The Reese's Senior Bowl might not be the only opportunity to perform for NFL scouts that Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota passes on. The Heisman Trophy winner said he is unsure if he will throw passes at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis next month, due to an injury he suffered in the Ducks' national championship loss to Ohio State.
"Right now we're still making that decision, whether to throw at the combine. I had to kinda rest about a week-and-a-half," Mariota said, according to staradvertiser.com. "I sprained the AC (shoulder) joint. But now, I'm able to throw. Feels good."
Mariota reportedly injured his throwing shoulder when he was driven to the ground by Ohio State star defensive end Joey Bosa. He missed a play after taking the hit. The Buckeyes won 42-20 as Mariota completed 24 of 37 passes for 333 yards and two scores.
Mariota, who has been projected as a top-10 pick in the initial mock draft of NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah, has a little more than three weeks to prepare before the combine begins on Feb. 17. Given Mariota's status as arguably the top quarterback available in the 2015 NFL Draft, it was of little surprise that he opted to pass on the Senior Bowl. If the shoulder injury is a consideration for Mariota's combine readiness, presumably it was a factor in his Senior Bowl decision, too. If he chooses not to throw at the combine, attention and scrutiny on his performance at Oregon's pro-day workout will be heavy, to say the least.
Mariota led Oregon to a 13-2 record, passing for 4,454 yards as a fourth-year junior with 42 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. He was one of 10 underclassmen who have earned a degree to file for 2015 NFL Draft eligibility.