What Happened To Marcus Mariota?

Via Music City Miracles

Let’s flash back to early 2015, a much simpler time. The Golden State Warriors dynasty was just beginning, Barack Obama was the President, and Marcus Mariota was on top of the football world. Yes, you read that correctly. There was once a time where teams were willing to give up their entire team for the opportunity to draft the reigning Heisman winner out of Oregon. The hype that Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield have right now, is what Marcus Mariota had when he was entering the NFL. He ran a 4.40 40 yard dash and had incredible accuracy with a good arm. He was plagued as the next big thing in the NFL. Flash forward four years later, and Mariota is nowhere close to where he should be. That begs the question, what went wrong?

Via USA Today

Mariota ended his collegiate career as the 2014 Heisman winner, and led his Oregon Ducks to the National Championship, where they were defeated by the Ezekiel Elliott-led Ohio State Buckeyes. He turned in an impressive combine, which included a 4.40 40 yard dash. Despite receiving numerous lucrative offers for the second overall pick, the Tennessee Titans elected to keep said draft pick, and use it to select Marcus Mariota to be their franchise quarterback.

His career got off to a flying start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he threw for four touchdown passes and a perfect passer rating to oust number 1 overall pick Jameis Winston. It was later in the season where he would play arguably the best game of his career in a matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he threw 3 TD’s and ran over 100 yards, including an 87 yard TD run, in a 42-39 victory. His season would end early in the latter stages of his rookie season, suffering a sprained MCL against the Pats, where he was later shut down for the year. It was a very solid season for a rookie, 19 TD’s and 10 INT’s, for the disastrous 3-13 Titans.

Via Fansided

A sophomore slump loomed over the first half of his 2016, but a strong finish — eight touchdowns, just one interception, and a 4-1 record over his final five full games — built hope for his future. It also gave way to another narrative that runs parallel to his talent; Mariota has been unable to stay 100 percent healthy for a full season since joining the league.

A broken leg ended his 2016 after 14.5 games, one year after an MCL sprain kept him from the field to end 2015. He’d sit out a game and a half in 2017 thanks to a hamstring injury that pushed Matt Cassel into the lineup for a loss that was nearly the difference between the Titans making and missing the postseason. An elbow injury and a stinger sidelined him this year as well.

Via Titan Insider

As the injuries piled up, his play faulted. Throwing just 13 TD’s to 15 INT’s in 2017, to just 11 TD’s and 8 INT’s this past season, Mariota has seemingly been a below average quarterback these last few seasons. It doesn’t help that he’s been flip flopping systems nearly every season,.and had to deal with the inept Mike Mularkey as his head coach for his first three NFL seasons.

Marcus was a highly touted prospect after his Heisman year at Oregon, and very coveted by the Tennessee Titans, but now, I don’t know what they should do with him. Let him play out his contract and let him walk? Franchise tag him? Extend him? He hasn’t shown the ability to stay healthy and has been below average the last few seasons, however, young QB’s don’t exactly grow on trees.

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