“I don’t think it’s any secret that (coach) Chip Kelly loves Mariota. He’s equated him to Peyton Manning. So he wants Marcus Mariota. What we don’t know (is) if he thinks Marcus is worth what he thinks it will take to move up to go get him. They’re going to make a real strong effort to go up and get him.”
This is major news. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the first pick in the draft and are believed to be choosing between Mariota and Jameis Winston. Some reports say they are leaning toward Mariota, while others say the opposite is true.
Even if the Bucs don’t take Mariota, the Eagles need to determine how high they would need to move up from their spot at No. 20 in order to take the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
The Titans might be interested in a quarterback at No. 2, but that is uncertain. The Jags and Raiders at three and four both have quarterbacks entering their second seasons, so they probably won’t be drafting one that early. The Redskins at five and Jets at six could also consider quarterbacks.
Right now it seems like the Bucs and Jets at Nos. 1 and 6 are most likely to take QBs. That means the Eagles may have to move into the top five to snag Mariota. An alternative scenario was proposed by the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta, who suggested a blockbuster trade between the Eagles and Jets.
Mariota would be a fantastic fit in Philly, as that would reunite him with his former college coach Kelly. Kelly had Mariota in 2011 and 2012 while he was the head coach at Oregon. Mariota started the entire 2012 season for Kelly’s Ducks as a redshirt freshman and ran his blur offense with success; the team went 12-1 while Mariota threw for 32 touchdowns and rushed for five.
Having Mariota would give Kelly his first true dual-threat quarterback since joining the Eagles. He has worked with Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez at quarterback, both of whom are limited runners but still had plenty of success over the past two seasons. Imagine what Heisman Trophy winner Mariota could do there.