This piece is part of a project where Jason and Caleb analyze the top eight Ducks prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft. The prospects will be listed in the order in which they are projected to be drafted. Enjoy.
No. 3: Jake Fisher
Overview: Jake Fisher is arguably the most polished offensive lineman in recent Oregon Ducks history. Fisher arrived at the University of Oregon in 2011, and saw game time 13 different times that season, primarily at the right guard position. Though not related to Eric Fisher of the Kansas City Chiefs, the Ducks left tackle has received many comparisons as scouts and coaches alike believe he has a very bright future at the next level. Fisher has an immense amount of experience, having played in 50 games, 35 of which he started.
With the injury to Tyler Johnstone before last season even started, Fisher was pinned as the guy to lead the offensive line to success. Despite suffering a leg injury that caused him to miss a few games during the middle of the season, Fisher performed incredibly well.
In the games that he missed, it was obvious that the Ducks offense was not operating to its full potential. He returned against UCLA, putting them away and solidifying the line’s ability to compete at a high level again. After the season, Fisher competed at the 2015 NFL combine and put up impressive numbers, running the 40-yard dash in 5.01 seconds and putting up 25 reps on the bench press. Fisher’s athleticism has helped him become a dominate college player, and we are looking forward to seeing how that translates to the NFL.
Strengths: Fisher’s wealth of experience and knowledge have helped him become one of the most highly touted tackles in the country. The former tight end converted to tackle upon his arrival to Eugene. Despite having put on an excessive amount of weight to meet the criteria for an offensive lineman, Fisher moves better than almost any other offensive lineman in the country.
He is also very quick off the ball which allows for him to get position on a defensive lineman before he has any opportunity to blow by him. This helps him be great at opening holes for the run game, and his quickness allows him to advance past the defensive line and make timely down-the-field blocks. Fisher was the glue that kept the offensive line together, much like Kyle Long from a few years ago. The Ducks will miss Fisher next year very much.
Weaknesses: Fisher is undersized, and there is no denying that. All the top tackles in the NFL weigh closer to 320 or 330 pounds, so Fisher will have some weight to add to his frame when he gets with the team that decides to take him. Last season, Fisher was flagged six times for holding, and was one of the most penalized offensive linemen over the last two seasons. Discipline is something that coaches and scouts look at when evaluating an offensive lineman, especially the ones vying to play left tackle. Fisher must become more consistent, because too many penalties in the NFL won’t get over-looked like it might at the college level.
Jason Selby: “I really like Jake Fisher a lot. I think he is being undervalued in this year’s draft – there is no other lineman in this draft that boasts the type of athleticism that Fisher does. His strength numbers were a little disappointing, but he will have plenty of time after being drafted to put some weight onto his frame and get stronger. I had the pleasure of watching Jake play over the last few seasons, and he anchored an offensive line that directly contributed to the success of Marcus Mariota. Fisher has a very bright future in the NFL – I think he has all the makings of a future Hall of Famer.”
Caleb Couturie: “There’s no reason why Fisher won’t see success at the next level. He’s slightly undersized, but like most Oregon linemen he has superior athleticism. Fisher’s quick feet and strong hands make him ideal for setting an edge for outside runs, and he’s shown good recovery when confused in pass protection. On top of his already established skill set, Fisher has proven he is durable, reliable, and eager to learn. Injuries are inevitable at the lineman position, but Fisher was part of the core offensive linemen for the Ducks for four straight years.”
Draft Projection: Late First – Early Second
Top photo from Kevin Cline