Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-America and all-conference honors since his freshman season. Awarded the 2014 Heisman Trophy. Won 36 games in college. Junior totals included 4454 yards passing with 44 TDs and 770 yards rushing with another 15 scores. Sophomore passing totals included 3665 yards and 31 TDs. The most-decorated player in Oregon history.
Positive: Athletic, mature quarterback with a tremendous upside. Patient, buys time for receivers and waits until the last moment necessary before leaving the pocket. Takes off out of the pocket as a last resort unless running the ball is the primary play call. Improvises when plays breakdown, easily scrambles away from defenders and loses nothing throwing on the move. Picks up big yardage on design runs and shows the ability to run away from defenders in the open field. Outstanding job selling ball fakes, natural looking off the safety and remains poised under the rush. Plays tough, smart football, does not take unnecessary hits or make errors in judgment. Possesses a quick release, passes explode out of his hand and all his throws have good velocity. Possesses the arm strength to get the ball through the tight spots, drive deep passes and hit receivers in stride. For the most part accurate and does not make receivers work hard to catch the ball. Quickly locates the open receiver, displays a sense of timing and anticipation and effectively sets up screen plays.
Negative: Must improve his overall pass placement. Will miss open receivers. Off target passes are usually high of the mark. Not known as a vocal, get in-your-face type of leader.
Analysis: Mariota made an immediate impact at Oregon the minute he stepped on the field as a redshirt freshman. He's an athletic prospect and a very good quarterback with the ability to lead a franchise at the next level. Off the field Mariota is a mature person who's not distracted by much. He needs to polish areas of his technique but has the physical and mental skills necessary to lead a franchise for a long time to come.