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New Jersey – How do teams view Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota as a prospect? It’s interesting how they parse their words.
I think former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah nailed it.
“I get to talk to a lot of people around the NFL and different personnel departments and everybody I talked to, they like Marcus, but I can’t get them to commit to the fact that they love him,” Jeremiah said.
That sums it up best – a lot of teams are in “like” with him, but not in “love” with him.
And it’s totally understandable. Nobody, I mean nobody, knows if his game will transition to the NFL. It’s comparing apples to oranges. In these college spread offenses, so often, it’s one predetermined read, sent from the sideline, and so often the predetermined target is wide open. In the NFL, you have to throw into much smaller windows, and often the first read isn’t open and you have to go through progressions. College spread quarterbacks need to be reprogrammed when they come into the NFL, in need of work in so many areas – it’s almost like learning a new sport. As one AFC quarterback coach said, “it’s a calculated guess,” when scouting these players.
So you can understand why a lot of teams “like” him, but don’t “love” him.
Do you really think it’s a good idea to pick a QB like this with the sixth pick overall?
If I’m running a team, I’d rather take a flyer on a spread QB in the third or fourth round, like Bryce Petty, and let him sit for a while, to wean him off that that system, as opposed to picking one high, and being forced to play him too quickly, based on the slot he was selected. This is the route I think the Jets are going to go . . .
Jeremiah scouted for the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens. He has a lot of friends in the scouting community. He’s an outstanding draft analyst, perhaps the best in the business.
He was asked what he’s hearing about the character concerns swirling around Jameis Winston.
“The teams that have spent the money and done their homework off the field on Jameis do come back to me and say they feel like it’s immaturity instead of major character flaws,” Jeremiah said.
I agree. Winston had a 4.0 coming out of high school, and got admitted to Stanford. He scored a 27 on the Wonderlic, which is a pretty good score. He’s a smart kid, but needed to grow up a little.
I’m not saying he’s a slam dunk to be a successful NFL QB on the field. That remains to be seen. But talking to people around the league, the feeling is he’s not going to be a huge character risk. He seems to have learned his lesson . . .
As we talked about earlier, it’s hard to evaluate spread quarterbacks in the draft process. Those offenses also make it hard to evaluate other positions as well.
“For me it’s been going back a few years now, (one of the) hardest positions for me to evaluate has been the safety position,” Jeremiah said. “You have to watch more tape on that position than any other because of the spread offense. It’s bubble screen right, bubble screen left, and you look down at your notes you’ve watched three or four games on a safety and I don’t have anything about his ability to make plays across the field, in terms of route recognition and making plays on the ball, there’s so many predetermined throws and (quick) hitters in these spread offenses.”
Perhaps that was one of the reasons Calvin Pryor struggled so much last year.
April 20, 2015
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