If Marcus Mariota is available at No. 6 in next month's NFL Draft, he likely will be taken. But a league source said the Jets, in desperate need for a quarterback, won't be selecting the former Oregon QB there and that the Eagles and Jets would make a trade if the scenario plays out.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a highly-placed league source termed a potential marriage between Mariota , the Heisman and Maxwell Award winner after a stunning 2014 season, and the Jets as “highly unlikely.” The source said that the Jets aren't in the mood to pick Mariota with their sixth pick and that if the Oregon quarterback is available, the “Jets will be shipping that pick away.”
The likely landing spot?
“Philadelphia would make that move and pay that price. We're talking multiple picks and a player,” the source said. “The Jets would be open to moving the pick and the Eagles have internally prepared to move up in the draft. There are contingencies in place and they know that Marcus is that perfect fit.”
Of course, Mariota played under now Eagles head coach Chip Kelly before Kelly left for the NFL in 2013. Given his obvious familiarity with the Eagles' offense, Mariota would walk into Philadelphia as the likely starting quarterback of the Eagles come Week 1.
The source said with “100 percent certainty” that if Mariota is available at No. 6 it will be the Eagles, and not the Jets, who will be picking at that spot.
“The Eagles covet Marcus and rightly so. He's a great fit for their offense,” the source said. “This could be a case where the Jets could cash in and would be willing to do so. Not quite Ricky Williams level but we're talking multiple picks and perhaps a player.”
The Williams trade refers to the 1999 NFL Draft deal where the New Orleans Saints sent eight draft picks to the Washington Redskins so they could move up seven slots to the No. 5 selection to select Williams, who won the Heisman the year before as a running back at Texas.