Have we come across the second “A” grade on the 2010 NFL Draft report card from Titan Sized? Just making a 53-man roster is a noteworthy accomplishment for any seventh-round pick. But a Pro Bowl during his rookie season?
Marc Mariani did just that after he was taken with pick No. 222. Before breaking his leg during a preseason game in 2012, Mariani evolved into one of the NFL’s top return specialists. As a punt and kick returner, Mariani has more than 3,000 return yards with three touchdowns. If Mariani can return healthy, he’ll compete with Darius Reynaud for the returner job. The loser of that battle will likely find work elsewhere.
Will Mariani join Verner as the “aces” from the 2010 NFL Draft?
2010 NFL Draft Report Card Evaluation
Marc Mariani, KR/PR/WR, Montana
Round 7, Pick 222
Still With Team: YES
Career Games: 32
Punt Returns: 73
Kick Returns: 92
Joshua Huffman (Editor): 92.5 (A)
Seventh-round picks are fortunate to make practice squads. Not only did Marc Mariani make the team as a rookie but he earned 2011 Pro Bowl honors for his abilities as a return specialist. Additionally, he’s a fan favorite and one of the most-liked individuals in the community. From what I can tell, Mariani is the only 2010 seventh-rounder who has made a Pro Bowl.
Josh Gunnels (Assistant Editor, Lead Columnist): 88 (B+)
Marc Mariani has become a fan favorite of many for the Titans. The late round pick wasn’t given much for odds of sticking on the team and at the time was considered a “favor” by Jeff Fisher whose son played for Montana. It turns out Mariani was pretty good at kick returns even if he was subpar as a receiver. After missing last year to a gruesome leg injury, he’ll be hard pressed to make the team this year considering the logjam at the receiver position. Mariani did make the Pro Bowl as a returner and has also become a community favorite due to his beaming personality. Excellent return (pun intended) for a 7th round pick.
David Fleming (Contributor): 85 (B+ to B)
While Mariani hasn’t excelled as a WR, he has been incredible as a return specialist. In his rookie season, he set franchise records for most returns (61) and return yards (1,530) in a single season. He was elected to the 2011 Pro Bowl as a returner, and if he hadn’t broken his leg before the 2012 season, he would have had another productive year for the Titans. He presented incredible value for a 7th round pick, and I really hope that he fully recovers to play again.
Titan Sized Staff (3 Participants): 88.5 (B+)
92.5 + 88 + 85 = (265.5 / 3) = 88.5
What do Titan Sized readers think? Answer in the poll below. All grades will get averaged and tallied within the next 2-3 days.
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