Patriots: Evaluating Marcus Mariota’s fit in New England

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 17: Marcus Mariota #8 of the Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 17: Marcus Mariota #8 of the Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots need to find someone who can be an upgrade over Cam Newton at the quarterback position in 2021, and Bill Belichick could look to Las Vegas for his answer.

After Derek Carr’s fantastic 2020 season, the Raiders might decide to move off of backup Marcus Mariota, allowing him to seek starting jobs elsewhere.

Mariota, originally drafted by the Tennessee Titans after a fantastic career at Oregon, threw for 13,207 yards and 76 touchdowns against just 44 picks in 61 starts as a Titan. He also chipped in 1,487 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on the ground.

Ultimately, Mariota’s inability to win games with his arm alone and the emergence of Ryan Tannehill prompted Mike Vrabel to make the change and instill Tannehill as the starter.

While Mariota didn’t see the field often in Vegas, he is still just 27 and has plenty of proverbial gas left in the tank.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss mentioned the former Heisman Trophy winner and No. 2 overall pick as a potential solution for New England after his sabbatical as a backup in Vegas.

While he does have some warts, Mariota might be an intriguing opting for Belichick and Josh McDaniels to consider for 2021 and beyond.

Mariota might’ve fizzled out in Tennessee, but the poor receiving targets and coaching from such “savants” as Mike Mularkey, Terry Robiskie, and Ken Whisenhunt helped make him a very uneven quarterback. Mariota, when the offense took the training wheels off of him, showed why he was picked No. 2 overall.

Extremely accurate and athletic, Mariota can fire the ball anywhere inside of 20 yards with pinpoint precision, all the while using his legs to extend plays and take off on quick runs. While he struggled going deep early in his career, he made some strides in that area during the end of his Titans tenure.

Is it worth bringing Marcus Mariota to the Patriots?

For all the good Mariota could bring to a locker room, he doesn’t have the strongest arm in the world, nor the most cavalier attitude about taking chances down the field. Rather than throwing quick hitters and dump-offs all game long, New England could opt for someone with a little bit of a higher ceiling.

Mariota would be a solid fit in New England, as his accuracy and playmaking ability should help the New England offense rebound. However, throwing downfield has been a problem for him during his career, and the Patriots should look to add someone with better arm talent before they circle back on the Hawaiian gunslinger.

3 aggressive moves for New England. dark. Next