Top 10 For #2 Pick: Oregon QB Marcus Mariota


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With the honorable mentions covered, it's time to get into the top 10 players who could be drafted by the Titans with the second overall pick. Bleacher Report's Lead NFL Draft Analyst Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) will continue to provide his analysis throughout the series.

On an important note, there is no ranking among the 10 -- simply 10 potential players that Tennessee could land in the first round.

The quarterback position is almost always the most analyzed group leading up to each NFL draft. In 2015, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston will stake their claim to be the first signal caller taken off the board.

There's no better way to begin our top 10.

Marcus Mariota, QB (Oregon)


It seems fitting to start with the 2014 Heisman Trophy Winner and the most decorated Oregon Duck ever. Mariota's full list of awards and honors is too long show here, but here's a few: First Team All-American, Player of the Year by AP, Walter Camp Football Foundation, and the Maxwell Award.

Mariota's national recognition is well warranted after throwing for 4,454 yards, 42 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 2014 alone. His 134 career touchdowns at Oregon and 12,661 all-purpose yards are the most in Pac-12 history.  

It was no surprise that the former Duck decided to declare for the NFL Draft following a 42-20 loss to Ohio State in the National Championship Game.

As a fourth-year junior, Mariota received an invitation to January's Reese's Senior Bowl but opted to decline. It's still yet to be determined if he will throw at the Scouting Combine later this month, but there's no question he will be one of the most highly anticipated workouts if he does. Similar to Johnny Manziel last year, Mariota's pro day at Oregon will also be closely monitored and heavily scrutinized.

He may be the most intriguing prospect of the 2015 draft class, even though he seems to be a lock for the top 10.

Strengths: The Prototype Athlete with Elite Vision

Miller: "Mariota is super productive. His eyes are probably his best attribute. People often, and I am guilty of this as well, talk a lot about how he only throws to open receivers. Well it still takes an awfully good quarterback to find those open receivers. That's not an easy thing to do and he does it really well. He protects the ball as a passer, has a quick release and throws very few interceptions.

"Athletically he's everything you could want in a quarterback. He's fast, he's big and there's no effort in his motion at all. His mechanics are very clean. He has the wins and the numbers in college to suggest a very good career."


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"The obvious thing is that he's played in an offense that doesn't translate into the NFL. Teams have to really look at his traits and say, 'Ok this is what he does well, how does that translate to our offense?' He is more of a projection than other quarterbacks we've seen in recent years because you just don't know for sure how he's going to translate.

"He has also fumbled a lot over the past few years, many of which are when he's just standing in the pocket, so hand size will be an interesting thing to watch."

NFL Comparison: Russell Wilson (Seahawks)

Miller: "If he develops as expected, he could be a Russell Wilson-type guy. Maybe he never throws for 400 yards a game, but he'll find a way to beat you every week - whether it's with his arm or his legs or just being a guy who manages the ball which is crucially important too."


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