ITEM: Marcus Mariota won the 80th Heisman Trophy yesterday by the 2nd biggest percentage in NCAA history. COMMENT: It may have been the worst thing to happen to the Oregon quarterback! Past Heisman Trophy winners have had a notorious reputation of being busts in the National Football League. In fact, one would have to go all the way back to 1997 to find the last Heisman Trophy winner who has had success in the NFL…Charles Woodson, who won the award as a defensive back! He is in his 17th year and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Most of the other Heisman Trophy winners have not had very much success at the professional level…in fact, six of them are not even in football anymore and one, Jason White of Oklahoma (who won the award in 2003) was not even drafted! From 2006 through 2008, those three Heisman Trophy winners (Ohio State’s Troy Smith, Florida’s Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford of Oklahoma) have played only four years each. The brittle Bradford has played in only 49 of 64 games and is missing all of 2014.
Winning this year’s Heisman Trophy does not automatically ensure Mariota the number one selection in the 2015 draft, although the top five teams vying for the number one selection could all use a quarterback of Mariota’s caliber. The Jets, Titans, Jaguars, Raiders and Redskins could all be looking for a new signal caller (if Washington decides to jettison Robert Griffin III and go in another direction). Mariota’s statistics are certainly impressive: 3,783 passing yards, 38 touchdowns, 14 rushing TDs, and only two interceptions. That, however, does not guarantee him a top-ten draft selection or a starting job. Just ask Johnny Manziel, who did not go in the 2014 1st round until number 22.
Mariota has some more business to finish before he worries about the upcoming draft. The native Hawaiian will lead the Oregon Ducks into the first-ever college football playoff as they meet the defending National Champion Florida State Seminoles and 2013 Heisman winner Jameis Winston in the Rose Bowl. If they survive that game, Mariota and Oregon will face either Alabama or Ohio State in the College Football Championship game. That is a pretty tall order for any quarterback, let alone the Heisman Trophy winner!