QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
College Career: 2014 Heisman Trophy winner graduated from Oregon in three and a half years before making the easy decision to forgo his senior year and enter the NFL Draft. Mariota was a three-year starter who amassed 10,796 passing yards and 105 touchdowns to just 14 interceptions.
Strengths: Highly intelligent quarterback dripping with talent. Strong enough arm capable of making every NFL throw. Good pocket presence with keen ability to get out of trouble while still making his reads. Only scrambles when he has to. Extremely rare straight-line speed for a quarterback, which will force defenses to contain. Great teammate and leader, despite quiet demeanor. Will be great addition to any quarterback room.
Weaknesses: Delivery is a little long. Plays smaller than listed height. Fumbled 27 times in college. Will need time to adjust to NFL game, which is something he’s fully capable of doing.
Bears Outlook: The Bears’ new regime certainly has its eyes on a quarterback beyond Jay Cutler and if Marcus Mariota is somehow available at No. 7, he would be worth taking. While not quite as ready today as Jameis Winston, I believe Mariota has a higher ceiling and comes with absolutely zero character concerns. The Oregon QB has the physical and mental makeup of a franchise quarterback, he just needs to be given the time to adjust to NFL game, which could happen as soon as mid-season this year. Top 10 picks are relatively rare for the Bears and if this franchise believes it will improve in 2015, they’re not likely to have another one soon. If Mariota somehow slips to them, the time is now to strike on a new quarterback.