With the second pick in Pride Of Detroit's 2015 NFL mock draft, the Tennessee Titans select Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Detroit_fan is serving as the Titans' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
I went back and forth on this pick quite a bit. I wanted to pick Leonard Williams; I think he could be a disruptive force on the Tennessee defensive line and allow them to do a lot defensively. Then I would look at the Titans' depth chart and see Zach Mettenberger, Charlie Whitehurst and Alex Tanney, not exactly a who's who of the NFL's top quarterbacks. If this was the old CBA, I don't know that I would risk such a huge amount of money in Mariota, but under the new CBA, I think you can take a chance on a top QB without worrying about setting your franchise back five years.
Marcus Mariota has the tools to succeed in the NFL -- good arm strength, he can move to avoid pressure, he's smart, hard-working and by all accounts a good leader. In 41 career starts, he rushed for 15 touchdowns and passed for 105 against just 14 interceptions. His list of accomplishments is impressive: Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Davey O'Brien National QB Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year, Associated Press Player of the Year, Walter Camp first-team All-America, Associated Press first-team All-American, Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and 2015 Rose Bowl Offensive MVP. Working with Ken Whisenhunt will be key for Mariota. He will need to learn a more complicated NFL offense while dealing with NFL defenses that are significantly faster and better than those he faced in college. He has all the physical and mental abilities to do it; only time will tell if he puts in the hard work to make it happen.
Check out the 2015 POD Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.