Report: Multiple clubs displeased Mariota has downplayed meaning of being top pick


In a recent interview with the Buccaneers’ website, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota said the prospect of being the No. 1 overall pick wasn’t a “huge thing” to him.

Apparently, this notion has not sat well with some folks around the NFL.

According to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, “more than a few teams” have frowned upon Mariota’s viewpoint regarding the potential of being the top selection.

It’s unclear why the clubs have an issue with Mariota’s comments.

Nevertheless, it’s important to view Mariota’s views in their proper context, to listen to what he was asked and how he responded.

Here is the question Mariota was asked by writer Scott Smith:

“The draft’s just a little bit ahead now. If the Buccaneers did make that pick, that would be the first pick in the draft, something only a few men every year have a shot at. Is that something that’s important to you?”

Here was Mariota’s response:

“You know, being the first pick, to me, it’s not a huge thing. You know, I’d love to play for the Bucs. But that being said, you know, I think if you find a team that wants you, that’s going to be the right team. I’m looking forward to kind of marketing myself and finding that team.”

The question was fair, and Mariota’s response was reasoned. Let us consider the line he must walk. What do teams want him to say — that he burns to be the No. 1 pick and only the top pick? What happens if he is not the first selection? Why risk offending other potential employers? And shouldn’t Mariota be concerned primarily with finding the best possible fit when it comes to getting his first NFL job?

Mariota’s rational response shouldn’t be held against him. If anything, it should be viewed as a positive. After all, the NFL does want logical sorts playing the game’s most important position, right?

Doesn’t it?

98 responses to “Report: Multiple clubs displeased Mariota has downplayed meaning of being top pick

  1. It really baffles my mind that teams are so in love with Winston and his countless off field issues and so displeased with the quiet confidence of Mariota.

  2. Being #1 pick doesn’t mean you will be the best person to come out the draft. So being the #1 pick should not really be cared for,because in the end it all matters about the work you put in to succeed in the big boys league.

  3. A great competitor should always want to be the 1st in everything they do.

    He is tanking for the Eagles

  4. It really doesn’t matter what anyone says. Someone is going to take it the wrong way, or read more into it than is warranted.

    Guy thinks he should be #1, no questions asked, gets slammed for having too much ego. Guy who just wants to be on the right team gets slammed for not having enough ego. You can’t win.

  5. Yesssss, he wants to link back up with Chip Kelley so bad. Keep on tanking Marcus and drop on down so that Chip won’t have to “mortgage the future” to draft you. He’s pulling a modern day Elway/Manning and essentially trying to get to the team he wants to play for.

    Now before you guys get out of control im not saying Mariota will win multiple Super Bowls. He’s just doing what he can to get to the best fit for him. You can’t really hate on that.

  6. He is pretty subdued, and on Gruden’s QB camp he looked totally lost under center and had trouble calling the plays. I wouldn’t select him and expect him to start week 1. He needs some time.

  7. I think his rationale is perfect. The $ from 1 to 2 to 3 is not that different. But getting into the right system with a coach that wants to do “something you are good at” is WAY more important than the ego of #1 pick.

  8. Mariotta has more margin for error here than you’re suggesting in this article.

    He could have said “I always want to be the best, and that’s what being the top pick means. So of course I want to be the top pick. But if I’m not, I will work like crazy to show that whoever gets me is going to get the best QB in the draft.”

    There’s nothing in there that would be offensive to any team not picking first but it shows much more of the competitive spirit that his own quotes lack. Reasoned though they are, football is not a game for reasonable men. It’s for men who approach every snap like their hair is on fire. I don’t blame any team who wants to see that from him.

  9. NFL teams are still neanderthals when it comes to silly buzz words like passion and desire. Not being obsessed with being the first pick in the draft does not mean that Mariota does not “love football enough,” which is probably what is bothering pinhead NFL-types. These are the same clowns that took issue with Rolle having the nerve to become a Rhodes scholar prior to the 2010 draft. He dared to study medicine when he could have been running cone drills or vertically jumping.

  10. As Eli Manning found, the first team to select you is not necessarily the best fit for you. It seemed a logical and rational answer from someone wanting to find a home.

  11. So saying you don’t care to be the first pick shows a lack of competitive fire, but raping a girl does? NFL logic…it’s fantastic!

  12. Mariota’s TRUE response: I want to be drafted by the team that wants me most.

    If that isn’t the best possible answer, I don’t know what it. The “displeased” teams are probably perennial losers, and this looks to be another example of why they are there.

  13. The teams that have an issue with his stance are probably the horrible franchises like the Raiders and Jags that are run by complete imbeciles.

  14. You gotta investigate Chip for tampering, like, 2 years ago. If this kid falls in his lap no one should be surprised something stinks in here. ‘Displeased’ that he’s a humble kid? That’s also ridiculous. Mariitta will bring 110% to any team that would somehow draft him

  15. Come on this is ridiculous. Of course you want a competitive spirit in a guy who says he wants to go #1 but in reality you know a front office wants a guy who fits in on their franchise.

    RG3 wanted to go #1 and look how well that worked out

  16. Not all 256 players drafted will go #1 overall.

    Its really not a big deal, since Luck its been Fisher and Clowney. Being a football nerd myself, its a huge deal, but in the grand scene of things Mariota knows he isn’t going first overall, which is a good thing, because the further you fall the better team you will get to play for, and the less pressure to turn a franchise around single handedly.

    Thats why Mariota will be a better NFL QB than Winston, neither have the talent to be a one man team, and Mariota is only slightly below Winston and thats only because of system fits, which is irrelevant if you get drafted as a system QB anyways so, Mariota is going to do Mariota and he is a chill guy from Hawaii so when the chips are down he will be a calming presence on offense(where it is needed, only the defense needs to be fired up, offense needs to be relaxed and focused)

  17. I fully agree with Mariota. It doesn’t matter to anyone but the hype machines. The past few years have only created hacks, busts and prima donna’s out of many of the top picks. Yes, I am not saying all, but we have enough RGme’s, Johnny “cant play” Football’s and sidelined due to injury superstars out of college.

    Trade away your top picks for more 2nd and 3rd rounder’s and let the teams distracted by shiny objects worry about top picks.

  18. On a more important note….. The Kansas City Chiefs will aboltely O W N the draft, and pick up the few final pieces to the ynasty team John Dorsey an Andy Reid have assembled.Be pepared to view the Chifs in MULTPLE super Bowls over the next decade.
    2015 season:
    12-4 record
    top 5 offense
    Top 10 defense
    Chiefs nation Rockin the the world LOUDEST…….. Arrowhead Stadium!!!!

  19. You have to take everything with a grain of salt before the draft.

    Teams that covet him, are going to trash to him anonymously

    Teams that what their competitors to move up and grab him, are going to praise him on the record.

  20. The more I see from this kid, the more I want my Titans to take him with their No. 2 pick.

  21. Teams just want him to be passionate about “being the best” player he can possibly be. And for some folks that means being the first player picked in a draft. Because those people, crazy as it may sound, think that if you aren’t picked first overall then that must mean you aren’t the best.

    That is an insane way to look at it. Draft order rarely (if ever) reflects the true quality of player. Actually, Peyton Manning is the only #1 pick that could really be part of that conversation. Maybe Earl Campbell??

  22. On a more important note….. The Kansas City Chiefs will aboltely O W N the draft, and pick up the few final pieces to the ynasty team John Dorsey an Andy Reid have assembled.Be pepared to view the Chifs in MULTPLE super Bowls over the next decade.
    2015 season:
    12-4 record
    top 5 offense
    Top 10 defense
    Chiefs nation Rockin the the world LOUDEST…….. Arrowhead Stadium!!!!

    WELL SAID!!!

  23. This couldn’t possibly be misinformation, I mean surely multiple front office types are going to be completely open and honest regarding how they feel about a highly rated prospect…..

  24. What he should have said was “Why would I want to go 1st? That would mean I’m going to the Very Worst team in the league!”

  25. It seems a lot of NFL Clubs have dumb thoughts during the draft process. Who Cares if Mariota doesn’t care if he is the #1 overall pick. What does it matter. How does that in any way mean he will not be a good NFL player???

  26. Since Tampa Bay is the only team with the top pick, they should be the only team with any reason for concern that Mariota is uninterested in whether he is the top pick. Sounds like the other teams are trying to lower Mariota’s stock so that he slips to their draft slot.

  27. What the NFL Clubs imply by leaking this information.

    Bucs: We were going to take you Mariota, but you didn’t BS enough about wanting to be the top pick.

    Mariota: I want to be the top pick.

    Bucs: Well, why didn’t you say so…Of course we will take you #1.


    Bucs: Yes, we are going to go with an immature kid because he has experience in a pro system.

    Mariota: I didn’t want to go to the Bucs anyway.

  28. John Elway made it clear he didn’t want to play for the Colts, but they picked him #1 anyway.

    Eli Manning also didn’t want to be picked #1. Archie even sent letters, saying “don’t pick my kid”. Chargers picked him #1 anyway.

    Sure, this situation is different for Eli because the Chargers already had a deal with the Giants.

    But otherwise, both of them went to teams they felt would fit them best. Both won more than one Super Bowl. One is in the HoF.

    Teams should consider how smart the player is, not how much vanity the player has.

  29. At least he didn’t pull an Eli and say he “refused to be a #1 pick” haha.

  30. Whether you are pick #1 or pick #100, it doesnt matter. What matters is what you do after you are drafted and making the most of the opportunity you are given.

    There is nothing wrong at all with what Mariotta said.

  31. My personal feeling is that Mariota already comes off as being shy and not very firey, and when he says something as benign as this it gives the impression that he’s not as much of a competitor who wants to win badly like other QB’s would have. He may be a real competitor and an outgoing guy in his personal life, but when you say you don’t care about being the top pick it comes across as apathetic.

  32. And I am sure Mariota will downplay the displeasure of these clubs because obviously they are searching for a reason to not pick him.

  33. Yes, you don’t want someone like Kwame Harris. When he was being interviewed for the draft and a commentator told him that someone called him soft and question his ability. He basically said ok. That is not what you want in a football player.

    That is not what I see in Mariota. I see a person who has not let his ego overrun his view of his place in the world.

    Lastly, we all know how excited Johnny Football was!

  34. You’re damned if you do & damned if you don’t, it seems, in our society today. If he was spouting off in interviews that being the #1 overall pick was a huge deal to him, he would be labeled arrogant & hasn’t earned his spot in the NFL. So he plays it down as anyone with a little class would. What does he get for his humility? I, personally, can’t make sense of why any ball club would have a problem with what he said as long as they read his comments in the context in which they were given.

  35. Probably the people most upset by Mariota’s comments are agents….as they want to be able to lobby for their players being the first pick so they can glean more money out of the deal….and more commissions for them. If money isn’t a motivating factor for collegians in the draft, then other than stroking their egos, being 1st pick only means that they’re most likely going to be playing for the worst team in the league. Money aside, being picked near the bottom of the 1st round seems like an ideal draft position to me, because it means you’re being drafted by a good team, and if they’re drafting you in the 1st round, that means they need someone who plays your position.

  36. So are teams going to hold it against Winston (should the Bucs not pick him) for saying almost the exact same thing?

    When the Bucs website asked Winston the same question during his visit he said, “It’s not really important for me to be the first pick, but it is important to me to be picked.”

    At least what Mariota said makes sense as far as finding a team that really wants him. Jameis’ comment doesn’t really make any sense, because he is obviously going to be picked by someone at some point in the draft.

  37. I wonder which teams were actually displeased or why that really mattered. What if it were the Colts picking first, would Mariotta or Winston even be in the running for the first overall pick? Probably not and everyone would know that.
    By this logic, every player from the second pick to the last pick that does not say he wants to be the number one pick displeases multiple clubs? Truthfully I think the players feel as long as they get picked and have the opportunity to play in the NFL is a great thing.

  38. The NFL is full of egotistical owners and executives. Of course they don’t like it when someone admits to them that being the first overall pick doesn’t mean much.

  39. The guy is more interested in playing in the NFL and getting a fair shake than all the hype of being picked #1. What is wrong with that? Being #1 and you are under the microscope.

  40. If he would have made a big deal out of number 1 then they would have said something else.

  41. If he says he wants to be #1 overall and isn’t picked, he’s calling whatever team DOES draft him his “second choice”.

    I’m impressed that he was wise enough to say what he did. It was the right answer.

  42. This goes into the most ridiculous file. I love how football people say, “He doesn’t LOVE football” if a person has other interests. This is the same thing here. What do they want him to say, that his world would be ended if he isn’t drafted #1? This is a choice or decision he has absolutely no control over – none. It is a shame that teams use that kind of criteria to grade players because it is way off.

  43. This is the time of year when GM’s over analyze stuff. I have no problem with what was said. Even had he said being selected first overall is not as important as fit, I would have been fine with that as well.

  44. His comments make perfect sense. All he is saying is that he’s humble and does not feel the need to weigh in on his potential draft spot. Unlike recent jack wagons it’s quite refreshing actually.

  45. Character matters.

    So many of these guys are total prima donnas…. sure, everybody wants to be the top pick, but if you’re in the top 10, you’re still a millionaire, and if you last more than 5 years and are any good, (especially a quarterback), you’re going to be a multi-multi millionaire…..

    A lot of this is simple arrogance…., I like Mariota’s attitude.

  46. I don’t buy any negative comments about this guy coming from the media. Wasn’t the last Mariota article about how he was tumbling down the draft?

    GMs will say anything in hopes they will get their guy.

  47. Maybe if he got invited to Tampa before Winston he would have cared more. It’s obvious Tampa is taking Winston.

  48. Anybody that thinks that Mariota is the type of person to manufacture where he wants to go by “tanking” in his interviews obviously doesn’t know much about him.

    If you asked this kid a question that he couldn’t answer honestly, he would decline to answer instead of being dishonest.

  49. @rcali

    After i read your comment about Joey Harrington & it got me thinking about Oregon qbs. Unless I’m forgetting someone Dan Fouts was the last legit NFL qb Oregon put in the NFL. I was in grade school when he retired. Anyone that’s old enough to remember Fouts knows how long ago that was. I don’t wanna bet against Mariota but smart money would.

  50. Sounds like his comments have been misconstrued. So what’s new.

    Wish him well. Probably best to go to a Team that has a good team and not dependent on a #1 pick!!

  51. Mariota’s response: I want to be drafted by the team that wants me most.

    If a team does not want him for that response, then they are looking for an excuse to not draft him. There is nothing wrong at all with that answer.

  52. I thought I saw Tom Brady at the bank cashing his paycheck and crying on Giselle’s shoulder that he wasn’t a number one pick.

  53. Chip has already proven his system can’t beat the NFL with stiffs. Marriota knows he probably fails in any other system other than Chip’s. A match of two guys who have never won anything.

  54. His answer was perfect, experience should told you that the first pick rarely makes a difference if the team is not a good fit. Also I think of last year’s first pick, and what he has contributed to his team, much less the last five years of first picks.

  55. NFL teams, especially those picking high in the draft, are often run by morons and frequently this is due to nepotism. I’m sure Mariota couldn’t care less if he’s offended some billionaire’s sister’s kid.

  56. These clowns are the same ones that passed on Tom Brady 5x. Whoever has a problem with what he said, id tell them fine dont pick me then, then ill beat your team everytime I play you.

  57. Mariota’s nonchalance with being drafted No.1 shows his non-interest in playing professional football for the money — that is all that being No.1 is about. More important, I think, is the fact that versus Jameis Winston/FSU (the “pro-style” guy) in January’s Rose Bowl, it was Mariota (the “spread” guy) who came out on top to the score 59-20, and thereby winning the coveted Rose Bowl MVP. That is all that truly matters.

  58. Sounds to me like he isn’t competitive. The guy has shown throughout his college career he can’t win the tough games (Stanford, ohio state). I’m sorry but give me a guy that will do anything to win over a guy that just wants to lay back and do everything right.
    If you’re a manager looking to hire someone for a position that is sales based, would you hire the laid back guy that is good but never has been at the top of the standings or the guy that comes across as hungry and will do anything to be first? I’m taking the guy that’s hungry all day, you can cut him and cover your own butt, but you’re going to hit goals and have a shot to do something special with that guy.

  59. This sounds like garbage noise being floated by teams hoping to dissuade other teams drafting higher from taking him – so he can fall to them. *cough*Eagles*cough*

    “Oh he’s no good for you, this is not the QB you were looking for…

    …but I’ll take him!”

  60. I liked his response; articulate and thoughtful.

    He didn’t murder the grammar and dislocate his arm patting himself on the back which is somewhat refreshing.

    I’ll give him a thumbs up!

  61. Not being the number one pick has worked out terribly for guys like Aaron Rodgers.
    His career would have so much better if he went as early as everyone expected.

    Of course being #1 sure helped guys like Purple Drank Russell and Sam Bradford (each for obvious different reasons). But the days of the #1 pick getting insane money based purely on expectations are over.

    It absolutely makes sense for a player to hope they don’t get selected by a certain team these days.

  62. Why would anyone want to play for a team that is coached by a fool. Lovie, GD, Smith, is clownshoes. He is more suited for parking cars or shinning shoes.

  63. He is smarter than everyone thinks, he would rather be playing for a good franchise, it’s not about what pick you are it’s about the rings. Look at Brady and Wilson do you think they would have rather been a number one pick. I don’t think so. When I look at this top 6 I think he might want to go back to school. Chip will trade Bradford to the Titans and Mariota will be an Eagle. You can bank on that.

    1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    2 Tennessee Titans
    3 Jacksonville Jaguars
    4 Oakland Raiders
    5 Washington Redskins
    6 New York Jets

  64. all he is saying is that if he goes 1 great if he goes later he will still be in the NFL.
    Last year johnny football sat there looking sick at not being chosen, Marcus will not feel like that.
    He will go in and work just as hard as a #20 as he would a number 1.
    He knows he has work to do , why not just leave him alone and allow him to enjoy life.
    You enjoy arrogance you got johny football, look what it got you , lets see in five years where , Mariotta , Mansiel or Winston are .

  65. Lovie has such an amazing history of developing all-time great quarterbacks like Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton though. Jay Cutler also improved so much under his watch. Who wouldn’t want to play quarterback for him?

  66. So Mariota is humble and has no off field issues and that’s a problem. Winston has had countless off field issues and may be a rapist and that’s not a problem. Mariota is a great athlete that throws touchdowns and very few interceptions. Winston is slower than a DT and throws lots of interceptions. Of course the “experts” have Winston rated as clearly the best QB because he went to a school with a pro style offense. I now understand why there are so many bad teams. They hired the same experts.

  67. Sounds to me like he isn’t competitive. The guy has shown throughout his college career he can’t win the tough games (Stanford, ohio state). I’m sorry but give me a guy that will do anything to win over a guy that just wants to lay back and do everything right.
    Yeah… he sure disappointed in that game against FSU and some Jameis Winston guy

  68. Ask the 2012 3rd round QB pick what he thought of being number 1. Oh wait, he was number 1 in 2013, and nearly again in 2014. Still, he’s got the best first 3 year QB rating and wins in history.

    Not Brady. Not Manning.

    Only Russell Wilson has achieved more than any NFL QB ever his first 3 years. So much for being picked in the 1st round, much less 1st.

  69. Tomorrow or a week from ow he may reply to the same question slightly different and everyone in the NFL will feel better. Their little feelings will be all healed up.

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