EITHER Draft Prospect QB Marcus Mariota really isn’t the real deal, or he’s deliberately dropping his own Draft stock. Yes, I said deliberately, meaning “on purpose”.
Now usually when I say this to someone, the general comeback is something like: “Dude are you crazy? Why would he do that and cost himself millions of dollars? You’re nuts if you think that.”
Okay. But I was also called nuts when I said that the Eagles would cut DeSean Jackson. And when I said that, after just one year that the Offense would change. And when I said that we would trade LeSean McCoy. And when I suggested that the Chiefs could grab Jeremy Maclin from us.
See a pattern?
So WHY would he do it? Why would Mariota tank his own stock? You know what, before we go forward, let’s take a step back. Even after the loss in the college championship game Mariota was the best QB draft prospect in most expert’s minds. While the other guy played in pro-style offense, he has character issues that will make teams question if he can be The Franchise. Mariota on the other hand is a choirboy. An athletic, choirboy. An athletic, choirboy with a live arm. An athletic, tall choirboy, with a live arm. An athl— You get the point. Critics went frothy over him. Full-on sploosh.
Then came the scouting combine and Mariota looked good. He put up a 4.52 time in the 40 and showed he could throw all the routes while throwing to strangers. Suddenly Charles Kelly says in press conference that the Eagles aren’t going mortgage the future to Draft Mariota, and Mariota puts up a pedestrian Pro Day while throwing to people he knows? (Funny that Kelly didn’t simply say that we wouldn’t Draft him, merely that we won’t mortgage the future to do so. Gotta watch how language gets used.)
If that doesn’t ring any bells for you, I guess that’s okay, but if suddenly after he meets with other teams there are more questions about how much fire is in his belly or how competitive he is, those bells better start clanging like crazy for you.
Back to the question of WHY.
Last years #1 pick Jadeveon Clowney pulled a 4 year/22M$ deal, while the #20 pick Brandin Cooks managed 4years/8M$. So yeah, if Mariota’s drafted 20th instead of 1st, he’s definitely leaving some money on the table as far as the NFL goes. But the serious money isn’t to be made on your rookie deal. To make the serious money you need to show years of success as an NFL QB. (Some of you already see where this is going.)
There are plenty of questions about whether or not Mariota’s game can be adapted to the NFL. However, here in Philadelphia there doesn’t need to be any adapting of his skills to the system. He already THINKS in terms of the system. In fact it’s pretty much all he knows. HE already knows that it’s gotten him this far. He has every reason to believe it’ll take him farther. All he has to do is juke a couple of teams hungry for young promise. Sidestep them and he’s got HIS coach, in HIS system, and even the practices are run the way he’s used to, with his favorite smoothie just waiting for him.
Once you realize that he’ll make enough uncapped endorsement money as the Franchise QB of an NFL team; if you look at this from Mariota’s perspective the question isn’t why would he throw the Draft, the question becomes, shit, why wouldn’t he?