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QB Marcus Mariota Scouting Report

Steve Shoup

Pros:

  • Highly successful quarterback who has won just about every major award or honor he could win.
  • Dual-threat quarterback with great long speed, and he can be dangerous in the red zone.
  • Very good pocket mobility and does a nice job avoiding pressure.
  • Excellent size and frame that NFL teams are looking for.
  • Strong arm capable of making all the throws, and he has nice velocity on mid-range throws.
  • Decisive QB with a quick release that makes it tough for pressure to get to him.
  • Does an excellent job protecting the football as a passer, just 14 INT’s in over 1,100 career passes.
  • Shows the ability to read defenses and quickly go through his progressions.
  • Considered a leader on and off the field, highly respected by his teammates.
  • Exceptional character, no red flags to even hint at.

 

Cons:

  • Has 27 career fumbles, will need to do a better job at ball security as a runner and while taking sacks.
  • Though he showed the ability to make the reads and show some pocket traits, he wasn’t asked to do it consistently like he will at the next level.
  • Will likely struggle some early on like most mobile QB’s with knowing when to rely on his feet or when to throw it away.
  • Accuracy down the field is just average at this point.

 

Overview:

Marcus Mariota will quickly be labeled a running QB or system quarterback coming from Oregon’s spread attack, but that doesn’t come close to telling the whole story. Though Mariota did come from a spread system, his offense allowed him to make more “NFL caliber” reads and throws than many other spread quarterbacks that have entered the league in recent years.

Mariota’s numbers were no doubt inflated due to a favorable offensive system that put additional pressure on the defense, but that doesn’t mean he’s not capable of succeeding in a “traditional” offense. He has flashed the ability to dissect defenses, and throw to people open, it just wasn’t something Mariota did repeatedly. That will lead to some additional development time, but overall he checks the boxes you are looking for in a quarterback.

Mariota’s rushing ability will be a trait that helps him return value as a rookie. He’s not the most elusive runner who will cut on a dime and leave a defender in his tracks, but he’s a smart runner. He showed a good feel for the most part in college about when to run, and he showed nice vision in finding open space. He’s got excellent long speed, and can break a long run if he gets to the open field. Mariota is likely to do most of his damage though in the red zone and as a chain mover picking up safe first downs.

Overall Mariota represents a high ceiling/high floor type of a prospect, with the only concern being the certainty level of the ceiling. While he’ll need some development, Mariota is likely to be a capable NFL starter, the question is how high up the starting quarterback hierarchy he can rise. Still being a capable NFL starter has a lot of value and should help Mariota get drafted early in the first round.

 

 



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