2015 NFL Draft: Marcus Mariota – The Arizona Cardinals

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Over the next five weeks, FishDuck.com Feature Writer Caleb Couturie will be analyzing the 25 teams in the NFL Draft that may look to select Marcus Mariota.

Previous Article: Click here

No 22: The Arizona Cardinals

ARI’s Draft Pick: Twenty-fourth

ARI’s 2015 Cap Space: $(-6,847,875)

ARI’s Top Needs: LB, QB, Pass Rusher

The Cards are a very good team. They’re a playoff team, evidenced by their wild card selection. However, much of their success hinged on the health of Carson Palmer. While Palmer was relatively healthy, the Cardinals went 8-1. However, after Palmer’s season-ending injury Arizona finished on a 3-4 streak during which their highest total for points was 18. The offense is loaded with young talent, including WR’s Michael Floyd and John Brown. Also RB Andre Ellington appears to be one of the most promising young backs, and their defense is one of the NFL’s elite. The Cards are a QB away from becoming Super Bowl contenders, and you can bet their willing to give up a lot to get Marcus Mariota.

HOW IT CAN HAPPEN:

A double trade. The value difference between the No. 1 and the No. 2 picks are enormous, enough so that Arizona could trade up to the No. 2 spot (Tennessee’s pick) and work from there. It’s a two step process:

Arizona Trades: 2015 first and third picks, as well as 2016 first and second and sixth round picks

Tennessee Trades: 2015 first round pick

FROM THERE

Arizona Trades: 2015 first and second round pick

Tampa Bay Trades: No. 1 pick

For all three teams, this is a huge win. Arizona is deep enough at every position to be able to afford the loss of picks (excluding QB, obviously). By taking Mariota, and by not trading away Palmer, Mariota gets a chance to develop under a solid NFL QB and learn the ropes while also not being forced to start. For Tennessee, a team desperately in need of assets, the extra four draft picks are definitely worth more than taking a risk with Jameis Winston or Mariota, both of whom have huge question marks. And finally, for TB, they only move down one and still get a shot at Jameis (who many believe they might want instead anyway) while gaining an extra pick in the process. It’s a win-win-win.

HOW MARIOTA WOULD DO IN ARIZONA:

This is an interesting fit. On one hand, Bruce Arians is a genius. The lauded coach is excellent and catering to player’s specialties, but Mariota really doesn’t fit well into the Cardinals’ current system. The Cards love to push the ball down the field, and although Mariota’s arm strength is above average, it’s certainly not his strongest attribute. It does help that the Cardinals are a young team, and the type of run/pass schemes Arians could draw up for Mariota wouldn’t be unfamiliar to many on the Arizona offense. One thing that certainly helps is the Cards’ veteran Larry Fitzgerald. The older Fitzgerald has many years, and many receptions under his belt. There are not many receivers more reliable than Fitz, and he’d certainly help Mariota transition to the pros. An important note, though, is that he’d be playing in the NFC West, which would make his transition much harder considering the caliber of defenses.

WOULD HE START?:

Well, that all hinges on Palmer’s health. If the veteran can recover from what seems to be his millionth surgery then no, Mariota wouldn’t start. However, if Palmer is still dinged up Mariota is certainly a more viable option than Drew Stanton or *gulp* Ryan Lindley. Arians is no stranger to working with rookie QBs, i.e. Andrew Luck, and an offensive mind like Arians should have no trouble developing Mariota while also playing to his strengths if need be. Since I don’t actually believe Palmer will be healthy all season long, I’m assuming Mariota starts somewhere between 2-4 games in his rookie season.

QUICK HITS:

ARI’s Projected Record with Mariota: 12-4

ARI’s Projected Record W/O Mariota: 10-6

Mariota’s first year stats: 650 yards/5 pass TDs/3 INTs/1 Rushing TD

Top Photo by en.wikipedia.org

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Caleb Couturie

Caleb Couturie

Caleb is a sophomore at the University of Oregon intending to double major in Journalism and Sports Management. He is the Managing Editor for FishDuck.com, along with being a lifetime Saints and San Francisco Giants fan, as Caleb fell in love with sports at a young age and developed that love into a passion for sports analysis. He is looking forward to cheering on the Ducks throughout his career at Oregon, and is always willing to talk sports with any fellow fan.

  • hokieduck

    Ha. Bruce Arians is the ditz who said Chip was a college coach and had a college offense in Philadelphia. No way he takes the gimmick QB.

    • Caleb

      There’s a difference between a gimmick QB and a talented QB who utilized an offense to its fullest potential. The verdict is still out on whether Mariota is a system QB or not, but as Duck fans we’ve all seen him first hand and know what he can do. Hopefully Arians would be smart enough to see that too.

      • ibe

        Are you insane getting him is crazy there’s no need for him first he doesn’t fit the system jameis does but both of them are not worth it because do we really want to destroy our draft process for years and give up our best players and we just made the playoffs do you really want to bring us back to the 2-14 season Logan Thomas is the future of Arizona just leave it alone we nee d olb a better wider receiver, ilb and guard or tackle Johnathan cooper needs to start also!

        • Caleb

          The entire point of this is just to talk about all the teams that will consider Mariota. Although it’s unlikely Arizona takes him, they’ll at least give him a look.

          • ibe

            They wouldn’t dare waste their time they require other things.

          • Jon D.

            Logan Thomas is not the future. If he was he would have played when lindley obviously wasn’t going to win the game.

      • hokieduck

        Perhaps, I should have put “Gimmick” in quotation marks. I meant it from the perspective of Arians.

  • Ibrahim

    NO way in hell arizona would ever go for this arziona is not willing to do this shit maybe the eagles but arizona is not willing to destory their draft procces for years logan thomas is the future and thats final.

  • Caleb

    For the sake of Arizona’s franchise, I sure hope you’re joking.

    • ibe

      I’m not joking Logan is the future after palmer retires Logan will be the qb he sitting on the bench learning from palmer, stanton Bruce Arians and tom Moore.

  • J

    NO THANK YOU! Arizona needs a LEGIT NFL Starter/pro-bowl QB to put them over the top. No way they would gut their future right now to draft a guy that will not get them to that next step.

  • Mark Gilbert

    Arizona can’t even protect what they have,, As a Duck fan I would not want Mariota to go to this team bccs he would get beat to death by Arizonas shitty OL protection, and as for a system QB? Every team in the NFL plays a system,, he sure would be a hell of a lot better than what you have LOL,, at least he would throw TD pass and no INTs

    • Ian

      i do not understand where you come up saying that Arizona’s line is shitty. I think you may be speaking out of your ass just a little bit. Arizona’s line allowed 28 sacks last year. the 5th best in the NFL. this year was different than in years past. The O line looked like it could hold its own against good D Lines.

      • Mark Gilbert

        Did you not see Arizona incapable of summing the ball or protecting their qb the last 5 games of the year, what offense did they have? Once they lost their main RB who barely aversged 3 plus yards a carry and the ability to score was horrible, a lot of this has to be on the OL

      • Mark Gilbert

        They were ranked 32 and 24 the overall in the nfl as far as run and pass production over past couple of years. Looks my ass is speaking the truth.. just bccs they don’t give up sacks doesn’t mean the QB isn’t being ptessured and being hit all over the field..sacks are just one stat but doesn’t tell the whole story.

  • Anthony Joseph Gomes

    in this kind of a trading duel the eagles…which would be only 1 step down would probably be willing to give more so i dont think it happens. of course the whole theory that kelly is willing to sell the farm to get mariota is a media creation along with the idea that the quarterback skills needed in college football are substantially different than in the NFL. that someone a guy with a 142 QB rating(winston)is better than one with a 182 QB rating and 171 lifetime..second best ever. the system doesnt matter..if you cannot throw the ball accurately down field with enough zip then you dont make it in either league. as far as learning a different system that takes intelligence and work ethic. manziel lacked the latter and i am not sure winston has either.

  • Me

    Is this a joke?

  • Nigel Harrison

    so the brids are projected to win 2 more games w/o Mariotta than with, and Mariotta doesn;t really fit the BA system and we would mortgage a bunch of future value in draft picks – yeah that makes perfect sense to follow through on…LOL

    • Caleb

      That was a mistake. Those two numbers should be switched. Thank you for pointing that out, actually. And it’s just a hypothetical for fun. I don’t think Arizona will actually do it.