Mariota and “The Curse of Skip Bayless”

Jordan Ingram FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

Johnny Manziel. Tim Tebow. These are just a couple of the latest NFL ”quarterbacks” who have received glowing reviews from Skip Bayless, one half of the ESPN two headed monster, First Take.

Bayless, who has very little success predicting the future of college quarterbacks in the NFL, has made it clear that he believes Oregon’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota should not be selected in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

“I have never been sold on Marcus Mariota as an NFL #1 overall pick,” Bayless said back in January, alongside First Take co-host Stephen A. Smith and guest Joey Galloway.

Judging by the rate of success on Bayless’ former endorsements, Oregon fans may feel relieved that the southern fried ESPN host refuses to acknowledge the talent, skill, and abilities of Mariota translating to the NFL.

Here’s what Bayless had to say about the previous two Heisman-winning quarterbacks, Tebow and Manziel, regarding their draft stock and potential in the NFL:

I was right about Tim Tebow and I will be right on a much higher level about Johnny Manziel.

What Tebow kept pulling off late in games for the 2011 Denver Broncos, Manziel will make happen for all four quarters of NFL games. Manziel has Tebow’s miracle-making will, electrified by far more quickness, speed, accuracy, radar and football IQ. Manziel has Tebow’s rare intangibles heightened by rarer tangibles.

Tebow was a phenomenon. Manziel will be a perennial Pro Bowler, a Michael Vick-type fully capable of picking you to pieces from the pocket.


Next season, Manziel will have the same national impact on some lucky city that Tebow did on the Denver Broncos in 2011. And it will last.

Before Tebow’s draft, I said I would take him late in the first round.”

Mariota has only improved his draft stock since announcing his eligibility for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Mariota has only improved his draft stock since announcing his eligibility for the 2015 NFL Draft.

In 2010, Bayless shamelessly endorsed Tebow with over-inflated draft stock. Tebow has since “retired” from professional football after most recently failing to make the cut with the New England Patriots.

But the former Miami Herald writer has had a much more publicly volatile relationship concerning the career of Manziel, who is currently in rehab and may miss the entire 2015 season. Manziel was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and was a back-up to starting quarterback Brian Hoyer.

So what should Duck fans take away from Bayless’ obtuse allergy to Mariota? Absolutely nothing. Mariota is slated to be a top-five selection on most mock draft boards.

If anything, it appears as though Mariota has avoided The Curse of Skip Bayless.

Top photo by John Sperry


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