March 11, 2015
One day after Eagles coach Chip Kelly said he wouldn't "mortgage the future" of his team to try to move up in the draft for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, the Heisman winner worked out in front of scouts during Oregon's Pro Day.
Word from those who watched Mariota is that his performance was "underwhelming."
.@MoveTheSticks on Mariota's Pro Day: "Today was a little bit underwhelming in my opinion."— NFL Media PR (@InsideNFLMedia) March 12, 2015
Mayock on Mariota: “At best it was a solid workout.”— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) March 12, 2015
talking to gil brandt from Mariota workout-reminds him of alex smith, would be great w/indoor tm-thinks it will be close w/Winston for top— Pat Kirwan (@PatKirwanCBS) March 12, 2015
Downfield accuracy and ball placement were problems with Mariota. He hasn't shown in workout that he's improved in that area— Greg Gabriel (@greggabe) March 12, 2015
Not a bad workout for Marcus Mariota, but it wasn't impressive either. I doubt anything today swayed anyone (good or bad) on his NFL future— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) March 12, 2015
Perhaps the strongest criticism was this:
Charley Casserly after Mariota pro day: "Not a sure thing. If you're going to take him, you've got to hold your breath."— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) March 12, 2015
Perhaps this could impact his draft value...
.@MoveTheSticks says as a passer alone, Marcus Mariota is not a top 20 pick.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) March 12, 2015
Mariota's subpar performance took a back seat -- at least in Eagle Country -- to what the first-round prospect said after his workout:
"I sat down with the Buccaneers as well as the Eagles. Today I will be finishing up with the Titans." - Marcus Mariota— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 12, 2015
Wait, let me make sure I didn't misread that.
Mariota; 'I sat down with the Buccaneers as well as the Eagles. Today I will be finishing up with the Titans.''— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 12, 2015
Okay, so Mariota met with the teams who have first and second picks in the NFL Draft. That makes sense. But the Eagles, who don't pick until 20th overall? That's a bit surprising. Even though it's hard, I'm going to try to not read too much into that. I'm sure he'll meet with plenty of teams before April's draft.
But for all you conspiracy theorists out there, I'm sure you're salivating right about now.
Did Chip tell Mariota to tank his workout so his draft stock would fall? Is this all part of some Illuminati-esque master plan by Chip to land his star pupil?
Probably not, but his poor performance combined with the fact that he met with a team not slated to pick until well after Mariota is projected to be drafted is interesting to say the least. However, don't read too much into his Pro Day workout...
I think Mariota is throwing the ball well in this workout. Remember one of the best all-time QB workouts on a pro day was JaMarcus Russell— Mark Dominik (@MarkdominikESPN) March 12, 2015
Either way, I think it's safe to say the Mariota-to-Eagles dream is nowhere near dead, at least not yet.