It's the job of NFL scouts, and by extension, the general managers that oversee them, to find flaws in college prospects.
They all have them -- some more obvious than others -- and a failure to identify them correctly can manifest itself into a wasted draft pick. As such, even the elite prospects that are considered surefire first-round draft picks will get their share of scrutiny, even if it's more microscopic -- or myopic -- in nature.
Enter Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, who has 24 touchdowns to only one interception this season, but might be too nice for the NFL, according to one NFL scout. Yep, too nice.
"Like if you punched him in the stomach, he might apologize to you," the scout told Sports Illustrated. "I just don't know if he's that alpha male that you're looking for. The kid's kind of a fly on the wall kind of guy. Physically, he's really talented, but it's going to take a little time. If you're expecting him to come in and be your savior year one, I don't think that's going to be it."
Mariota gave some consideration to leaving Oregon early for the NFL last year, and as a fourth-year junior, he'll face the same choice again this winter. His decision to return has certainly worked out well for the Ducks, who remain in contention for the College Football Playoff at 7-1. He's completed 150 of 218 passes, nearly a 70 percent clip, for 2,283 yards.
It's fair to say he has the college game well-mastered. But when it comes to scouting evaluations by NFL clubs considering a first-round investment, even the nuttiest kind of scrutiny is fair, too.
"He's got all the physical talent in the world," the scout said. "He's a good kid, too. You don't have to worry about him off the field. All you've got to worry about is he too nice?"
All Mariota can do is keep throwing touchdown passes. And be a little more grumpy about it.