ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Possibly the future quarterback of the New York Jets, Marcus Mariota met with 'Gang Green' on Thursday during his Pro Day at Oregon and walked away impressed.
Most mock drafts have the Jets targeting Mariota with the No. 6 pick, a union perhaps that makes sense given the team's less-than-ideal setting at the position. And after Thursday's Pro Day where he met with members of the Jets organization, Mariota said the obligatory positive things about the team and the organization.
“I’d love to play for the Jets and I think meeting with their offensive coordinator and the quarterbacks coach was awesome,” Mariota said. “It was an opportunity for me to kind of introduce myself. It seems like a great organization.”
Mariota spoke at a press conference on Friday where he was set to receive the Maxwell Award as the nation's top college football player. The award is given out annually by the Maxwell Football Club at the Tropicana Casino. This year's award represents the 78th giving the honor to the nation's top college football player.
In every meaning of the word, Mariota deserved the award. Last season at Oregon, Mariota threw 4,454 yards with 42 touchdowns and four interceptions. He led Oregon to the national championship game where they lost to Ohio State.
He called Thursday's Pro Day performance “OK” and he admitted to meeting with representatives from the Philadelphia Eagles as well. The Eagles are coached by Chip Kelly, who coached Mariota in college at Oregon and the team has been linked to moving up in the draft in recent weeks. One possible scenario has the Eagles and Jets becoming trading partners.
Outside of the Eagles and their similar offense to that of Oregon, it is likely that Mariota will face a steep learning curve as he acclimates to the NFL. He seems ready to handle it in typical stride.
“I think any process, any transition into this game, going into the NFL, is going to be tough,” Mariota said. “I think for me, the biggest step for me is I’m going to learn whatever system I go into and find ways to be able to learn it as fast as I can and be able to execute.”