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Marcus McMaryion – Quarterback

School: California State University, Fresno

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 203 Pounds

Marcus McMaryion NFL Draft Profile

Top 3 Player Traits

Sideline Routes

Marcus McMaryion was best when targeting receivers in one-on-one coverage down the sidelines. Go routes, back shoulder throws, or corner routes, McMaryion wasn’t afraid to give his receivers a chance to make a play on the ball. He places these throws very nicely, and they are usually simple reads, which certainly helped as well.

Here’s one of McMaryion’s best throws. With the pocket closing in on third and long, McMaryion stands in strong and delivers a beautiful throw down the sideline for a big gain. It’s worth mentioning, however, that McMaryion at Fresno was throwing to big-bodied receivers that attacked the football, an advantage he may or may not have in the NFL.

Running Ability

McMaryion presents a dimension in the running game that an offense could certainly choose to take advantage of, were they inclined to do so. In his final season at Fresno, he rushed for 294 yards on 71 carries–good for 4.1 yards a carry–and ran for 8 scores on the ground.

He’s not the fastest guy, but he’s certainly fast enough to make defenses pay if running lanes open up. He also shows good strength with the ability to break tackles. And while he’s not talented enough of a runner to build your entire offense around, a la Cam Newton or Lamar Jackson, he’s still good for an occasional option play or improvisational run, like we saw at times with Alex Smith or Mitchell Trubisky. That can be a big-time asset for an offense.

Here’s an example. On an option play, McMaryion keeps it and gets up the field for a big gain on 3rd and 1. He has a fairly long stride and is able to pick up speed as he gets going, and he also does a great job shedding tackles in the open field in order to pick up extra yards.

Game Management

Marcus McMaryion was a really good game manager at Fresno State. He took care of the football and executed the offense as designed. McMaryion’s ability to manage the game was a big reason Fresno had so much success with him at the helm. He made the plays that were there and kept the offense running smoothly and on schedule.

On this touchdown pass, McMaryion’s read is clear, and he identifies it right away. Hawaii loaded the box to stop the run, leaving the far side receiver in single man to man coverage. He’s running an out route, and McMaryion takes the snap and delivers an accurate, on time throw for the touchdown.

This is a tougher throw than it looks. If it’s late or to the inside, that ball is going the other way. The throw needs to be precise, but McMaryion made it look easy. These types of plays show the effectiveness McMaryion had in running this Fresno State offense.

3 Player Traits In Need Of Improvement

McMaryion Ran A Limited Offense

McMaryion did a really good job at Fresno. He took the helm for a team that was in a slump and went 21-4 over two years as a starter, securing bowl wins in both years. He did exactly what he was asked to do and didn’t make many mistakes. For that, he deserves credit.

Having said that, he did not really showcase the ability to run an NFL offense during his time at Fresno. McMaryion’s coach at Fresno was Jeff Tedford, a really good coach who does a great job with the offense. The Fresno offense under Tedford wasn’t super flashy, but it was well-schemed, simple, and effective.

It provided easy, clear reads for McMaryion, and it wasn’t super aggressive. Rarely was McMaryion asked to read the entire field, make throws under pressure, or attack the intermediate and deep levels of the field late in his progression. And based on my film study, I question whether McMaryion would be able to do those things at the NFL level.

This is the type of play you saw commonly with McMaryion in this Fresno offense. Take the snap, drop back, and get rid of it quickly. Because of the quick timing, McMaryion only has to work one side of the field. He doesn’t have to drop back and work the pocket, nor does he face any pressure. It’s simple and effective, but the difficulty level for the quarterback is not particularly high.

It’s worth mentioning that Tedford doesn’t run a pure spread, so it’s not like McMaryion was throwing one step screens on every play. There were some pro-style route concepts, but they were always kept simple for McMaryion, and he rarely had to process on the fly the way he will have to in the NFL.

Here’s a play that shows what happens when McMaryion’s first read isn’t open and he’s forced to improvise. He has a very clean pocket, yet he completely loses his composure and dances around all over the place. While he eventually is able to break free and find a running lane, this type of play won’t cut it in the NFL, where the pockets are much, much, smaller.


McMaryion, to me, is just not a natural thrower of the football. Take a look at this play. First off, his movements in the pocket are choppy and awkward. And then when he finally uncorks the throw, he has to take a long windup. While following through, he falls off balance, and his whole body is out of sync.

Here’s another play. McMaryion actually ends up completing this pass, and it’s a solid throw in-between two defenders. But again, his movement in the pocket, followed by the throw, look uncomfortable and unnatural.

First of all, his base is far too wide. This is not unique to this play; it’s just generally how McMaryion plays. And once again, when he releases the ball, he loses his balance and his body comes out of sync.

McMaryion actually has okay arm strength, but he’s just not a natural thrower of the football. That’s going to limit him as he attempts to transition to the NFL.

McMaryion Is Too Deliberate

One of the most important and overlooked attributes for a quarterback is something called twitch. This is the ability to move your body with quick, subtle, yet explosive movements. Quarterbacks that are quick twitch athletes are able to quickly reset their body and always be in a comfortable position to deliver the football.

The twitchiest quarterback in the NFL is probably Drew Brees; Tom Brady is another guy who is an explosive athlete within the pocket. A young guy with a great example of twitch is Baker Mayfield.

You don’t have to be as twitchy as these guys to succeed in the NFL, but you need to have enough to be able to make a quick, tight, and mechanically sound throw on time when the play requires it. There are guys that have great arms and may be intelligent as well, but their movements are simply too deliberate to be able to play at a high level.

In addition to struggling with mobility, quarterbacks who are too deliberate may be late with their throws. Long story short, I fear this is the case with McMaryion.

I talked about McMaryion not being a natural thrower earlier, and that ties into the issue here. It’s not like he’s absurdly slow or anything. But on this play, he seems to need to take an extra hitch before delivering the throw. And evident with that is his long throwing motion. It’s subtle, but in the NFL, a beat late is too late.

NFL Team Fits

The Kansas City Chiefs

Andy Reid has always been great at coaching up backup quarterbacks. Furthermore, his system provides defined reads for the quarterback, something McMaryion is going to need to be successful. Reid also tends to run a heavy pistol/shotgun offense and is not afraid to utilize college principles, all things that would benefit McMaryion.

The Tennessee Titans

With Mariota’s injury history, the Titans could use a good backup. Their current backup, Blaine Gabbert, is more talented than McMaryion, but he struggled last year and couldn’t get the job done with a playoff berth on the line. In this offense, McMaryion would benefit from a productive run game with Derrick Henry which would help ease the load and simplify things for him.

Round Projection

Round 7

Cary Krongard

Author Cary Krongard

UCLA and USC Beat Writer for Sports Al Dente

More posts by Cary Krongard

Sports Al Dente 2019

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