It’s July, which means NBA free agency is in high gear. For fans in Portland, that means mid-level signings and questionable trades. One thing that free agency offers the big spenders, however, is the opportunity for quick improvement.
If college football offered the same opportunity, you have to figure that Oregon would be in the running for some of the sports biggest prizes. With the backing of Nike, an attitude towards winning and a desirable location, Oregon could…and I mean, COULD…become the hot spot.
Let’s have a little fun here. Looking ahead to the 2013 season, and assuming every player in the country outside of Oregon was free to be had, here’s where the Ducks would look to push themselves over the top.
MAX OFFER PLAYERS:
Jadeveon Clowney, DE The biggest prize in all the land, Clowney finds himself in Lebron James-esque territory. A genetic freak, Clowney has only begun to scratch the surface of what he will be. A true junior, Clowney would have been the top pick in the last two drafts if he were eligible. He is a program changer in the truest form. A pass-rushing terror that is equally stout against the run, he would be the final piece to Oregon’s defensive puzzle.
Will Sutton, DT Not the biggest, not the strongest, not the prototype, Sutton is simply the best player at the hardest position to fill in football. Sutton wreaks havoc on the interior line with his strong frame, demanding constant double teams. Paired with Oregon’s speedy ends and ‘backers, Sutton could ultimately prove to be a bigger get than Clowney, if only for the fact that tackles are so rarefied at the collegiate level.
Marqise Lee, WR Through all of Oregon’s record-breaking offenses, the one thing they have lacked has been a true go-to receiver that strikes fear in the opponents’ secondary. Lee ends that drought the second he walks onto campus. He won’t win any events at the NFL combine. He isn’t the fastest, tallest or best route runner, but put together, the whole package equals the best receiver in college football.
Chandler Catanzaro, K A big offer to a kicker, you ask? Only at Oregon, where an inaccurate leg has kept them from playing for the last two national championships. Clemson’s kicker would instantly shore up Oregon’s weakest position and chances are he could be bought for a lower-level price.
Trent Murphy, LB Oregon fans are all too familiar with Murphy, Stanford’s big-play linebacker who was a catalyst in the Cardinal’s upset win in Eugene last November. After losing three senior leaders at the linebacker positions, Murphy would offer the veteran leadership that will be lacking this fall.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB Second-tier picks are where great gambles can pay off, which is exactly what Bridgewater is here. With Marcus Mariota back, Oregon is poised to have the best season from a quarterback in school history. But with the transfer of Bryan Bennett, the backup position leaves a lot to be desired. Bridgewater has the experience and big-play ability to thrive in Oregon’s system.
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Joel Gunderson grew up in a small town, where the only thing he did for fun was worship the Oregon Ducks. He later moved to Eugene, where he studied journalism at the U of O. After working in radio, he married the woman of his dreams and settled down. Joel now spends his days studying Journalism and the fine world of grammar, all the while worshiping the ground that Charles “Chip” Kelly walks on! Follow him on twitter @gundy85
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