If one thing can be declared irrefutably known about the NFL draft just shy of three weeks from the announcement of the first round, it is where Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota will not be April 30: in Chicago, attending the draft. 

Mariota will be back in Hawaii with family. Where the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner goes after that, though, remains anyone’s guess.

Last week Mel Kiper picked Mariota to go second overall. CBSSports.com analysts have him going anywhere from third to sixth. All four NFL.com mock drafts pick Mariota to go no sooner than No. 10, meanwhile.

But whoever lands the former Duck, count them as lucky, said ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski last week during an appearance on Comcast Sports Net Philadelphia’s “Sports Talk Philly.”

Jaworski, citing three conversations with either general managers or player personnel directors who’d spoken with Eagles coach Chip Kelly, said the former Oregon coach “loves Marcus Mariota.”

Jaworski:

“I’ll give you a little bit of information on how much Chip Kelly loves Marcus Mariota. This is the time of year when everyone talks, and I talk to general managers, I’ve talked to player personnel directors, and I’ve heard it from a couple or three people that have had conversations with Chip Kelly, and Chip Kelly said, ‘Marcus Mariota will win multiple Super Bowls in the National Football League.’

“Now, he didn’t say it was going to be in Philadelphia, but that’s how much he loves this guy, and a lot of people feel the same way, that Marcus Mariota is that good that you can win multiple Super Bowls with him as your quarterback.”

(Click here if the video does not play.)

But “Jaws” wasn’t done yet. It was through conversations like those with NFL decision-makers that Jaworski also believes Mariota will be picked first overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an organization that has long been considered more likely to pick Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.

Per Philly Mag’s transcription of another segment of Sports Talk Philly, Jaworski said the information from his sources, “who are pretty wired in, is that he’s going to go number one now to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”

While Jaworski is in the minority of analysts with his belief Mariota will go No. 1, even the suggestion maintains a measure of intrigue — no matter how slight — around a process that typically is devoid of suspense. 

A reminder of the company Mariota is set to join in Oregon’s NFL draft history, by where Ducks have been taken in the first round:

No. 1: QB George Shaw (1955)
No. 3: QB Akili Smith (1999); QB Joey Harrington (2002); OLB Dion Jordan (2013)
No. 4: WR Ahmad Rashad (1972)
No. 11: CB Alex molden (1996)
No. 12: DL Haloti Ngata (2006); DB Jim Smith (1968)
No. 13: RB Jonathan Stewart (2008); QB Chris Miller (1987)
No. 16: TE Russ Francis (1975)
No. 18: DB Mario Clark (1976)
No. 20: OL Kyle Long (2013)
No. 22: OT Tom Drougas (1972)

Onto the links:

My Sunday story on the mindset and motivation of Oregon football entering 2015.

The Ducks practice for the seventh time this spring Monday. Friday’s scrimmage wasn’t so good for the defense.

Oregon baseball is still alive after winning a series against Oregon State.

A recap of Oregon’s titles at Saturday’s track and field Pepsi Invite.

A little spotlight for an event that receives little: hammer throwers.

Austin Meek’s column from Hayward Field.

No. 2 Oregon softball swept ASU for the first time in a generation.

Around the Pac-12: What we learned from the USC spring game.

Ditto for the Stanford spring game.

— Andrew Greif
[email protected]
503-221-8100
@andrewgreif 

– Click Here To Visit Article Source