Mariota draws scrutiny at Ducks' pro day
EUGENE — Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota highlighted Oregon's pro day Thursday, looking to show he has the skillset to succeed in the NFL.
Five NFL general managers, as well as Tennessee coach Ken Whisenhunt, watched the workout at the Ducks' indoor practice facility. It was not open to the public.
Mariota, along with 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, also participated in the NFL Combine last month. Both quarterbacks are considered top picks when the draft starts on April 30. Tampa Bay has the top pick, followed by the Titans.
Mariota hit his receiver on 60 of 67 overall throws he made at pro day, including nine of 10 into the red zone.
"I thought it went OK," he said afterward. "There were some missed throws here and there but overall I thought I did well."
Mariota told the NFL Network he had met with the Buccaneers and Eagles, and was also going to sit down with the Titans.
Mariota threw for 4,454 yards with 42 touchdowns and had just four interceptions as a Duck last season, leading Oregon to the national championship game. Shortly after the final loss to Ohio State, Mariota announced he would leave school early to enter the draft.
The most decorated quarterback in Oregon history, Mariota not only won the Heisman Trophy, he was voted The Associated Press and Walter Camp player of the year and took home the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Maxwell Award and the Dave O'Brien Award.
The questions surrounding Mariota center on whether he can make the transition from the speedy no-huddle spread offense of Oregon to the NFL. On pro day, he took snaps from under center and dropped back to pass.
"I think coming out there was a little bit of butterflies," he said. "But that's OK, that's natural. Once we got in the thick of things, the group started having fun. It was enjoyable."
Mariota did not participate in all of the pro day drills because he had already done many of them at the Combine. He had the top 40-yard dash time among the quarterbacks in Indianapolis with a time of 4.52 seconds, to go with a 36-inch vertical jump and a 10 foot, 1-inch broad jump.
Other Oregon players taking part in pro day included center Hroniss Grasu, left tackle Jake Fisher, defensive tackle Arik Armstead, safety Erick Dargan and cornerback Dior Mathis.