Marcus Mariota was the second name to be called minutes after the 2015 NFL Draft kicked off. Unless someone makes them an amazing offer, it’s safe to say at this point that Mariota will play for the Tennessee Titans. The excitement of the day’s events are over, and now the pick is being analyzed from all sides.
Interestingly, the decision to draft and keep Marcus is being questioned as a potentially huge mistake by the Titans. “The Tennessee Titans now think they are all set to compete against Luck and his Indianapolis Colts in the future,” wrote Mitch Lawrence for Forbes. “They’re probably wrong.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 1, 2015
The Indianapolis Colts are without question the most dominant team in the AFC South. Perhaps it’s because Andrew was able to slide into the void left by the departing Peyton Manning. Even so, one position cannot elevate a team to the top of the heap. The Tennessee Titans may find that, while Marcus Mariota is a promising young quarterback, the rookie is too far removed from their style of play to adequately address their offensive needs.
Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt and General Manager Ruston Webster both feel very strongly about Mariota and are confident that keeping him (rather than trading him for a more seasoned offensive player) is the best course of action. Rather than wait a season and give Marcus Mariotta a chance to learn and grow as an NFL quarterback, the team intends to slot him a starting quarterback immediately.Whistenhunt says the team has already made a few offensive adjustments, but believes that Marcus is adaptable enough to learn what he needs to be ready when the next season starts.
As for Marcus Mariota, he said that he is “looking forward” to playing for the Titans.
“I felt that through all of our conversations and everything that we did we developed a pretty close relationship,” Mariota said of Webster and Whisenhunt during a conference call. “I’m looking forward to playing for them. I’m excited for this opportunity. I’m going to work hard at this and make the most of it.”
Fortunately for Marcus Mariota, his reputation as a no-nonsense, hardworking quarterback proceeds him. It’s the type of attitude that has led to some hope that he will have the leadership skills necessary to blend seamlessly into the Titans offense and act as a leader for the struggling AFC South team.
— #NFLDraft (@nfl) May 1, 2015
It just might be too big of an ask, especially if other issues remain unaddressed. Of course, the Draft isn’t over yet. Not only could the Tennessee Titans get away with other great picks, but they may be persuaded into giving up Marcus Mariota in order to make the necessary changes.
Do you think the Tennessee Titans were right to pick Marcus Mariota? Would they be wise to trade him? Comment below!
[Image Credit: Steve Dykes/Getty Images]