The 2013 NFL draft is almost here. Fans everywhere are seeing glimpses of football season with less than two months until selections are made. But thinking ahead: who will the Ducks’ draft picks in 2014 be? Will Colt Lyerla and DeAnthony Thomas declare for the draft? Will Jake Fisher or one of the true junior corners elect to go pro? Will an unlikely candidate shock the green and yellow fan base by leaving early as a redshirt sophomore?
Losing seniors like Wade Keliki’ipi and Ricky Heimuli will hurt the depth of the defensive line, but other positions are in jeopardy of losing key contributors before their eligibility clocks have run out. Terrance Mitchell and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu appear to be two candidates likely to test the draft waters next winter. Mitchell has a lower chance of being a first or probably second day draft pick, but the sky is the limit for Ifo. Jake Fisher has also produced a solid reputation over the course of the past two seasons and likely would be a second or third round pick if he left after next season.
Two of the biggest concerns for Oregon fans and the coaching staff as well are the eligibility of starting tight end Colt Lyerla and running back DeAnthony Thomas. Both have reasons to consider leaving college a year early. The Mamba has assembled a reputation as a game breaking playmaker who is a threat from anywhere on the field. Colt Lyerla boasts elite blocking skills and great athleticism that could easily see his stock rise heavily as the 2014 draft draws near.
Last but not least, Marcus Mariota will not leave for the NFL draft. While an elite level quarterback and likely first round draft pick – much like Andrew Luck – Super Mario can polish his game even more by completing his junior season.