It is official, Marcus Mariota has declared for the 2015 NFL Draft. The announcement was made via the Oregon Ducks’ website, where the QB released the following statement.

“After meeting with my family I have decided to forego my final year of eligibility and apply for the 2015 NFL Draft. My four years at the University of Oregon have been an awesome experience. I cannot thank Coach Kelly, Coach Helfrich, Coach Frost, the rest of the Oregon coaches and the support staff enough for molding me as a person, player and student-athlete. The support I received from the University, the city of Eugene and Duck fans has been tremendous. I will always remember the great times and support I received. Once a Duck always a Duck.

I will miss being with my teammates.  Being a part of this team was something special that I will always treasure.”

The Oregon QB was expected to leave the Ducks despite losing the national championship to Ohio State: of course, he is valued as a high first round pick after his Heisman winning 2014 season.


A week of sports news in your in-box.
We find the sports news you need to know, so you don't have to.

And he leaves college with plenty of Pac-12 records including total touchdowns (134), total yards (13,033), passing yards per attempt (9.3) and passer rating (171.8) — which the latter stat is 2nd all time in NCAA history behind Sam Bradford. As for his 2014 Heisman season, he shined with nearly 4,500 passing yards, 42 touchdowns, four interceptions, a passer rating of 181.7, 770 rushing yards, and 15 rushing touchdowns.

As for his actual draft stock, plenty of analysts believe he will be the first overall QB selected in the draft: but his name is currently interchangeable with Florida State’s Jameis Winston — who Marcus and the Oregon Ducks defeated in the opening playoff round.

Now, the main question is where will the star quarterback go? uSports went in depth about the same subject when Jameis declared at the beginning of the month. To reiterate, there are as many as nine teams who could draft a QB: it is just a matter of the right position and time. Specifically, four teams in the top ten need one — Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, New York Jets and St. Louis Rams — but will they be willing to give up such a high pick for Mariota or Winston? At least Marcus’ public image comes out of college unscathed, while Winston has had plenty of problems: and after the scandal heavy 2014 NFL season, Mariota has a real shot of going before the Florida State QB.

At the same time, it is still anyone’s guess. This is all speculation considering the season just ended and the two have not gone through the combine, pro days or team interviews. So stay tuned in the coming months to find out which quarterback will be drafted higher: the 2015 NFL Draft is set for April 30 in Chicago.

Read more about:
Listen to the uInterview Podcast!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!