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.
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.
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:
Oregon State: 1
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.
Top photo credit: Gary Breedlove
Darren Perkins is a sales professional and 1997 Oregon graduate. After finishing school, he escaped the rain and moved to sunny Southern California where he studied screenwriting for two years at UCLA. Darren grew up in Eugene and in 1980, at the tender age of five, he attended his first Oregon football game. His lasting memory from that experience was an enthusiastic Don Essig announcing to the crowd: “Reggie Ogburn, completes a pass to… Reggie Ogburn.” Captivated by such a thrilling play, Darren’s been hooked on Oregon football ever since. Currently living in Spokane, Darren enjoys flaunting his yellow and green superiority complex over friends and family in Cougar country.
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