Marcus Mariota’s Battle Against What He Can’t Control

If it were not for the things that Marcus Mariota can’t control he would be the number 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Mariota after all is just as gifted as Jameis Winston without the baggage and red flags. Mariota is being knocked down a peg for his circumstances rather than his talent.

Mariota cannot control the fact that he played in Oregon’s spread offense. Its not his fault that Winston’s charisma won over the Tampa Bay Buccanneers. Its not fair to ask Mariota to change his low-key and quiet personality. Mariota is not being valued for his ability. Instead people make trivial excuses to pass him up.

Its actually amazing that this is the storyline that I’m writing about going into the draft. Mariota is a class act human being, with a great work ethic and a love for football. Not only is he a tremendous talent, he seems to be a tremendous person.

Mariota’s stoic poise should actually be sought after. In the year where Aaron Rodgers told Green Bay to relax and took them so close to the Super Bowl, a calm leader should be in high demand.

In 2012 Joe Flacco tied a playoff record held by Kurt Warner and the great Joe Montana on his way to Super Bowl glory. Flacco’s own father has referred to him as dull; obviously his personality does not interfere with his ability to lead. In fact his quiet and calm demeanor works in his favor, rattling Flacco is impossible.

The year before Flacco won it all, Eli Manning held the Lombardi trophy with the Giants. He is as low-key of a personality as there is in football. And he has 2 Super Bowl rings.

I don’t see how Mariota’s personality bears any relevance heading into the 2015 NFL Draft. Yes the Ray Lewis type of leader is awesome, but it only works if its genuine. Mariota is not a fiery guy vocally, but he is a professional who leads by example.

The idea that the spread offense of Oregon is a detriment to his NFL readiness is laughable. The NFL is a pass happy game, where the big plays happen all over the field. Most teams use 11 personnel as their base offense with a tight end flexed and 3 wide receivers. But you say the spread offense is drastically different than a pro-style offense?

Mariota’s footwork under center looked good at the NFL combine. While he still has to do it live in a football game, there is no reason to believe he can’t.

Mariota is a smart passer who makes few mistakes. He extends plays when he has to but remains a passer. He has arm talent and accuracy. Mariota is impressive because he had so few negative plays as a Duck.

While Mariota’s game is picked apart and people come up with reasons to not take him number 1 overall, Winston seems to get a pass on every red flag he has. The interception prone Winston gets sacked often and needs to speed up his decision making and his release. Winston has a mountain of off the field concerns as well.

Am I missing something here? It certainly seems like Winston gets a pass on everything while Mariota gets scrutinized relentlessly. Charisma should not erase flaws and a lack of charisma should not create flaws.

I hate when people get scrutinized for their personality. It is one thing when they’re a total jerk, a toxic soul that makes Debbie Downer look like an optimist. But with Mariota he is nothing but an admirable young man with all the talent in the world. Yet Winston, will be the number 1 pick? What is wrong with this picture?

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