This is the front page of NFL.com from 4.9.15
WHEN I said that Marcus Mariota may be intentionally tanking his draft position, it was met with a lot of doubt from my readers. After all, in may people’s mind he was to be the first or second player picked in the Draft. Surely, The Beast must be losing his mind.
Knowing that would happen, and remembering words from my favorite Rudyard Kipling poem (If you can trust yourself while all men doubt you/ But make allowance for their doubting too); I also included in that article a word of caution: “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.”
I haven’t read any reports that ding him yet, but while Jameis Winston continues to be spoken of like he’ll go #1 overall, the Mariota hype machine has done nothing but lose steam since his pro day.
Now there’s talk of him sliding and flat out not even being able to schedule a meeting with (so far just) one team that picks ahead of us. It was March 13th when I put that article out and now here on April 9th (less than a month later) and we’re talking a guy who could have been the #1 overall, sliding like Aaron Rodgers did?
You have to wonder what’s being said about Mariota in the back channels. And if you think people may have serious doubts or questions about him now, you have to wonder why. Is he truly not a top tier prospect; or is he a top tier prospect who’s getting help gaming the system.
But of course Oregon players and coaches would NEVER think to game the system. Right?