Arik Armstead is entering his second year as the projected starting defensive end for the Ducks. Coming out of high school (Sacramento, CA) Armstead was one of the top recruits in the nation and many scouts pictured him as a potential dominant NFL force at the coveted left tackle position. His frame of 6’8″ 280 lbs combined with his burst and athleticism was very reassuring of people’s projections.
Last year as a true freshman Arik played in every game for the Ducks at a defensive line position and it seemed to be the right fit. Although he did not have the type of season that South Carolina’s star defensive lineman Jadaveon Clowney had as a true freshman as well, Arik’s season was every bit a promising one. He has even drawn comparisons to current Baltimore Raven and former Duck’s defensive disruptor Haloti Ngata. He still has a long way to go to reach that level of performance but he hopes to have a similar impact during his time in Oregon.
Another reassuring note is that Armstead is a two sport athlete and demonstrates his great athleticism while playing for the basketball program. Last season he was redshirted due to the depth at his position which is primarily power forward. He should see some minutes in the upcoming campaign but simply participating shows you that he does not lack quick feet and coordination for a big man, which is a major football advantage.
It is almost certain he will be getting selected in an upcoming NFL draft if he stays on course with where his game is headed. He is still very young and has a lot of room for growth. You never know, he may even make a jump back to the offensive line at some point. Armstead’s pro potential is tremendous and could blossom into a first round talent.