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

Oregon Ducks Football: Biggest Position of Need

Alex Heining Editorials

For our Oregon Ducks football program, we have a ton of players on this roster to be excited about entering the season. A Nix-less, star-studded offense will spring out to surround Dillon Gabriel, and they should translate almost immediately to success in the Big Ten.

Traeshon Holden and Tez Johnson will surely lead this group, with Evan Stewart working in as the newest transfer. This trio isn’t as proven as it was with Troy Franklin at WR1, but it is still a formidable group that gives this offense some juice. Additionally, freshman  Jeremiah McClellan should earn a role after what he showed in the spring. Austin Novosad connected with him on some of the biggest plays of the second half, expect to see more when McClellan starts working in on the first team.

As we expected, the offense as a whole looked pretty strong, but surprisingly enough, the defense looked even better. Top to bottom, they played fantastic in the spring game, creating huge stops and forcing the offense to earn every single yard. However, the defense still sports the biggest position of need, and it might be the second most important position in football.

Oregon Ducks Football - FishDuck.com in Eugene, OR

Kayvon Thibodeaux was the last dominant edge rusher Oregon has had – Via Craig Strobeck

Biggest Position of Need: Edge Rushers

We will be banging this drum until Oregon has a true edge rusher again, and outside of Brandon Dorlus who could line up virtually anywhere on the defensive line, the Ducks have been without an elite edge since Kayvon Thibodeaux. The Big Ten does not mess around up front, and if we can’t get to the quarterback offenses early and often, we’re going to have a long season in this conference. Someone has to step up and start generating pressure.

Jordan Burch is entering his final college season, and after only logging three sacks on the year in 2023, this is his last opportunity to make a splash and get to the pros. Unfortunately, I’d be surprised if he makes a leap now. Still, he’s a solid piece to count on entering the year, and should be able to mentor some of the fresher faces in Ashton Porter and Aydin Breland. Matayo Uiagalelei is also a player to watch, hopefully he can make some plays at linebacker to help the true edges develop early. Overall though, this group is weak entering the year, and someone has to make a jump fast.

Now luckily, from what we saw in the spring game, this secondary is playing their tails off. They made plays all over the field, rallied to make open-field tackles, and dominated in the passing game. Still, Gabriel and Dante Moore are very early on in their development with this offense, so some errant throws may have made the secondary pop just a bit more than usual. If the secondary can even parallel this success entering the season, though, the defensive line should have some time to acclimate and find an edge to get to the quarterback. The real question is: who?

Who do you think is going to step up this season as a true pass rusher? Is the defense going to be able to rely on the secondary, or are the Ducks going to be in trouble up front? Let us know what you think in the FishDuck Forum with decorum.

Go Ducks!

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

New 2024 FishDuck Publishing Schedule….

During the off-season the FishDuck.com 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.

The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there.  At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.

Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

OBD Forum members….we got your back.  No Trolls Allowed!