ESPN Draft analyst, Mel Kiper Jr. said on NFL Live on Wednesday that his Mel KIper Mock Draft 4.0 would be out today, and that he has finally decided that the Tennessee Titans will draft Marcus Mariota. In fact, what he is saying is that Florida State quarterback, Jameis Winston, and Marcus Mariota will be off the board after the first two picks.
Kiper never factors a trade into his Mock Drafts, but does indicate that if Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt does not take the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner with the second pick, he will trade with someone who is willing to put a quarterback in the deal.
It’s pretty obvious that since the Combine, and now that many of the Pro Day workouts are nearing an end, Marcus Mariota is gaining confidence from coaches and scouts alike. He is making the Titans position stronger by the day, and unlike Jameis Winston, has no history of bad off-field judgement.
The Possible Suitors per Kipers Mock Draft:
The San Diego Chargers will have a private workout with Marcus Mariota next Wednesday, and are holding the 17th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Quarterback, Philip Rivers has told them he doesn’t intend to re-sign with the Chargers, and will not make a move to Los Angeles.
Rivers is from Alabama, a 90 minute drive from LP Field, and would solve a lot of problems for the Tennessee Titans. He is familiar with Whisenhunt’s system after coach spent the 2013 season with the Chargers.
The New York Jets, Chicago Bears, and the St. Louis Rams may also be it the picture and wanting to trade up for Mariota. All have quarterbacks to bring to the table, but the Chargers have the best scenario.
The Titans obviously are not sold on Zach Mettenberger being their franchise quarterback, going forward. Whisenhunt said at the Scouting Combine that he needed to re-visit game tape from last year, and has said that if they draft Marcus Mariota, he would be the day one starter.
After all is said and done, Marcus Mariota does not fit coach’s eye, but let’s face it, General Manager, Ruston Webster has the final say in who the Titans will select.
I’m expecting a trade that will net the Titans another quarterback option, whether it’s Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, or Nick Foles. Either way, they will have some competition for Zach Mettenberger.
Others Moving On Kiper’s Big Board:
USC Defensive End, Leonard Williams remains his best player on the board, and now going to Jacksonville with the third pick.
The obvious other player taking a hit on Kiper’s list is Nebraska pass rusher, Randy Gregory. After showing bad judgement by failing a test canibus at the Combine has Gregory falling to the New Orleans Saints with the 13th pick.
He has moved Florida DE/OLB Dante Fowler, Clemson’s Vic Beasley and Shane Ray out of Missouri above Gregory. His top pass rusher is Fowler to the Washington Redskins, Beasley to the Falcons with the eighth pick, and Ray to the Giants with the ninth pick.
The surprise mover on the board is UCF wide receiver, Breshad Perriman moving all the way up to 10th, and going to the St. Louis Rams. This move makes Perriman the third best wide receiver on the board behind Amari Cooper from Alabama, and Kevin White from West Virginia. He has Cooper rightly going to Oakland sith thhe fourth pick, and White going to the Bears at seven.
NFL.com draft analyst Mike Mayock has also updated his draft board and has moved Marcus Mariota into the number one spot, going to Tampa Bay.
He indicated on NFL_AM this morning that he was concerned about Jameis Winston and his 18 interceptions in 2014. That, along with his character issues has him going number two to the Tennessee Titans.
Mayock also indicated that he liked what he saw from Marcus Mariota, and thinks the Oregon star quarterback will be NFL Ready a lot sooner than other experts are predicting.
Like Kiper, Mayock has both quarterbacks going in the first two picks, but has the teams reversed.