There is always a lot of eyes on highly scouted players headed to the NFL. There is so much pressure on them to perform well on the field as well as staying out of trouble off the field. Former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota did both extremely well yet it still wasn’t enough to stay away from the “red flag” label. The fact that Mariota seemed so perfect with no issues raised a few NFL executive eye brows.
Oregon’s coach Mark Helfrich shared with ESPN that he was told by one NFL head coach and general manager that the lack of red flags turned out to be a red flag. The biggest public concern for Mariota was how would his style of play translate from college to the NFL but behind the scenes some wondered if Mariota was too good to be true.
Everything about Mariota just seemed perfect. His collegiate record of 36-5 as a starter was outstanding. In 3 seasons on the field Mariota tallied 10,796 yards, 105 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions. Off the field his name was never linked to any drama leaving NFL teams clueless to what his flaw was or if something could have been hidden. At the end of the day Mariota was a young athlete under the spotlight. Although they hope it’s minor, all NFL executive expect some baggage or red flags on things a player need to work on. With Mariota the lack there of left some uneasy.
Mariota ended up being the 2nd overall pick in the draft behind Jameis Winston who had several red flags because of off the field issues. I personally don’t think Mariota will have a smooth transition into the NFL. His style of play might hold him back as well as potentially causing problems for him controlling a huddle and calling plays. The two, Mariota and Winston, will match up in Week 1 of the upcoming season. May the best man win.