Marcus Mariota was a hot name in rookie of the year talks early in the season. However, the Tennessee Titans play caller fell out of the public eye when he was injured for two games in the middle of the season.
The national media tends to go with whatever is shiniest at the moment and during those weeks it was Amari Cooper and Todd Gurley. While both a good looking young players, only one player in this draft looks like he has the chance to be the single driving force behind a franchise: Marcus Mariota.
Here are two sites that haven't taken the bait and who have an eye on the right guy.
In a story here, the NFL Mocks crew said that:
"Just six short games into his NFL career, and it's already abundantly clear that Marcus Mariota is the real. Freaking. Deal. Mariota already has multiple games with four touchdown passes, and he's thrown for two or more in 4-of-5 games this season."
"Though the order of these rankings mean nothing to me at this point, I think for my money, Mariota's been the most impressive rookie already this season."
It is hard to argue with that because most of it is just fact. Mariota has been ultra efficient and his numbers compared to Jameis Winston are laughable at this point. Mariota looks like the Real. Freaking. Deal. Like the previous writer said.
If you aren't familiar with the analytic site, go get familiar. They do a lot of great work and put out some pretty interesting statistics and breakdowns. This week they posted a story about their award winners at this point this year.
They are in love with Marcus Mariota and they make no qualms about it. They opened up the rookie of the year article like this:
"This was a really easy pick and required no trickery. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota had a ridiculous debut on opening day and has been putting up good stats for a QB on such a bad team."
While that isn't flattering for the Titans, it is a ringing endorsement for Marcus Mariota. The biggest compliment may be a chart that they posted that shows how well a team will do when their starting quarterback is out. Marcus Mariota's like is very similar to one of the best quarterbacks of all time.
"Mariota’s line is strikingly similar to Rodgers’s! Of course, the latter came over a larger number of games (played nine and missed seven), but this does raise the tantalizing possibility that Mariota may be an elite-level QB already."
Go look up the story and check it out, they have a lot of great and interesting takes there.