Name: Marcus Mariota
Vitals: 6-foot-4, 222 pounds.
Summary: The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, Mariota is one of the two best quarterbacks in the 2015 NFL draft class, along with Florida State's Jameis Winston. A three-year starter at Oregon, Mariota threw 105 touchdown passes and only 14 interceptions in 41 career starts; he also rushed for 29 scores. The quarterback's spectacular 2014 campaign included 4,454 passing yards, 42 touchdowns and four interceptions. Mariota and the Ducks fell short in the College Football Playoff National Championship versus Ohio State, but Mariota won MVP honors in Oregon's previous game, a victory over Florida State in the 2015 Rose Bowl that served as a College Football Playoff national semifinal (he was 26-of-36 passing for 338 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and one rushing touchdown). Not the most outspoken personality, but Oregon teammates speak highly of Mariota's leadership. No character red flags. Mariota is not scheduled to travel to Chicago for the draft. Some wonder how Mariota will transition from a spread offense at Oregon to a more traditional NFL offense where the quarterback is often required to take snaps from under center.
Fit: Bears general manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox are charged with fixing the Bears' quarterback problem. After six years, it's fairly obvious that Jay Cutler is not the long-term answer, despite the hefty contract he received courtesy of the old regime in January 2014. If Mariota somehow fell to No. 7, the Bears need to seriously consider taking him if they believe Mariota has the tools to be a successful NFL quarterback. The Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins and New York Jets all need help at quarterback, and all three teams pick before the Bears in the first round. It's unclear if the Bears would aggressively attempt to move up to snatch Mariota, considering they have so many other holes to fill. Is surrendering draft picks in a potential deal, even if a transaction allows the club to shed Cutler's contract, the right move for a franchise in rebuild mode? Regardless, the Bears need to add another quarterback to the mix. Jimmy Clausen is a decent No. 2 behind Cutler, but the whole group would benefit from increased competition.
Projection: ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. predicts Mariota will be drafted by the Jets at No. 6 in his 2015 NFL Mock Draft 3.0; ESPN NFL draft Analyst Todd McShay has Mariota going No. 2 overall to the Titans in his 2015 NFL Mock Draft 4.0.