Todd Marinovich’s Collapse Has Changed the Way NFL Teams Draft QBs

Todd Marinovich was groomed by his father Marv to become the perfect quarterback. It appeared as though he succeeded, as Todd was drafted 24th overall by the Los Angeles Raiders in the 1991 NFL Draft. After that, however, everything fell apart.

The main culprit was drug addiction as Marinovich turned to a multitude of substances in order to combat what he viewed as a miserable life. Marinovich never had a real choice with regards to whether he wanted to be an NFL quarterback, as his father conditioned him to be one.

The rise and fall of Marinovich will be highlighted in an ESPN documentary entitled "The Marinovich Project," which will air on ESPN on Dec. 10 at 9 p.m. EDT. Whether the documentary makes mention of it or not, Marinovich may be solely responsible for the change in ways that teams evaluate and draft quarterbacks.

Marinovich's drug use was pretty well documented as he was known jokingly as "Marijuana-vich" in high school and also got into trouble at USC due to drug use. In fact, an arrest for cocaine possession coupled with outbursts against head coach Larry Smith led Marinovich to leave early for the NFL.

Known as "Robo QB," Marinovich had all the physical tools you look for in a quarterback. Because of that, the Raiders took a chance on him despite his character issues. After just two seasons in the NFL, however, three failed drug tests led to a ban from the league, and his career was over.

While teams are always going to take a flier on talented, but troubled prospects, Marinovich's collapse has led character to become a much more valued in trait in all players, but especially quarterbacks. This is because a quarterback is a leader and cornerstone of a franchise, so he must be a great person in addition to a great player.

Marinovich turned out to be neither, and most of that had to do with his heavy drug use. Marinovich has served as a cautionary tale to NFL teams, and that much ha...

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