Oregon pro day: Marcus Mariota faces key workout, interviews

One of the most heavily attended pro days of the spring will commence Thursday, when an Oregon draft class led by Marcus Mariota will be on display for NFL coaches and scouts. Joining Mariota will be defensive end Arik Armstead, tackle Jake Fisher and a number of other top prospects.



But for Mariota, who is expected to be an early first-round pick and eventually a brand-name player for an NFL franchise, what he does with a football won't be as important as what he shows in his post-workout interviews.

Throwing passes to uncovered wide receivers in a scripted session, Mariota should show scouts everything they already know he has: accuracy, arm strength, athleticism and a quick release. The questions NFL scouts have about Mariota -- namely, his ability to operate from a huddle, from under center, and within pro-style offensive concepts -- can't be answered in a pro-day workout.

It's in the interview process, which began last month at the NFL Scouting Combine -- and will continue through pro day and leading up to the draft -- where NFL clubs will see how much of a learning curve Mariota will face in his first year as a pro. Mariota is expected to get some extra attention from the Tennessee Titans on Thursday, who hold the No. 2 overall pick, following his workout. More so than the Titans' impression of Mariota on the field, their interaction with him after his workout could play a role in whether they make him the second pick of the draft.

Fortunately for Mariota, he got a crash course in interviewing with NFL clubs at the combine.

Handling any subsequent questions clubs might have at his pro day should be easy by comparison.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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