Ponder-Point: Looking Ahead to the NFL Draft

Chris Brouilette Editorials

Haloti Ngata, Patrick Chung, LeGarrette Blount, Marcus Mariota — the list of Ducks making a splash at the next level goes on, and on, and on …

There’s no better feeling than watching an NFL game, seeing a nice play, and subsequently bragging to your friends when you recognize a former Duck. With the draft quickly approaching, and the combine wrapped up, there’s no better time to look ahead at the Ducks entering the league in 2019.

Harry Caston

Justin Hollins

Since QB Justin Herbert decided to forego the draft, the Ducks lack certified first-round rookie talent in 2019. Still, four players were invited to the combine: receiver Dillon Mitchell, defensive end Jalen Jelks, linebacker Justin Hollins and safety Ugochukwu Amadi. Mitchell was the first Duck to take part in the on-field workouts Saturday, and ran an official 4.46 in the 40-yard dash. Despite his spectacular 2018 season — leading the Pac-12 with a program record of 1,184 receiving yards — he is projected to be picked in the later rounds.

Hollins and Jelks, the two EDGE guys, participated in Sunday’s workouts. Just like Mitchell, both are projected as mid-to-late rounders. Hollins built on the momentum he gained after winning East-West Shrine Game Defensive MVP by showing impressive speed on Sunday, completing the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds — good enough for second at his position. Hollins impressed in other competitions, while Jelks did just alright. You can read more about where they stacked up here.

Eugene Johnson

Ugo Amadi with the ball

Amadi probably has the lowest draft stock of any of the four going into the combine. The Lombardi Award winner might have to sign as an undrafted free agent, but he could eventually snag a roster spot based off of his special teams ability.

Considering these guys’ performances in 2018, and the results of the combine, I invite you all to discuss where you expect these UO alumni to end up.

Who has the best chance at success in the NFL? Will this draft produce even more recognizable NFL talent for the Ducks, or is it an off year in that regard?

Chris Brouilette
Eugene, Oregon Top Photo by Kevin Cline

 

Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in Bozeman, Montana.

 

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