Oregon Ducks Football - Troy Franklin - FishDuck.com in Eugene, OR

Where Will Troy Franklin Land in the NFL Draft?

Alex Heining Editorials

Troy Franklin has officially declared for the NFL Draft, and it’s time for one of the Ducks’ best to ever line up outside the numbers to go pro. Expectations couldn’t be higher, and it’s as good a time as ever for Oregon to finally have a true No. 1 receiver in the NFL.

Now, we all might think extremely highly of Franklin as both a prospect and a person. Folks are even comparing him to the likes of Marvin Harrison Jr. and Rome Odunze as a prospect, pushing him all the way up well into the first round. Let’s be real, though. We have to remain fair and consider what other teams might be thinking in their evaluations of his numbers, playmaking ability, athleticism, and off-the-field character.

Oregon Ducks Football - FishDuck in Eugene, OR

Nix and Franklin together were MAGIC the past two seasons – Photo From Craig Strobeck

My Take: Late First Round Ceiling, Late Second Round Floor

At this point, I see his ceiling as a late first-rounder, if he ends up being a first-rounder at all as the fourth or fifth receiver off the board. I feel it’d be more realistic to see him go in that mid-to-late second range, as the consensus on most sites today has him right around that 40-60 mark. However, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to see Franklin get a ton of buzz this offseason and jump up the board after good interviews or a great Combine. His size and deep-threat abilities are truly special, and teams should have very few question marks around whether he can make a difference on their roster. Unfortunately, there may still inevitably be some gripes around how he’d time on a 40-yard dash, if he can take the punishing blows delivered in NFL football, and if he could expand his game to have a complete route tree at the next level.

Fortunately, most of this will fall on the coaches of his next team, which gives him some time to prepare for the Draft and refine his abilities for the NFL Combine. Everything he did in his control at Oregon was masterful, and he should be considered an elite wide receiver prospect in almost any scheme. He also is only going to be 21 years of age when he enters the Draft (following a birthday in February), which surely pushes him up most NFL teams’ boards as well.

Overall, I don’t know what more Franklin could have done for himself to improve draft stock this year. Sure, if the Ducks were in the College Football Playoff and beat the Huskies a couple of times, he might sliver up the board just a bit more. Still, his numbers are some of the best in the country, as well as in school history. Expect more of the same in another historic NFL Draft for the Ducks, as they go their fifth consecutive season with a first-round draft selection being produced in Eugene.

Anyway, enough from me, Oregon fans. How high do you think Franklin can go in the Draft? Is the first round completely out of the question, or do you see Franklin as an “offseason surger” who keeps the Duck on the pro football map next year as a first-rounder? Should Franklin slip a bit, how great would it be to see him land with Justin Herbert in LA? Let us know in the FishDuck Forum with decorum.

Go Ducks!

Alex Heining
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo By: Craig Strobeck

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