draft position Plinko-ed from a potential No. 1 pick to the 24th selection.

Few believe this could happen to Mariota. Falling that hard?

If he gets past the top six, it could be out of the top 10 to whatever point the Eagles trade up for him," the personnel man said.'"

Robinson's column also indicates some teams at the top of the draft order are merely feigning interest in Mariota to create a market for their pick.

"The scenarios linked to Mariota seem endless. In a way, he's a perfect illustration of the misinformation and leverage that is such a huge part of the draft process. The Redskins, for example, have been leaking for weeks that they will seriously consider taking him at No. 5 overall, and also let it be known that there are plans to host him in the run-up to the draft. But that has also drawn a collective eye-roll from multiple league sources. "They're trying to create leverage to get someone to [trade] up" one AFC personnel source said."

That's the tricky part about this Mariota madness. It's hard to tell what's real or not. The teams at the top of the draft could genuinely interested in Mariota. But those teams could also be baiting a team like the Eagles to give up a big trade package in order to get their pick.

If the Eagles still want Mariota, as some recent rumors indicate, the team might have to be aggressive and do what it takes to get their guy. Or perhaps they can just call the bluff of other teams and sit tight and wait for Mariota to fall within drafting distance. Or maybe Mariota will be off the board at No. 2 and all of this is moot. Who knows?

The only thing we do know is that it'll be incredibly interesting to see how this all plays out.