Is Marcus Mariota The Second Best Quarterback in AFC South?
By Les Bailey
In an hour and twenty-five minute Hangout on Google+ and a follow-up post, the guys at Pro Football Spot broke down all the positions, and all the teams in the AFC South, and they knighted Marcus Mariota as the second best in the division.
Marcus Mariota has the potential to be a top quarterback in this league
Power Ranking the AFC South, Position-by-Position
It’s a great analysis of all positions as well as the quarterbacks, but without having taken a regular season snap I’m not sure I’m ready to give the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner the keys to the franchise just yet. I think there may be too many factors working against him.
Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt has committed his effort in designing plays to help his new quarterback transition out of the spread offense he ran in Oregon into an NFL system, but if he is eager to do so, why didn’t he do the same for Jake Locker last year. Locker came out of a spread system in Washington, and could have used the help.
Mariota is much more mobile, and may be able to survive the rush that will come, especially from the likes of J.J. Watt in Houston. Locker was mobile, but let’s face it, not that mobile. Without some semblance of a running game this year, I’m afraid the results might well be the same.
The Washington Redskins were successful running the spread offense in the Nations Capitol for one year. Mike Shanahan designed plays for the talent and speed that Robert Griffin III had, and got very lucky with the quick emergence of running back Alfred Morris.
Some will say that RGIII’s injuries were the end of the success in Washington, but the end came when the defensive minds in the NFL figured out how to stop it, and left RGIII trying to play from the pocket.
Ken Whisenhunt and his staff will not be able to take anyone by surprise in 2015. The defensive coordinators already know what the Titans will do, and unless Bishop Sankey or David Cobb step up and have a great season, Marcus Mariota will need his 4.52 speed to get away from the pass rush that is sure to come.
I think Marcus Mariota has the potential to be a top quarterback in this league, but I don’t think it will happen in 2015. He has been better schooled in reading defenses than RGIII, and has the quarterback skills to become a pocket passer. Only time, and the first season will tell.
The above Power Rankings rightly have Andrew Luck as the best quarterback in the AFC South. I think he may be the third best quarterback in the league behind Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers(Peyton is about done) and now he has more speed to work with on the outside, and a running game.
I agree with their assessment of Blake Bortles in Jacksonville, but maybe have missed the mark on Brian Hoyer in Houston.
Although I agree that Hoyer didn’t put his best foot forward during the losing streak in Cleveland, it was not all his fault. His wide receivers didn’t help him out, and let’s face it, how many quarterbacks have the Browns been through since they resumed play in the AFC North?
I think that without the crowd chanting for Johnny Football, Hoyer will be the man in Houston this year. He manages the game well, and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He certainly has some solid receivers and one of the best defenses in the league that can get the ball back if he does makes some mistakes.
If things go right in Music City, Marcus Mariota will be the second best quarterback in the AFC South in the near future, and maybe Andrew Luck needs to take note.
If he’s not number two soon, the Titans will be looking for someone who can help him be number one, and Ken Whisenhunt, along with Ruston Webster will be looking for jobs!
Next: NFL Power Rankings: Titans Last