Former NFL head coach Tony Dungy had some high praise for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, the presumed top pick in the NFL draft, comparing the Heisman Trophy winner to the best quarterback in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers.
Dungy, who is a semifinalist for next year’s pro football Hall of Fame class, was a guest on “The Dan Patrick Show,” when he was asked about Mariota.
“Marcus Mariota is a fantastic player. He is going to be a great pro … Not only is he going to be a great quarterback, he’s going to be a great person, face of the franchise for whoever takes him. I think this is Aaron Rodgers in the waiting.”
Dungy has a unique perspective as a Super Bowl winning coach. However, Dungy has also seen Mariota up close at games and in practice as Dungy’s son was a teammate of Mariota at Oregon for three years.
Dungy was also asked if Mariota’s personality (“he’s shy”) is going to be a problem in the NFL.
Dungy explained that it could be a problem if he is drafted by “a market that eats you up like a New York or a Philadelphia.” However, if Mariota is drafted by a team like the Tampa Bay Bucs, who are in line to have the top pick in the draft, Dungy said “he’s going to be perfect, and he’s going to be fine, and he’s going to grow into [being able to handle the media].”
“[If I am the GM with the first pick] I’m taking Marcus Mariota in a heartbeat and I’m excited to have him,” said Dungy.
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