It’s always been a long shot that former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota would slip too far in this year’s NFL Draft, which means the Chiefs — who draft No. 18 — are essentially out of the running.
However, at least one draft analyst has argued that Mariota would be a good fit for Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s offense, and when asked about Mariota on Tuesday at the NFL’s annual meetings, Reid noted that he has heard plenty of good things about the 6-foot-4, 222 pound Heisman Trophy winner.
“I didn’t get an opportunity to visit with him, but I’ll tell ya, he’s a pretty good player,” Reid said. “From afar, I listen to what his teammates say — I’ve got one on my team (De’Anthony Thomas) — and he goes, ’This guy is unbelievable.’ Great leader, great person.
“Again, this is from afar, but I didn’t see any red flags. I’m going, ‘This guy here, you’ve got to take a serious look at because he sounds like a pretty good player.’”
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Reid was then asked whether Mariota’s ex-teammates vouching would be enough to consider taking him, provided he needed a quarterback.
“Yeah, if I were in position to draft him — which I’m not,” Reid said. “He’s going to go much higher than where I’m at. I would try to spend as much time with him as a possibly could to see if he could fit into what we’re doing.”
Mariota is widely considered to be the No. 2 quarterback in this draft class behind Florida State’s Jameis Winston. Both are considered to be the only first-round talents at the position in this year’s draft.
The Chiefs currently have five quarterbacks on the roster: Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Aaron Murray, Tyler Bray and Terrelle Pryor.
Smith signed a four year, $68 million extension shortly before last season.