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ESPN's John McTigue advises the Raiders to replace Derek Carr and select Oregon's Marcus Mariota in next month's draft.

Carr, the 36th overall pick in 2014, posted promising superficial stats as a rookie but finished 28th out of 33 qualified QBs with a 38.4 Total QBR (ranked 15th, between EJ Manuel (38.4) and Geno Smith (35.9), out of 27 qualifying rookie performances since 2006). "Mariota carries the potential of a franchise quarterback, something Carr has yet to display at either level," McTigue wrote. "In college Carr logged three full seasons as Fresno State's quarterback and never posted a QBR season higher than 77.0. By comparison, Mariota's worst QBR in three seasons as Oregon's starter was 86.2." The Raiders, picking No. 4, might not even get the opportunity to tab Mariota. An NFL GM told CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora that he's certain Mariota will be the No. 2 pick in the draft. At the moment, that scenario seems most likely, whether the Titans pull the trigger or trade the pick to someone who will.
Mar 27 - 2:24 AM

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora spoke with one NFL GM who is certain Oregon QB Marcus Mariota will be the No. 2 pick in the draft.

"I don't know to which team, but he's going second overall," the GM, who JLC notes is paying "particular attention to the Mariota market," said. We must divulge La Canfora once said Geno Smith was a lock to be a top 10 selection, but pre-draft buzz is frequently wrong. This is no different.
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 26 - 12:42 PM

Beat writer Rich Cimini believes the Jets trading back in the draft is a more likely outcome than the team selecting Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.

The door seems to be closing on the Jets' perceived interest in Mariota. The question is if it is due to their own evaluation or if they have a very strong feeling he will not be available at pick No. 6. Or both. As always, we have no clue how the draft will shape up, but that is why we love it.
Mar 25 - 10:37 AM

ESPN's Adam Schefter was skeptical of the idea that either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston could "fall" down the board during the first-round of the draft.

Schefter added the process still needs to play out, and right now Jameis Winston is not locked into pick No. 1 at this time. He also cited the "feeling" that Winston and Mariota will be the first two picks of the draft, regardless of which team is picking in those spots. Rotoworld's Josh Norris and others have connected the Chargers with Mariota, and Schefter did the same in the interview linked below.
Mar 25 - 10:26 AM

Titans HC Ken Whisenhunt said Oregon QB Marcus Mariota will be a "Day 1 starter" if the Titans select him No. 2 overall.

"If he comes to us at No. 2, he's definitely going to be the Day 1 starter," Whisenhunt said. "I'm very impressed by Marcus." Rotoworld's NFL team commented that the quote "smells like a smokescreen," and we're similarly taken aback. We think Whisenhunt, in his heart of hearts, should feel precisely what he is expressing. It's just that Tennessee has been extremely secretive about its intentions -- strange indeed for a QB-starved organization picking No. 2 in a two-quarterback draft (Jameis Winston, barring a cataclysmic upset, is going No. 1) -- and has touted last year's sixth-rounder Zach Mettenberger since the season ended. Why would you publicly bench a prospect you've been hyping over a month before you can hire his replacement? It's fair to wonder if Whisenhunt is attempting to create trade leverage. He's sure to get plenty of interest one way or the other.
Mar 24 - 9:29 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein believes Oregon DL Arik Armstead "will need patience and coaching and must become a more effective pass rusher at some point."

Zierlein ranks Armstead as the No. 2 defensive lineman in the class. "Projection-based prospect with elite size and the traits to become a dominant run-stuffing defensive end in an odd front," the analyst wrote. "Armstead has the explosiveness off the snap and in his jarring punch to gain early advantages and control offensive linemen. Armstead is a fast riser but is still very raw." Zierlein compares the 6-foot-8, 290-pound defensive end to Calais Campbell. "I see the power in his hands and all of his tools, but I don't see the production or the consistent push that I feel like I should see from him. He could end up being a monster, but you have to understand that what you get right now is just a big athlete with some upside," said a Pac-12 area scout.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 23 - 11:36 PM

CBS Sports' Will Brinson -- while stating that it's "a massive longshot" -- projected the Chargers trading Philip Rivers to move up to the No. 2 and select Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.

As you know, we rarely blurb conjecture of this sort -- and it isn't even really conjecture, as Brinson is mostly having fun with his assignment -- but we pass this along as a connect-the-dots item to keep an eye on as the draft nears. This is what we know: The Chargers have heavily scouted this year's QB class, Rivers grew up not far from Nashville, the Titans desperately need an immediately solution at QB and Tennessee hasn't come across as sold on Mariota as we would have expected them to be. For the record, Brinson's proposed trade was Rivers and the No. 17 pick for the No. 2 pick and Tennessee's second-round pick. Based on Brinson's mock draft, that would be Rivers and LSU OT La'El Collins for Mariota and a second rounder. If we're within 40 days of the draft -- and we are, reader, we are -- you know it's crazy season.
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 23 - 10:33 PM

The Hall of Fame player and coach, Mike Ditka, believes Oregon QB Marcus Mariota would be worth moving up for.

"When you talk about going up to get a quarterback ... you think you have enough people around that he can make that football team what you want it to be," Ditka said during a radio interview with Matt Lombardo and Joe Staszak Saturday morning on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia."You've gotta understand that coach Kelly came from Oregon, he recruited Mariota to Oregon." Speaking from experience, Ditka traded all of his picks for the rights to select RB Ricky Williams with the No.5 pick in 1999. With the Eagles trading for QB Sam Bradford already, it's still up in the air if the Eagles plan to give up valuable picks to move up, with other needs to fill via the draft.
Mar 23 - 3:02 PM

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah says the Browns need Oregon QB Marcus Mariota more than any other team.

"When Chip Kelly said he'd been offered a first-round pick, it seems like that was the Cleveland Browns, for Sam Bradford," Jeremiah said. "That tells me Cleveland is not happy with their current quarterback situation. To me, that makes them the team most in need of an upgrade at the position. That's why I would say they have the most need for someone like Marcus Mariota." The Browns hired Mariota's former mentor Kevin O'Connell. Mariota isn't going to fall to No. 12 -- barring some form of Teddy Bridgewater-like craziness -- but they have the ammunition to go up and get him, as the club is also in possession of the No. 19 pick (reportedly offered for Bradford). "They're going to draft a quarterback until they get it right," fellow analyst Brian Baldinger said. "They're still trying to replace Bernie Kosar 20 years later." Cleveland selected Johnny Manziel with the No. 22 pick last year.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 20 - 10:45 PM

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is being "nitpicked" around the NFL due to his laidback personality, reports Yahoo's Charles Robinson.

Interestingly, when Mariota said he didn't care if he was the No. 1 pick -- an extremely strong stance to take given the real-life dollars at stake -- Robinson said the quote was "not smart," because it gave off the impression to the league that he was indifferent. This is the kind of situation where news reports say more about the source than they do about the subject being discussed: If Mariota stays quiet, he's indifferent; if he's rather boldly replying that losing a few million dollars isn't going to ruin his week, he's indifferent. If anonymous NFL sources with loose lips had taken a shining to him, they would be labeling precisely the same actions as "focused," "professional" and "cold-blooded." Reader, want to jump aboard the Teddy Bridgewater Express with us again? As we cautioned over and over again last year at this time regarding the beating Bridgewater was taking in league circles: Pass at your own risk.
Mar 19 - 11:40 PM

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora predicts Oregon QB Marcus Mariota will go No. 2 overall.

Florida State QB Jameis Winston is essentially locked into the No. 1 pick at this point, a sentiment La Canfora confirmed ("...the Bucs brass is increasingly sold on Jameis Winston with the first-overall pick..."). The Titans, now all but on the clock, hold a cocked finger to all the draft's dominoes. The analyst believes that there's enough league-wide interest in Mariota that he's going to go No. 2 either by Tennessee's own hand or a trade down. "If there are three or four teams trying to trade up for him, then there's going to be a lot of pressure on [Tennessee coach Ken Whisenhunt] to take him if they keep the pick," a source told La Canfora. The analyst himself believes the Titans' roster is so barren that a trade down makes a lot of sense. He dives into potential trading partners in his article, available at the link below.
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 19 - 9:30 PM

The Jets scheduled a private workout with Oregon QB Marcus Mariota on March 28.

Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan and HC Todd Bowles will be on hand to scrutinize the player most popularly mocked No. 6 to New York. Maccagnan was also at Oregon's March 12 pro day. Mariota wasn't impressive at that workout, but hopefully the GM puts the performance in the same context that the Vikings did in Teddy Bridgewater's circumstance one year ago. "I think when it comes to the draft, to me, you tend to want to take the best player available, in theory," Maccagnan said. "In my mind, if the best player available were at that pick, I'm not going to say we're going to lock into a certain player or a certain position, but that's the approach you want to take. We have a long evaluation process to go through, to get to that point. I would say, simply, I don't think any player is either on or off our board, in terms of what we would do, based on our current roster."
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 19 - 4:45 PM

According to Charles Robinson, "nobody (is) buying" that the Redskins would select Oregon QB Marcus Mariota with pick No. 5.

The "belief is Skins are trying to stimulate a trade ahead of 5, pushing another player down," Robinson tweeted. A previous report stated the Redskins would take Mariota if he was there at No. 5. Games are played via the media every year during draft season. We are all guessing right now where Mariota lands during the draft.
Mar 18 - 11:05 AM

Chargers beat writer Kevin Acee writes there is speculation that San Diego is "serious about acquiring Oregon QB Marcus Mariota."

The speculation comes from "numerous people in and around the league," writes Acee. It was previously reported the Chargers would put Mariota through a private workout, and the team stood out among other, more likely, destinations. Mariota has been linked with the Bucs, Titans, Jets, Browns and Rams, but since Rivers' contract ends after 2015 we think the Chargers could real contenders with a trade up possible.
Mar 18 - 10:51 AM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang notes that if Oregon QB Marcus Mariota fell into Cleveland's lap at No.12, "it might be easier to gamble on yet another passer in the first round."

"Cleveland might not aggressively move up to get a quarterback but if Mariota fell into its lap, it might be easier to gamble on yet another passer in the first round (it would be the third time in four years) than to let him fall further and potentially become a star elsewhere," Rang wrote. The Browns have hired Mariota's former quarterback Coach Kevin O'Connell, and the Oregon prospect has been mentored by him since Oregon's season ended. However, the Browns have been rumored to have offered a 1st rounder for Sam Bradford's services, and maybe the Eagles and Browns could be potential partners, if Mariota were to fall to them at the No. 12 spot.
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 17 - 2:01 PM


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