The Oregon connection can go a long way, and which is why Marcus Mariota, probably the second quarterback to be taken off the board in the 2015 NFL draft, is being linked so strongly to the Philadelphia Eagles and his former head coach.
Chip Kelly coached Mariota for just one season at Oregon, but that’s enough to generate hype. It also helps that the Eagles’ quarterback situation is up in the air. Nick Foles didn’t play well last season and missed the second part of it with an injury, while Mark Sanchez is who he is – a good backup, but for a team thinking about playoffs and Super Bowls, he’s nowhere near good enough when playing as a starter.
The Buccaneers are likely to make Jameis Winston their number one overall pick. So what about Mariota? He’s going to be taken a lot earlier than the 20th spot the Eagles have, which is why they’ll have to start moving up in order to grab him, and move up a lot, which means breaking the bank almost. Is he worth it?
According to ESPN Insider, KC Joyner, they shouldn’t even think about it. Mariota fits the team and its offensive system, and Mariota is the type of player who seems very likely to develop into a franchise quarterback. Common wisdom suggests there isn’t a price to high to pay for a guy you know is going to turn into that kind of player.
So? Is it going to happen, or is this just fantasy talk? According to Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com, it’s very real:
Every day, with little things I hear, evidence continues to build that the Eagles are going to make a strong play for Marcus Mariota. To note, this is something I had previously thought to be unrealistic, so as bits of information have trickled in, they’ve been absorbed on my end with skepticism. But it appears the Eagles are determined to get their guy.