NEW YORK (WFAN) — Before he was an NFL Network analyst or NFL head coach, Steve Mariucci coached quarterbacks.
Speaking to WFAN’s Mike Francesa on the eve of the NFL Draft, Mariucci shared his thoughts on the top quarterbacks in this year’s class, all of whom he has gotten to know in recent weeks.
Here’s what the former 49ers and Lions coach had to say:
Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina
“He’s only started 13 games, but he did play in 30. It’s not like that’s his only resume. He did play prior to that. I like him. If you’re a West Coast offense and you want to move the quarterback around, he and Deshaun Watson are similar in size, similar in skill set, the 40 times are similar, all of those things. And I think you have a good, young quarterback to groom as a West Coast offense, whether that is Hue Jackson (Cleveland), whether that’s at Kansas City or whoever wants to do that kind of an offense.”
Deshaun Watson, Clemson
“He’s a heck of a leader. You watch him play against Alabama, that guy’s a man.”
Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
“You see on tape the kid throws it 65 yards from his knees. He might have the strongest arm in this draft. Patrick Mahomes can sling it. Now, he’s not pretty. He’ll throw it sidearm. He’ll throw it any which way. He hasn’t set his feet yet. But this kid’s exciting. … Somebody’s going to corral this guy and get him a little bit more compact and more predictable and teach fundamentals with him. He’s a guy that likes to improvise. He likes to get out of the pocket. Man, he’s fun to watch.”
DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
The negative obviously is he went 4-8 at Notre Dame last year, OK? Played well, played poorly, played everything in between. He was inconsistent. But the kid is really smart now. … I like his confidence. I think he’s going to have to sit behind somebody and watch.
Davis Webb, California
“This guy is 6-4, 230, and he can run, and he threw for 4,300 yards as well.”
To listen to the interview, in which Mariucci also discusses running backs, failed drug tests and more, click on the audio player above.