Oregon Ducks, Pac-12 Flop in the Draft

Darren Perkins Editorials

While it is always a great sense of pride when an Oregon Duck is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, especially in the Top 10 (Kayvon Thibodeaux was picked 5th overall by the New York Giants), it is of even greater frustration that no other Ducks were selected.

I went to the Paul McCartney concert here in Spokane a few nights ago, during which I heard one hit after another. By contrast, Oregon’s 2022 draft class was an absolute “one-hit-wonder.”

Again, allow me to reiterate that we are thrilled about Thibodeaux, but at the end of the three days, this draft ended with Oregon only having one more player chosen than the dreaded 2017 draft in which zero Ducks were drafted. How can it be that a brand-name school like Oregon, coming off a string of highly-successful recruiting classes, can only have one player selected?

I have a theory. It’s a theory that supports why Justin Herbert was selected No. 6 overall in 2020 instead of in the Top 2, a theory that supports why Oregon was never going to produce another standout wide receiver, and a theory that supports why Oregon suffered two meltdowns against Utah in 2021. And believe me, there is much evidence to support this theory.

Tom Corno

Kayvon Thibodeaux did Oregon proud in the 2022 draft. Noah Sewell hopes to in 2023.

So, without naming names, you, the competent Oregon fan that you are, are now letting out a sigh of relief knowing that the centerpiece of my theory — and his propensity to coach players down — now resides in Miami, Florida.

Amen.

As for the Pac-12

The Pac-12 had a total of 25 players drafted over the weekend. In comparison, the Georgia Bulldogs alone had 15 (SEC 65). Ouch. Now, nobody is expecting the Pac-12 to challenge the SEC in players drafted, but it would be nice to have at least half as many.

2022 Pac-12 draft picks by school:

 UCLA: 6

 ASU: 4

 Washington: 4

 USC: 3

 Cal: 2

 WSU: 2

 Oregon: 1

 Oregon State: 1

 Stanford: 1

 Utah: 1

 Arizona: 0

 Colorado: 0

Twitter

Lincoln Riley and Dan Lanning will help the Pac-12 send more players to the NFL.

The good news is that with the addition of Dan Lanning and Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma produced seven picks) to the conference, that number should increase in fairly short order. When the top two brands in the conference only produce a combined four total picks, that is simply not up to snuff. Surprisingly, UCLA led the conference with six players taken, which makes one wonder how many players Chip Kelly could send to the NFL if he ever emphasized recruiting. But, I digress.

Washington, despite having a miserable season, was able to produce four draft picks. Reminds me of the 2016-17 Huskies basketball team that went a pathetic 2-16 in Pac-12 play (5-27 overall), yet produced the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Thankfully, as bad as our friend in Miami was at maximizing talent, our friends up north have been even worse.

I think we can live with that.

Darren Perkins
Spokane, WA
Top photo credit: Gary Breedlove

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