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NFL executive: Marcus Mariota could tumble like Aaron Rodgers

With uncertainty at the quarterback position, the New York Jets are believed to be among the NFL clubs with an interest in Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota as a first-round draft pick. The Jets hold the No. 6 overall pick and have deployed evaluators for a private workout with him.

According to one NFL personnel man, the Jets' interest had better be high, for Mariota's sake.

"If [Mariota] doesn't go in the top six picks, he could do an Aaron Rodgers," the source told Yahoo Sports.

Rodgers, of course, tumbled in the 2005 NFL Draft after many had projected him to be chosen in the top 10. Instead, he fell all the way to the Green Bay Packers at No. 24 overall. Alex Smith went No. 1 overall, but no quarterback was drafted thereafter until the Packers found Rodgers too talented to pass on. Though Green Bay had no need for a quarterback at the time with future Hall of Famer Brett Favre as a starter, the selection of Rodgers proved to be shrewd.

The implication is that if the Jets pass on Mariota at No. 6, it could be a long while before anyone else decides to invest a pick in a quarterback. So which teams might be interested if the Jets aren't?

The Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, and New Orleans Saints are the only three teams that have a need at the quarterback position and hold a first-round choice that comes after the Jets' pick. Cleveland and New Orleans have two first-round picks each, Cleveland's at Nos. 12 and 19, New Orleans' at Nos. 13 and 31. Denver picks at No. 28.

But in all three of those cases, the general managers have a compelling reason not to spend a first-round pick on a quarterback. Cleveland just did so a year ago with Johnny Manziel, and despite the off-field issues that have put an early cloud over his career, it would be highly unusual for a team to pick a first-round quarterback in back-to-back years. New Orleans and Denver, meanwhile, have star-quality veteran starters in Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. And though both are old enough that their teams might be wise to consider a 2005 Packers-like move in the first round, there are more pressing personnel needs for both.

The X-factor? The Philadelphia Eagles, of course.

"If he gets past the top six, it could be out of the top 10 to whatever point the Eagles trade up for him," the source added.

Chip to the rescue?

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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