Auburn’s Malzahn, Lashlee: Nick Marshall can be an NFL quarterback

NCAA Football: BCS National Championship-Florida State vs Auburn

Let the debate continue.

Arguably the SEC’s top returning quarterback, Nick Marshall, has NFL aspirations. Earlier this year, Marshall was asked about whether he thought he could play quarterback in the NFL, and Marshall said he liked his chances compared against others.

Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee thinks so, too, without question, according to AL.com.

“Oh, I think without question,” Rhett Lashlee said. “I mean, everybody says it, because he’s talented enough to do a lot of things at the next level, but I don’t think there’s any doubt in my mind or his mind that — first of all, he’s worried about being the quarterback at Auburn — if he matures and develops the way he’s capable of, I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be a quarterback.”

Marshall threw 20 INTs in JUCO before coming to Auburn, one year removed from playing defensive back at Georgia. Although he threw for 1,166 less yards last year than in JUCO, he also threw 14 less INTs. He steadily improved throughout the season, and cutting down on the number of picks was impressive, regardless of the reduction of attempts.

Gus Malzahn also told the AJC that there’s ‘no doubt about’ Marshall being an NFL quarterback.

“There’s no doubt about that. What he did last season with not going through (the previous) spring, with only having two weeks under his belt before the season started with reps the first group – and he led us to 13 seconds within winning the whole thing. He’s off to a great start. I think there’s no doubt about that.”

RELATED: Auburn’s spring forecast

Two things Marshall must work on this spring are ball security and touch. He was credited with 14 fumbles last season, and even though he cut down on the picks, he has to take care of the football better. Marshall also lacked noticeable touch on short to intermediate routes, passes he can’t afford to miss at the next level. He has a Howitzer for an arm, but he lacked noticeable touch and feel on shorter throws.

In Gus Malzahn’s collegiate coaching career, he has never had a returning starting quarterback. He has his first in Marshall, and a complete spring practice in the same system should pay dividends come fall. And it just may help Marshall turn scouts’ heads. There’s no denying his athletic ability and big arm, but he must improve on a couple different deficiencies this spring.

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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COMMENTS

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  • THERES A DIFFERENCE IN BEING AN NFL QB AND WINNING IN THE NFL. YOUR SUPER BOWL WINNERS ARE PRO TYPE AND THE RUNNERS ALWAYS FALL SHORT

  • What else do you expect the coaches to say? “Nick clearly is limited to playing well in our offense. I hope enjoys his time here, because the NFL is not an option for him. At least not as a QB.”

  • Malzhan knows about NFL QB talent how?

  • It’s funny you should mention another thief , that was kicked out of other programs. But I guess your right. I have an idea. There’s probably some prospects in prison. We can just let them all try out for Auburn.

    • You apparently haven’t quite mastered the ability to click “reply” under a comment so everyone knows who you are responding to. By process of elimination, though, I can see you were replying to me.
      Anyway, so you can have your facts straight for future endeavors, unlike Marshall being kicked off UGA’s team, Cam wasn’t kicked out of Florida’s program, though it seems expulsion was imminent.