Mariota Declares For Draft

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

Marcus Mariota officially declared for the NFL Draft Wednesday.

“After meeting with my family I have decided to forego my final year of eligibility and apply for the 2015 NFL Draft,” Mariota said in a statement. “My four years at the University of Oregon have been an awesome experience. I cannot thank Coach Kelly, Coach Helfrich, Coach Frost, the rest of the Oregon coaches and the support staff enough for molding me as a person, player and student-athlete.

“The support I received from the University, the city of Eugene and Duck fans has been tremendous. I will always remember the great times and support I received. Once a Duck always a Duck.

“I will miss being with my teammates.  Being a part of this team was something special that I will always treasure.”

Mariota threw 105 touchdowns to 14 interceptions while in Eugene, helping Oregon to a 36-5 record during his three years as a starter.

With Mariota officially in the draft, the speculation about whether Chip Kelly will make a play for him is going nowhere. Whether such a move is feasible is largely dependent on how far the QB drops. Daniel Jeremiah gave his take on that subject during his appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic Wednesday.

“Everybody talks about, ‘Is he going to drop? Is he going to fall?’ I don’t know if he was ever all the way up there to begin with,” he said. “I think there’s a chance he could slide down a little bit. There are so many teams that need a quarterback, and the Jets where they’re picking (at six), that’s a team that I would keep an eye on.”

Sanchez to Buffalo?

Speaking of New York, Jets-turned-Buffalo head coach Rex Ryan mentioned Mark Sanchez as a possible quarterback candidate for the Bills during his introductory press conference.

That could be an appealing option for Sanchez if he was offered a chance to start. I think he’s a fan of Ryan, but as he learned in New York, playing for a defensive-minded coach isn’t always a thrill-a-minute for a quarterback. It will be interesting to see what kind of market develops for Sanchez when free agency opens on March 10.