The Titans have their QB of the future – as in the first round of the NFL draft with the second overall pick, the team took Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Here’s a scouting report on Mariota, who threw for 42 touchdowns last season.
There is no doubt that the Heisman Trophy winner is an outstanding college quarterback and a top prospect for the NFL. Mariota will be drafted early in the 2015 NFL Draft, and some team will look to him to be its difference-maker quarterback who can be the face of the franchise.
Mariota was a dominant point-machine throughout his time as Oregon’s starting quarterback. In 2012 as a first-year starter and redshirt freshman, Mariota completed 69 percent of his passes for 2,677 yards with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions. He completed 64 percent of his passes in 2013 for 3,665 yards with 31 touchdowns and four interceptions. On the ground, the redshirt sophomore ran for 715 yards with nine scores.
In 2014, the junior led Oregon to a conference championship, a win over Florida State in the playoff, and came up short against Ohio State in the National Championship. Mariota completed 68 percent of his passes on the year for 4,454 yards with 42 touchdowns and four interceptions. On the ground, he totaled for 770 yards (5.7 average) with 15 touchdowns.
Mariota had a number of great performances in 2014, including the Pac-12 Championship victory over Arizona. He also impressed against UCLA, Washington, Stanford and Michigan State. In the Ducks’ mid-season loss to Arizona, Mariota had opportunities for big plays, yet missed a number of throws with poor accuracy and ball placement.
Therein lies the concern with Mariota as a system quarterback. He has good height and the strong arm to be a pocket passer, but he isn’t consistent yet. Mariota didn’t always scan through the field as a Duck, and there were times where he looked to run when his first read was covered. Mariota also missed some throws with placement that was off and didn’t consistently fire the ball into tight windows as Oregon’s offensive scheme led to a lot of wide-open receivers. That will have to change in the NFL as he will have to get better at pulling the trigger with accurate passes into a small opening. There were plays where Mariota demonstrated nice pocket-passing potential with reading the defense, scanning his options and delivering a good pass. He just needs work and enters the NFL at a similar level to Cam Newton. Mariota was very good at avoiding interceptions in college, but displayed a tendency to fumble the ball.