Marcus Mariota still thinks Eagles are a possibility to draft him even after Sam Bradford trade
ATLANTIC CITY -- Marcus Mariota is not ruling the Eagles out.
The Oregon quarterback who played for Chip Kelly in college has been linked to the Eagles throughout the past two months, and he thinks the Eagles are still a possibility even after their trade for Sam Bradford on Tuesday.
"I wouldn't doubt it, but Coach Kelly and the Eagles are going to do what's best for the team," Mariota said at the annual Maxwell Football Club awards. "We'll see what happens."
Kelly tried to "dispel" the theories that the Eagles would trade up for Mariota in a Wednesday news conference. He called Mariota the best quarterback in the draft, but said the Eagles would not mortgage their future to trade for him. Mariota heard about the comments, but did not see them.
"It's going to come down to whatever they want to do," Mariota said. "I'm not sure what Coach Kelly wants to do. He hasn't talked to me about it. He's been more of a mentor to me, whenever I needed someone."
Mariota keeps in touch with Kelly, who he said "checks in on" him throughout the pre-draft process.
Mariota had an "informal meeting" with Eagles quarterbacks coach Ryan Day before Oregon's Pro Day on Thursday. Kelly said the Eagles do that with all the top quarterbacks.
Even though he had the Pro Day on Thursday, Mariota flew cross country Thursday night so he could experience the annual event, where he's winning the Maxwell Award for top college player. He arrived in Atlantic City around 3:30 a.m. Friday.
Mariota will meet with Tampa Bay on Monday. The Buccaneers hold the No. 1 pick.
He will try to impress the Bucs' brass, but he cannot escape the talk that he will rejoin Kelly in Philadelphia.
"I think everyone jokes with me about it," Mariota said.