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The Rams Should Draft Marcus Mariota, If He Falls To Them

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Making the case for the fleet-footed Oregon QB to head to St. Louis.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Anything can happen during the NFL Draft. Every year, there are surprising picks and players that fall in the draft that no one expects. Not knowing what to expect makes mock drafts interesting, because there's no right or wrong. It's just alternate ways decisions can be made.

That's why the most recent mock draft from Charles Davis at NFL.com was interesting to me. In his mock, he has Oregon QB Marcus Mariota falling to the Rams at 10, which was a surprise. I get it. it was just a mock draft, but drafting Mariota is an option that rarely has been mentioned.

Mariota is an interesting quarterback option in the draft. If you ask any of the "draft experts," he is ranked below Jameis Winston, but it is hard to pinpoint where Mariota will fall in the draft. The biggest issue that Mariota faces is arguably based on the offensive system that he ran in college - the Ducks run a quarterback-friendly system that specializes in creating opportunity for receivers to get open. Basically, the quarterback has wider windows to throw between, and the offensive uptempo speed helps to generate points and favorable matchups.

Lots of teams need a quarterback, but just like in last year's draft when Teddy Bridgewater (some people had him as a top quarterback) fell in the draft, it's reasonable to assume that the same can happen with Mariota.

The Rams do have a new quarterback in Nick Foles. Foles did have a great year in 2013, but in 2014 his performance went downhill and he finished the season on injury reserve. Just like former Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, the jury is still out on Foles. He could be a short-term option since this is his final season under contract.

The Rams would be a good place for Mariota to develop though. With Foles on the roster, there would not be a need to play Mariota early, and the Rams could redshirt his rookie season. As a backup, he would watch Foles and slowly start learning the pro game. The Rams would not have to worry about Foles being upset, because he knows he is playing for a starting role even if it is not with the Rams. Drafting Mariota would be a good selection for both parties involved if he does fall to 10.

Do you want to know more about Mariota? Here's a podcast from Daniel Jeremiah at NFL.com on scouting and interviewing people about the quarterback position.