The Best Ducks in the NFL
The Pro Bowl selections have just been released, with two former Oregon Ducks making the cut: Haloti Ngata and Max Unger. While Oregon hasn’t produced the kind of NFL talent that conferences like the SEC have produced, there are still many Ducks who have seen a lot of success at the next level.
Let’s start with one of the most dominant defenders in the NFL since his entrance into the league. The 6’4″ 340+ pound Haloti Ngata, was really special in college and has gone on to terrorize opposing offensive lines. Ngata is athletically gifted displaying strength and power combined with quick feet that make him almost impossible to block. In college Ngata totaled 107 tackles, 17.5 tackles for a loss, and 6.5 sacks. He also played a key role in special teams, blocking 7 punts in his 3 years at Oregon, which is shocking for someone of his size. Ngata was drafted in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens, and has been dominating the nose tackle position. He has been selected to 4 pro bowls and has tallied 357 total tackles and 21 sacks in his time in the NFL.
Jairus Byrd has been a force at the safety position for the Buffalo Bills since his entrance into the league. In three season with the Ducks, Byrd had 203 tackles and 17 interceptions, and started 37 games for the Ducks, earning him First Team Pac-12 honors in his Junior year. In his rookie season in the NFL, Byrd racked up 45 tackles and 9 interceptions (tied for the league lead) which earned him a spot in the pro bowl during first year in the league. Byrd has since gone on to accumulate 303 total tackles and 18 interceptions during his time in the league.
Honorable mentions include Max Unger, the center for the Seahawks who started all 4 years on the line at Oregon and will be the starting NFC center for the pro bowl, Patrick Chung the safety who has been explosive when healthy, and Jonathon Stewart who had several huge years for the Panthers while running the 2-headed monster attack with Deangelo Williams.