Oregon’s Marcus Mariota a Legit Top Pick Candidate in 2014?


Sep 14, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) before the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

With all the hype surrounding Teddy Bridgewater, it’s a little unfair to think that there could be no other candidates for the number one overall pick come time for the 2014 NFL Draft next May.

After all, at this point last season, there wasn’t a soul out there covering the draft who thought Eric Fisher was going to be the top pick, and if there was, hat’s off to whoever it was.

It has seemed all year like whatever NFL team finishes in last place this year is going to get the star QB out of Louisville, who hasn’t really done anything to make people think otherwise, but what if another guy plays so well that he straight up takes that #1 overall ranking from Bridgewater?

Well, one such player who is really opening the eyes of NFL scouts is Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, the RS Sophomore who lit it up last season and has only gotten better in his second year. Mariota is not a traditional style QB who sits back in the pocket and picks apart defenses with just his arm, but the way the NFL is evolving with mobile quarterbacks becoming more and more prominent, Mariota fits the prototype.

At 6’4″ 212 pounds, the former three-star prospect out of Honolulu, Hawaii runs a sub-4.5 second 40 yard dash, and is one of the top dual-threat QBs in the country leading the most explosive offense.

The old saying goes, ‘Defense wins championships,’ but in today’s NFL, you have to be able to score points. A lot of points.

Mariota is a guy who has a skill set that really gives him an edge, not unlike Robert Griffin III back in 2012. As far as what tools he has to work with, Mariota has a very strong arm and obviously the kind of athletic ability that you only see in a wide receiver, not unlike Cam Newton or Colin Kaepernick.

I realize Teddy Bridgewater is much more developed as a pure passer at the QB position, and I wouldn’t doubt it if you told me he was going to be the number one overall pick when the 2014 NFL Draft kicks off. All I’m saying is, there are other options out there, and a guy like Mariota is really on the rise right now.

This is a prospect that is getting a lot of people excited, and it’s easy to see why. In two seasons at Oregon, remarkably, he’s thrown 46 touchdown passes compared to just six interceptions.

This kid is definitely one to watch.