Lanning Wins on Draft Weekend Too

Ryan Robertson Editorials

The NFL draft happened over the weekend. As a devoted Duck fan you may not have watched it live, as rounds four through seven happened on the day our beloved Ducks played an electric spring game. I am here to tell you that it was a home run of a weekend not only on the field, but on draft night as well.


Bo Nix and Jackson Powers-Johnson found themselves as premier draft picks in 2024. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling)

The top player taken was, unsurprisingly, Bo Nix. Owner of the shortest name in NFL history (probably), Nix was taken 12th overall by the Broncos. Viewed by some as an overdraft, this pick will either be a major recruiting tool for the program or as an negative recruiting tool by other schools. Nix came to Oregon following an inconsistent career with Auburn, and became a first round pick, if he pans out that is a massive win for the staff. If Nix struggles, other programs will say that Oregon only produces busts.

Early on though, the Nix pick is an immense win for the program.

The second pick was Jackson Powers-Johnson in the second round by the Raiders. “JPJ” is viewed as a guard to start his career and should get the chance to start right away. Seen as a very low risk pick, having a high-caliber offensive lineman at the next level is going to go down as a massive win for the program.

Day 3 Picks

Troy Franklin tumbled down the draft order… for some reason. (Photo by Craig Strobeck)

The fourth round belonged to the Ducks, who it felt like had a player go with every other pick in the round. While that wasn’t quite the case, the round did see five Ducks drafted though, which feels like it is probably a program record.

Troy Franklin saw his unexplained precipitous drop end when the Bronco’s chose to reunite him with Nix in the second pick of round four. Franklin inexplicably dropped after being projected as a late first to early second round pick most of the draft cycle. A high ceiling combined with a potential chip on his shoulder after falling so far should see Franklin work even harder in the league. While the short-term recruiting implication might be poor, if Franklin does what many expect in the NFL, he is going to be a massive hit.

Six picks later Khyree Jackson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings, who looked to add to an impressive draft haul. Jackson spent only one season in Eugene, but went from a college underperformer to a fourth round pick, and a good one at that.

Brandon Dorlus was drafted after five long years in Eugene. (Photo by Craig Strobeck)

The next pick saw long-time Duck Brandon Dorlus go to the Falcons. Dorlus played his entire career in Eugene, despite reports that there were many who wanted him to go to Miami with a certain former coach. Dorlus projects as a productive and potentially exciting player at the next level. Athletic, fiery, and an Oregon product through and through, Dorlus sees us send one of our own to the league.

Two picks later the Packers made one of the most surprising picks that I can remember when they traded up and drafted Evan Williams, who also only played one season with the Ducks. Williams projects as a box safety with some range, and the Packers clearly liked what they saw on tape and took a flyer on a very talented player.

A whopping fourteen picks later the Buccaneers took fan favorite Bucky Irving, who we can presume will now be called Buccaneer Irving. Bucky looks to slot in as the number two back in Tampa Bay, and will more likely than not see extensive touches as a rookie. The shifty back was extremely productive in two years with the Ducks and should go down as another huge win for Dan Lanning and co.

And that is where I thought the draft would surely end for our beloved team. Seven very good players, all in very good situations. No other players were consistently mocked even in the later rounds, so I (wrongly) assumed that no one else would go.

Jordan Happle, Jamal Hill and Kristian Williams_Tom Corno.jpg

Jamal Hill was drafted after a very productive college career. (Photo by Tom Corno)

With the 188th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft the Houston Texans Select: Jamal Hill, linebacker Oregon.

Hill was the big surprise of the draft, as his size was viewed as an issue in the NFL (Hill weighs less than 220 lbs). The Texans clearly think he can contribute as their team approaches contention in the league. Whether it be as a special teamer, or after moving back to his original position of safety, Hill getting drafted is a massive win for the program, and well earned by the player.

What it all Means

Having eight players go in the draft is a massive coup for the program, and it will be even better if they are all as successful as we all hope they are. From Nix to Hill, this was a talented, older class who brought a lot of wins to Eugene, and should make us proud at the next level.

Good luck, men of Oregon, here’s to your success!

Ryan Robertson
Huachuca City, Arizona
Top Photo by: Joe Jackson Jr.

New 2024 FishDuck Publishing Schedule….

During the off-season the publishing schedule will consist of articles on Mondays and Tuesdays. Do keep checking as new articles could be published during the week when a writer has something to say.

In mid-August of 2024, we will go back to the seven-days-a-week of articles during the football season as we did in the football season of 2023.

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