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Marcus Mariota fails to impress NFL onlookers at Oregon Pro Bowl - draft stock takes hit

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At the turn of the year Marcus Mariota was vying with Jameis Winston as the potential number one overall pick ahead of this year's NFL Draft.

Slip sliding

The Oregon quarterback though has slipped back in the pecking order behind his former Florida State Seminoles rival in recent times  - largely due to circumstances, actions and opinions out of his control.

Now though it appears that Mariota may have just fallen victim to his first self-inflicted set back after events on Thursday afternoon.

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Thursday marked the Oregon football program Pro Day - a chance for NFL scouts, head coaches and officials to cast their eye over the stars of the College Football Playoff runner ups. 

Marcus Mariota was of course the star tern but, according to those present at the event, the quarterback failed to impress onlookers with some even arguing he had harmed his draft stock with a lacklustre display.

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Some of the words used to describe Mariota's Pro Day performance included; "Underwhelming", "rough", "nervous" and "mechanical."

Hardly the lexicon you would expect (or hope for) as you bid to be picked amongst the top five come Draft Day.

With many experts considering Jameis Winston a near lock for number one pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the fact the Tennessee Titans, holders of the second pick, were there in force yesterday could prove critical as the franchise weighs up their options.

If the Titans do pass on Mariota it is unclear just who would be next to take a punt on the no-huddle offense expert.

There has been talk of the Jets at six or even the possibility that he falls to number nine (Cleveland Browns) or potentially even as far as the New Orleans Saints at number 13.

Every cloud 

Marcus Mariota was critical of his own performance in front of the scouts yesterday - admitting "there were some misthrows here and there" - and he may be the latest player to suffer from the curse of the Pro Day.

But it doesn't spell certain disaster for the quarterback. Indeed there is a recent example that could help him no end

Teddy Bridgewater is the perfect example of what happens when you overanalyze the Pro Day. He, like Mariota, had enjoyed a stellar final year of college football and was touted as an NFL ready QB with the talent to go far.

That was before a Pro Day in which his choice of gloves became the major talking point. Bridgewater saw his stock slip from top five to the final pick of the first round and the Minnesota Vikings are very glad it worked out that way after the QB's solid rookie season.

Mariota too still has his individual workouts to restore faith in any franchises wavering on his NFL ability after a difficult afternoon.

What do you think NFL fans? Is Mariota playing himself out of a high draft pick, and where will he end up? Let us know in the comments section below...

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