The NFL combine is now over, which means it’s time for the draft rumor mill to start up. And there's no better way to start than with Oregon Ducks' quarterback Marcus Mariota.
With Tampa Bay Buccaneers picking first and needing a quarterback, they are more than likely going to take Jameis Winston or Mariota. Despite Mariota having a great combine, most early mock drafts have Winston going first overall. With Winston gone at No. 1, where will Mariota go?
The Tennessee Titans have the No. 2 pick but some say they will stick to Zach Mettenberger, who told the media he believes he could beat out either one of these quarterbacks, a few days ago. Picks No. 3, 4 and 5 go to the Jaguars, Raiders and Redskins, respectively. These three teams don’t need a quarterback, which could be a good spot for a trade. The sixth pick belongs to the Jets and they are in need of a quarterback, so those three sports are crucial for where Mariota will end up.
The Philadelphia Eagles have the 20th pick of the first round, but Chip Kelly’s system would be a perfect fit for Mariota. Kelly, head coach for the Eagles, coached Mariota in Oregon before going to the Eagles in 2013, and reuniting the two could be beneficial for both.
Mariota has been tabbed as a “system quarterback,” which is why some teams seem to question whether his college success will translate into NFL success. His combine showed his tremendous athleticism and could make teams second guess taking Winston before Mariota.
If Winston goes to the Buccaneers, it’s hard to believe four teams would pass on Mariota and have him go to the Jets. Either the Titans, Jaguars, Raiders or Redskins will take him, or trade their pick to another team like the Eagles, Rams or Browns.