We all know Marcus Mariota is scary good. Like, best quarterback in Oregon history good. We all know he's probably the most accurate and efficient quarterback in all of college football right now. Mariota has thrown just five interceptions since November of 2011, and four of those interceptions game in back-to-back games against Arizona and Oregon State last year. But this handy chart, tweeted out by Craig Pintens, Oregon's Senior Associate AD of Marketing and Public Relatons, shows just how accurate he's been.
You'll notice there are some half-decent quarterbacks on that list. Guys like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers (all Super Bowl winners) had MUCH lower touchdown to interception ratios in college. For example, in his four years at Purdue, Brees threw 45 interceptions. Mariota will likely finish his college career with less than 15. Peyton Manning, the new career leader in NFL touchdown passes, threw 89 touchdowns in four years at Tennessee. Mariota will eclipse that mark in his third season with Oregon.
The first observation with this chart is that Mariota has been more accurate than guys who went on to become elite NFL quarterbacks. All those guys mentioned in the previous paragraph have spots in the Hall of Fame waiting for them.
But there's a second observation. The list also includes some major NFL busts. Tim Tebow is right behind Mariota on this list. Despite minor success with the Broncos, Tebow will likely never become a starting quarterback again. Sam Bradford has been plagued by injuries and will likely never be an elite quarterback. Troy Smith, who won the Heisman Trophy, is now playing in the CFL.
The conclusion here is obvious. It might be easy to sit there and say, "Look how much better Mariota has been in college than these elite NFL quarterbacks were." It means jack squat. It's just a fun little chart the ahletic department pumped out on social media to help grow some legs to the #SuperMariota Heisman campaign.
There's never been a way to project how an elite college quarterback will transition to the NFL. Some have gone on and flourished, while others have been total busts that are now irrelevant in the game of football. Do you think Mariota is a lock to succeed in the NFL? Yes? Let me introduce you to Joey Harrington and Dennis Dixon.
Trolls of the Internet will sit there and say, "Well no shit, Sherlock," when reading my opinion that this list means absolutely nothing. I'm not here to say it does. More so, I'm here to pick your brain on your thoughts of Mariota and how you think he'll transition to the NFL.
Will Mariota become the next Joe Montana (who had a TD/INT of 1.00 with 25 touchdowns and 25 interceptions, FYI) or will he become the next elite Oregon quarterback to be a total bust in the NFL?