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Report: Multiple clubs displeased Mariota has downplayed meaning of being top pick

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota answers a question during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


In a recent interview with the Buccaneers’ website, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota said the prospect of being the No. 1 overall pick wasn’t a “huge thing” to him.

Apparently, this notion has not sat well with some folks around the NFL.

According to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, “more than a few teams” have frowned upon Mariota’s viewpoint regarding the potential of being the top selection.

It’s unclear why the clubs have an issue with Mariota’s comments.

Nevertheless, it’s important to view Mariota’s views in their proper context, to listen to what he was asked and how he responded.

Here is the question Mariota was asked by writer Scott Smith:

“The draft’s just a little bit ahead now. If the Buccaneers did make that pick, that would be the first pick in the draft, something only a few men every year have a shot at. Is that something that’s important to you?”

Here was Mariota’s response:

“You know, being the first pick, to me, it’s not a huge thing. You know, I’d love to play for the Bucs. But that being said, you know, I think if you find a team that wants you, that’s going to be the right team. I’m looking forward to kind of marketing myself and finding that team.”

The question was fair, and Mariota’s response was reasoned. Let us consider the line he must walk. What do teams want him to say — that he burns to be the No. 1 pick and only the top pick? What happens if he is not the first selection? Why risk offending other potential employers? And shouldn’t Mariota be concerned primarily with finding the best possible fit when it comes to getting his first NFL job?

Mariota’s rational response shouldn’t be held against him. If anything, it should be viewed as a positive. After all, the NFL does want logical sorts playing the game’s most important position, right?

Doesn’t it?