Dec 30, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) looks to pass during the second half against the Texas Longhorns at Alamo Dome. Oregon defeated Texas 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

2015 NFL Draft Prospect Watch: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

With all the hype Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has generated over the last couple of years, it’s almost hard to believe he’s only entering his junior season.

After two electrifying years in his first two as the starter for the Ducks, Mariota is firmly on the NFL radar as one of the best prospects in the entire NFL Draft. After completing nearly 69 percent of his passes in 2012, Mariota’s completion percentage dropped to below 64 percent in 2013 but he showed remarkable consistency in TD to INT ratio.

In 2012, Mariota threw 32 touchdown passes compared to only six interceptions, and last season as a sophomore he threw 31 touchdowns and only four picks.

When you watch Mariota play, you see a few things right off the bat. He is a phenomenal athlete, who is a threat to run at any time. Mariota’s timed speed is probably going to be among the best at the quarterback position and he can use that speed in a game to his advantage. Even more so than his speed is the arm strength he possesses. Mariota has a quick, smooth release and can fire the ball into tight spaces.

Another one of his most impressive qualities is an ability to throw the ball on the run, and do it accurately. This is a very accurate passer who is smart, has all the intangible qualities coaches look for in young players, and who has significant upside for the next level.

Because of the offense he plays in at Oregon, he hasn’t really been asked to look deep into his progressions and reads or take a lot of snaps under center. That being said, you can see how this type of player is translating to today’s NFL. He’s a very smooth athlete with a strong, accurate arm that has the intelligence to be a day one starter in the NFL.

Here’s a video of his from the folks at DraftBreakdown.com against Stanford last year.

Tags: 2015 Nfl Draft Football Marcus Mariota Oregon Ducks

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