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A Look Back at Marcus Mariota's Performance at NFL Combine


INDIANAPOLIS — On the final day of the NFL Combine, let's take a look back.

Two years back.

That's when quarterback Marcus Mariota was here, trying to do his best to convince NFL officials – including the Titans – he was worthy of an early pick. Mariota had just won the Heisman Trophy at the University of Oregon.  Still, there were plenty of questions about how he'd be at the next level.

Mariota helped his case. It's perhaps where he convinced the Titans he was worthy of the second overall pick.

Mariota led all quarterbacks with a 4.52 40-yard dash, and a 6.87 in the 3-cone drill. His 40-time was much faster than quarterback Jameis Winston's time of 4.97. Winston, from Florida State, ended up being the first overall pick, by the Buccaneers.

Mariota also shined with a vertical leap of 36 inches and a broad jump of 10'1. Winston only managed 28.5 inches in the vertical leap and a broad jump of 8'7.

Mariota and Winston were both impressive throwing the football in drills.

Below is a look at all the questions Mariota took from his session with the media in Indianapolis. It included questions about Winston, the Eagles, his adjustment to the NFL and much, much more.

Mariota has performed well in his first two NFL seasons. He's already thrown for 6,244 yards and 45 touchdowns, and only 19 interceptions.  His passer rating in the first two seasons is 93.8, which ranks sixth in NFL history for a player in his first two NFL campaigns, trailing only Kurt Warner (107.9), Dan Marino (104.5), Nick Foles (101.0), Russell Wilson (100.6) and Ben Roethlisberger (98.3).

Mariota has also piled up 601 rushing yards and four touchdowns in his first two seasons.

Here's Mariota's Q & A session with reporters from the NFL Combine in 2015:

How does it feel to be one of the guys at the top of the draft with Jameis Winston?

"It doesn't really affect me at all. That's going to be their opinion, that's going to be their decision. All I can really control is how I prepare and get ready for whatever team picks me."

Think you're worthy of the first pick. Why?

"Any player would stand in front of you and tell you they're confident in their abilities and I'm no different. What I've been able to do at the University of Oregon and what I've learned has prepared me for this."

Throwing at combine?

"Yes, I'll be throwing. It was something I decided. I felt that I was ready and prepared to do it."

How's the shoulder? Any issues?

"Feels good. No, not at all."

** looks back at QB Marcus Mariota's performance at the 2015 NFL Combine. (AP Photos)

How much of an adjustment will it be to the NFL?**

"For any rookie quarterback it's going to be an adjustment stepping up to this new level. I'm going to continue to absorb as much as I can, learn from all the people I can and do my best in whatever situation I get into."

Do you look at struggles of other spread QBs like Robert Griffin and Colin Kaepernick?

"Not necessarily. For me I don't really compare myself to other players. I try to make myself the best player I can be. You really limit yourself if you compare yourself to others. That's something I was taught at a young age. For me I just really focus on myself and make sure I can be the best player I can be."

What have you learned over the last month about the challenges in going from Oregon system?

"For us it's going to be huddling, I haven't huddled in a while. That will be one thing. It seems like a little detail, but that is kind of a big thing. There's other things as well. Three-, five-, seven-step drops under center. That's all stuff I've been able to work on the last month."

How are you coming along with it?

"It's been good. I've been able to work with Kevin O'Connell and Philip Rivers has come in and worked with us as well."

What do you think when NFL analysts say I haven't seen you make NFL throws on tape?

"That's other peoples' opinions. That's something I can't control. All it takes is one team to believe in me and to give me an opportunity. I'll do my best to make the most of it."

If huddling is an issue, would it be beneficial for you to land with a team like the Eagles that runs no huddle?

"No, not necessarily. That's not really the biggest transition. It's part of the process. There's a lot of different things you have to go through as a rookie quarterback. For me that's one thing amongst a lot. I'm going to have to do my best to be able to handle all of it."

** looks back at Marcus Mariota's second NFL season in 2016. (AP Photos)

Are you confident you're the No. 1 QB in this draft?**

"As a competitor, any person would tell you that they're the best. I truly believe that in myself. We'll see whatever decision is made. I've got to go in with that mentality."

What was your meeting with Lovie Smith and Jason Licht yesterday like?

"I wasn't able to sit down with them."

You can't show an ability to make reads at the combine. How do you show?

"It starts with the interviews. It's not just blurting out all the football information you know, it's kind of processing and showing how you think and how you progress in your reads. Just showing what you were asked to do at whatever school you're at. Hopefully they'll believe in what you're saying and give you an opportunity."

Philip Rivers advice?

"To be myself and to enjoy this process as much as you can. Whatever team gets you, when you get there make the most of it."

A chip on shoulder, loss to Oregon State, you kind of guy who wants something like that to go back to fuel yourself or do you let it go?

"That's a good question. Any motivation starts with some type of doubt. As an athlete I've built my motivation over the years as well. But that is stuff you have to kind of put in the past and not worry about it move forward. I would say it's a mixture of both."

What was your best throw and your favorite play call at Oregon?

"Coach Helfrich and coach Frost would not allow me to say what the play call is. I enjoy throwing the seam ball in three-deep coverage. At Oregon we did get to see a lot of three-deep zone. Tight ends and some of our slot receivers were kind of able to get in their zones. It's a fun throw because you can't put too much onto it because you'll throw it into a linebacker's face. You've got to put enough touch on it to put it over the linebacker and have enough zip on it to be in front of the safety."


Any way to mimic complex defenses in NFL?**

"It's going to be tough. For the most part learn it as much as you can from people like Philip and Kevin. Finding ways to continue to make good decisions with the football."

Have you considered playing for Chip Kelly again or think it's possible?

"Yeah, why not? That would be a fun opportunity. But again, this process is out of our control and we'll see what happens."

Have you met with Chip and Eagles?

"I have not. I've met with the quarterback coach."

Training alongside Winston and Bryce Petty?

"Yes, at Prolific Athletes, but I'm working with Kevin O'Connell, my quarterback coach."

Working with them knowing you're competing?

"It's a friendly competition that allows everyone to get better. It's not in the sense of you wish bad amongst them. You go there and try to make the most of the opportunity. We all understand that playing in the NFL is a dream we've always had since we were little kids. We're all pushing each other to make the most of it."

Browns now O'Connell there, thought about them trading up to get you?

"All the situations, you kind of play in your head. It's totally out of our control. We won't know until draft day. That would an awesome opportunity. I'd love to play for the Browns. For right now, you can't really control those things, so I try not to worry about them."

Questions about your game translating to NFL, does that fuel your determination to prove everybody wrong?

"I guess you could say it's a little bit of motivation, but it's not the reason why I'm doing it. There's a purpose of why I'm here and why I'm standing in front of you and that's because I love the game, I want to be part of this game, I want to be part of this game for a long time. My motivation isn't to prove anybody wrong. My motivation is to make a dream come true for me."


What makes you stand out among QBs in this class?**

"That's the opinions of the teams. I don't try to compare myself to any other quarterback."

What will it be like to go to pro-style offense?

"It will be an adjustment I'll be able to handle. It's something I'm going to continue to work on with Philip and different other quarterback coaches right now because Kevin's with the Browns. Learning as much as I can, learning how my drops time up with the route concepts and how my feet are going to help me go through my progressions. All this stuff is little things that I can continue to work on that will help my adjustment."

Other QBs in NFL who have been in spread, you talked to them?

"I have not."

What do you like about testing yourself?

"Just the competition aspect of it. It's an opportunity now to play with the best. In order to make it in this league you've got to continue to compete and put your best foot forward every single day. All across the country there are guys all across the country who are playing in this league who are already getting ready for next season. With that mentality, you've always got to find ways to get better. That's what I love about this game, you can always get better."


How you feel about teams trying to move up for you?**

"It's nice, but it's all about control. People will always talk, there will always be rumors. But for the most part right now in this process for me I'm trying to be the best player I can be in order to make an impact on whatever team I go to."

Skip Senior Bowl a football or health decision?

"A mixture of both. At that point in time I wasn't feeling to the best of my abilities. I felt my best step forward would be going into San Diego and getting ready for this process."

What kind of speed do you have?

"I guess, I'll do my best to run under a 4.5. We'll see."

How soon could you be ready to play in a pro-style offense? Opening day?

"My goal is to make an impact from day one. I'm going to continue to have that mentality and find ways to improve myself in order to be ready from day one." looks back at some current and former Titans players taking part in the NFL Scouting Combine. (AP Photos)