Ken Whisenhunt says Marcus Mariota will be the Titans' starter if the team picks him in the draft.
Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt said that if Marcus Mariota falls to the Titans with the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft, he could be the team’s starter from day one.
The NFL draft will take place April 30-May 2 in Chicago.
Mariota, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, and Jameis Winston are expected to be the top two quarterbacks off the board in the draft.
Speaking Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona, Whisenhunt said the Titans were still evaluating their quarterback situation before admitting the team is fond of Mariota.
"I would hesitate to make any judgments like that until we’re finished with our evaluation," Whisenhunt said to SI's Don Banks. “But it’s hard to not be impressed with what he did in college ... If he comes to us at No. 2, if we pick him at No. 2, then you definitely think he’s going to be the Day 1 starter."
Whisenhunt further clarified his comments when asked again about Mariota.
"[I]f you draft a quarterback at No. 2, generally he’s going to be your day-one starter, because you’re investing in a young guy that high," he said. "There are not that many first or second picks at quarterback that don’t start [immediately] for you. Especially with where we are."
The Titans will reportedly have visits with Winston and Mariota, but no dates have been set for those visits.
Mariota has already visited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and said that being the draft’s top pick wasn’t a “huge thing” to him, adding “if you find the team that wants you, that’s going to be the right team. I look forward to marketing myself and finding that team.”
- Scooby Axson