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Marcus Mariota open to getting drafted by any NFL team

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota drew the largest crowd of any player at the NFL Scouting Combine, and left the throngs of cameras and reporters standing around Lucas Oil Stadium with one message: he's happy with any team in the NFL.

"It doesn't really affect me at all," Mariota said. "All I can really control is how I prepare and get ready for whatever team picks me.


» Mock drafts: Mariota to Jets | Mariota to Buccaneers | Mariota to Chiefs


"Any player will stand in front of you and say they're confident in their abilities and I'm no different. I feel like what I've been able to do at the University of Oregon and been able to learn has prepared me for this level."

Mariota is considered by most evaluators to be the second-best quarterback available in the 2015 NFL Draft and is one of the candidates, along with Florida State's Jameis Winston, to be taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the first overall pick in Chicago.

It didn't appear to be a big deal at all to the Ducks' Heisman Trophy winner where he went in the first round, and Mariota certainly seemed open to there being some truth to the rumors that his former college coach, the Philadelphia Eagles' Chip Kelly, would trade the farm in order to get him in the draft.

"Why not?" Mariota remarked with a smile. "That would be a fun opportunity."

New Cleveland Browns quarterback coach Kevin O'Connell was working with the dual-threat quarterback extensively before accepting the job in Cleveland. Such a logical destination of a quarterback-needy team was met with open arms by Mariota, who essentially endorsed a chance to go to what has been a quarterback graveyard.

"It's all out of our hands and we won't know until draft day," Mariota said. "That would be an awesome opportunity though. I would love to play for the Browns."

Where Mariota ends up is anyone's guess at this point in the pre-draft process, but it seems fairly clear that the prolific college standout is happy no matter where he winds up.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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