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Joe Namath: New York Jets should draft Marcus Mariota

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Count New York Jets icon Joe Namath among those who wants to see Oregon's Marcus Mariota play for the Jets.


» Redskins might be open to trading down from No. 5 pick


Jets coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday morning that Jameis Winston would work out for the team, but with Winston expected to be taken No. 1 overall, New York seems far more likely to be able to grab Mariota with the sixth overall pick. Namath hopes they do.

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"Yeah, I would take him," Namath told Metro New York newspaper. "I don't believe he's going to be sitting there (at No. 6). I don't. But yeah, I would take him."

Currently, the Jets have holdover starter Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick, whom they acquired in a trade this month. Neither ever will be confused with Namath in his prime, though Bowles and Jets owner Woody Johnson recently threw their support behind Smith as their starting QB.

Most analysts believe Mariota's background in a spread offense means he is going to have a steep learning curve once he gets to the NFL. Namath said he wasn't sure if Mariota would be ready to start right away, but he still is impressed.

"You've got to sit down and look at every bit of tape," he told Metro. "I don't know how many of us fans have actually seen Mariota run 900 plays and how he's reacted in various situations. I don't know if any of us know the plays called ahead of time for the quarterback that weren't good calls.

"But there's no doubt that the kid can play."

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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