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.

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Sam Legge

Sam Legge

Sam Legge is a sophomore at the University of Oregon majoring in journalism. He is from Denver, Colorado and has been a huge football fan his whole life. Sam played rugby, golf, and boxed in high school and has a huge passion for sports as well as writing and photography. He chose University of Oregon over Colorado at Boulder mainly for Oregon's athletic prestige, and has since been to every home game at Autzen as well as many basketball games. Sam hopes to use his creative writing skills to provide interesting perspectives on Oregon sports coverage. He welcomes your feedback.

  • Do you have no love for our O line? Max Unger did in fact play for the Ducks. he also was voted onto the Pro Bowl team this year. He plays for Seattle.

    He was kind of a good player for us. Maybe we shouldn’t leave him out of this article?

    And while I love Patrick Chung and agree he is one of the best Ducks playing in the NFL I don’t believe he was given the nod to the pro bowl. Am I mistaken? Here’s a link to the NFL’s website where they list the pro bowl selections.

    • Sam Legge

      Yes you are correct Max Unger is the center for the Seahawks who was selected to the pro bowl and accidentally listed as Patrick Chung, but the correction was made and Chung’s name is no longer listed twice in that list in the honorable mention paragraph.

      • Respectfully, I believe you really should rewrite this. Unger is not an honorable mention. He is a starter. In your last paragraph you say both starter and honorable mention in the same sentence? In your opening you incorrectly list Chung and omit Unger.

        Patrick did not make the cut. (he may have been a mention, I didn’t hear that)

        In fact, as our only starter Unger should probably get top billing. Ngata is listed behind Wilfork and Atkins. On a side note, Byrd should have got the nod, he had another great year. Funny that an offensive juggernaut like Oregon lists 3 of it’s 4 best NFL players on the D side of the ball.

        Go Ducks!