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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

January 14, 2015 at 12:07 PM

Mariota: Over and out . . . he announces for the NFL draft

It didn’t take long for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota to announce his intention to enter the NFL draft. He made official what everybody pretty much expected Wednesday morning, only about 39 hours after the national-title game: He’s headed to the NFL.

Whoever takes him will get a rock-solid character who put up phenomenal numbers at Oregon. I don’t claim to be a savant who can foresee great NFL talent, but I do believe he has to prove himself as a pocket passer, because the threat of running — one of his great assets — is only a secondary consideration in the NFL.

His successor, still to be determined, will be a subject closely watched in the Pac-12. Jeff Lockie replaced him briefly in the title game, but it would probably be an upset if he’s under center next year. The Ducks redshirted highly regarded Morgan Mahalak, and there’s always the possibility they acquire a graduate transfer. Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, now on a quarterback-clogged roster, has been mentioned as a possibility, and he would be an amazing “get” for the Ducks.

 

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