1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Marcus Mariota may not be as pro-ready as Jameis Winston is, but there is no doubt in my mind that if my favorite NFL team had a top three selection in this year’s draft, and was in need of a franchise quarterback, I would much rather have Mariota.
He hasn’t shown any red flags throughout his football career, is not injury-prone, and maybe most importantly, is a very humble kid. He was a three star recruit out of high school from Hawaii, and has had a chip on his shoulder throughout his signal-calling career. He has great accuracy and his lack of arm strength will not be a problem once he hits the NFL weight rooms.
His intelligence, work ethic, and mentality will earn praise from head coaches and offensive coordinators from around the league. He moves in and out of the pocket with ease, and buys time with his feet to allow his receivers to find an open seam. At 6-4 and 222 pounds, he has the athleticism and length to extend plays and leasve the pocket successfully. If teams are looking for the safest bet who is a viable franchise quarterback choice, Marcus Mariota fits the mold perfectly.
Pro comparison: Cam Newton/ Colin Kaepernick hybrid
If you are looking at the former Duck’s physicality and competitiveness, Mariota compares nicely to Colin Kaepernick. He also has the running ability of the dual threat quarterback in San Francisco, while containing similar arm strength. Where Newton comes in is his mentality, worth ethic, and similar levels of accuracy. He reads schemes nicely, as does Newton, and can diagnose and audible defenses efficiently, a trait many think Newton has improved on in his young career in Carolina.
I am currently a high school student in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sports writing has become a passion for me and I hope to pursue it as a career down the road.