Mariota Losing Ground in QB Battle? ESPN’s John Clayton Thinks So


This year’s class of NFL hopefuls has provided intense speculation. The most anticipated position battle thus far has been Marcus Mariota vs James Winston.

Many thought the Rose Bowl earlier this year cemented Mariota as the top quarterback in this year’s class. After the season ended and draft speculation heated up, the question as to who would be taken first became more and more complicated.

This morning, ESPN senior reporter John Clayton gave his quarterback update after throwing drills commenced at the 2015 NFL Combine:

For Mariota, he has nothing to lose at this point. He has already won the Heisman, taken his team to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, and has been declared the greatest player in Oregon Football history. All the awards and accolades still have him coming in as the No. 2 quarterback. All Mariota needs to focus on is performing to the best of his ability. If Winston does get taken in front of him, it adds more fuel to the fire. It has been said that Mariota is the most coachable player in college football. For someone of his caliber to have natural skill, intelligence on and off the field, and patience to listen to his entire coaching staff, he makes for a perfect fit to any pro team.

With the combine nearly over, we must now look to each respective school’s pro-day. Oregon will host its pro-day on March 14, while Florida State will host its own pro-day on March 31. This will provide coaches and scouts with the last look into Mariota and Winston before the NFL Draft starts on April 30.

Stay tuned to for all the latest in Oregon Ducks news.

Top Photo by Craig Strobeck

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Jason Selby

Jason Selby

Jason is a Junior at the University of Oregon, currently double majoring in Public Relations and Political Science. Jason has been an avid sports fan for his entire life, growing up playing Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Over the last year, Jason has found his love for sports reporting, and enjoys creating pieces that use his love and knowledge for sports to portray his message. In his spare time, Jason enjoys obsessing over Ducks sports, Scuba Diving around the world, and listening to music. Tweet at Jason…. @1seltank. He loves talking sports with other avid sports fans.

  • MarcTheDuck

    It’s not a good prospect for MM financially (at first, anyway), but I’m sure Chip is rubbing his hands together over the thought of it. And, in the end, if MM did fall enough to allow Chip to trade up for him, it may be better for MM, too.

    • Jason Selby

      I agree with you. Getting drafted later won’t yield the big contract or signing bonuses right off the bat. With Marcus, I believe he will thrive wherever he goes. If he does end up going to the Eagles, it will be exciting to watch. Thanks for the read!

      • Rick

        The money will be great even if he drops. Best part is if he gets with a decent team instead of crap, his second contract will make his first one look like small potatoes in comparison.

        • Jason Selby

          Rick, I agree with you. Though it likely won’t happen, Mariota going to a great team off the bat will give him time to mature, and maybe end up like an Aaron Rodgers. We shall see what happens. Thanks so much for the read

  • Chris Andres

    I am so sick of the prognosticators need to elevate Winston and downgrade Marcus. They all seem to have the old guard NFL mentality that a Dual threat QB just can’t succeed in the league.

    • Jason Selby

      Chris, it pains me too. If people want to say Marcus isn’t ready for the NFL because of the offense he played in, it’s a load of crap. Personally, I have seen Marcus in every game he has played at Autzen Stadium. The guy is nothing short of incredible. He has the talent, speed, size, intelligence, and most importantly, he is coachable. Thanks so much for the read.