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Best Team Fits for 2024 Oregon Ducks Draft Prospects


Box Nix
© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Draft week has officially arrived, and the Oregon Ducks are putting out a plethora of players this spring that are poised to get their name called in the NFL Draft in Detroit on Thursday. Oregon is responsible for a few names that most households are familiar with like Bo Nix, Jackson Powers-Johnson, and Troy Franklin. However, there is more than meets the eye than the potential first or second-round draft picks that were just named. There could be 4-5 other Ducks who get their name called on Thursday. Who are the best team fits for the flock?

 

Best Fit for Bo Nix, QB: Los Angeles Rams


This may be an unpopular take considering the number of mocks that have Nix pairing up with Kevin O'Connell in Minnesota or Sean Payton in Denver. While those also seem to be good scheme fits, the best possible situation for Nix is in Southern California. Sean McVay is an offensive mastermind who makes things very easy for the quarterback. Nix could also have room to grow with Puka Nakua, who is coming off a record-breaking rookie season. The key component is that Nix would have Matthew Stafford at his disposal to learn from, something neither the Vikings nor Broncos can offer. There are some rumors swirling that the Rams are considering trading up to get Nix in preparation for the post-Stafford era, but nothing concrete has been proven. There isn't a guarantee that Nix will fall to the Rams, but grooming their quarterback of the future behind Stafford for a year or two would maximize Nix's potential. McVay offers an offense with a balance that best suits Nix's play style, with a young running back in Kyren Williams.



 

Best Fit for Troy Franklin, WR: Buffalo Bills


Troy Franklin
© Chris Pietsch/The Register Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

Bills General Manager, Brandon Beane, shipped away Stefon Diggs a few weeks back for a future second-round pick. In addition, Gabriel Davis inked a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. This leaves the wide receiver room in shambles, for now. Troy Franklin offers versatility that could be useful for Josh Allen. Franklin has an elite release package with the ability to line up in the slot and on the outside. Franklin also offers some serious speed as a deep threat (4.41 40-time), which benefits Allen's rocket arm. Allen has a knack for escaping the pocket, giving his receivers more time than a lot are used to. This benefits Franklin since it is almost impossible to chase him around if you lose a step. The Bills' wide receiver room has an opportunity for someone to step in and become the WR1 of the future. Franklin's best shot is to pair up with Josh Allen.




 

Best Fit for Jackson Powers-Johnson, C: Pittsburgh Steelers


Jackson Powers-Johnson draft stock has been a roller coaster. One week he was a guaranteed top-15 pick, the next he's projected to go in the 20's, and now he's rumored to fall out of the first round. The knock is injury-related as some general managers are worried about concussion issues, but those were minor at Oregon. Powers-Johnson is a mauler with a mind. He will abuse defensive linemen in the run game and call out blitzes in the passing game. He does have short arms, but in the Steelers gritty system under Mike Tomlin, he would fit right in. Russell Wilson is in line to be the starter for the Steelers, a veteran who can offer crucial learning points for Powers-Johnson early in his career. The center position isn't valued as highly as it used to be for most NFL teams, but the Steelers are known to value it higher than most since they selected Maurkice Pouncey in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The Steelers are the best possible fit for Jackson Powers-Johnson.



 

Best Fit for Brandon Dorlus, DL: Cleveland Browns


Dorlus' hand work jumps off the screen when you watch the tape. He shows the ability to move lineman off their feet and rip through the interior as an elite run stopper, with a high upside as a pass rusher. He stands at 6-foot-3 and ran a 4.83 40-yard dash. This categorized him as a "tweener" to a lot of NFL teams, but you cannot ignore his ability. His handwork comes from his wrestling background as a child which most do not have. If the NFL were still in a time where 3-4 interior ends were highly coveted, Dorlus would be a late first-round projection. While the Browns system may be officially listed as a 4-3, it is an extremely aggressive unit that benefits defensive linemen. Jim Schwartz, the Browns Defensive Coordinator, puts his players in great situations with a variety of stunts and switches. Schwartz is coming off a year where he was named the AP Assistant Coach of the Year. This can only help Dorlus as he grows into an NFL role. In addition, Dorlus would be lining up next to Myles Garrett, whom we all know as a force to be reckoned with. Garrett consistently draws double teams, which would open up formidable matchups for Dorlus on the interior.



 

Best Fit for Bucky Irving, RB: Dallas Cowboys


Bucky Irving
© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys were rumored to be in the Derrick Henry sweepstakes this off-season, but that proved to be false. The Cowboys have yet to address their running back room since the departure of Tony Pollard, who signed with the Tennessee Titans. This leaves Rico Dowdle as the current starter for Dallas, with Deuce Vaughn as the backup heading into his second season. Bucky Irving stands at 5-foot-9 and underwhelmed scouts with his 4.55 40-yard dash at the combine. However, he plays much faster than that and is elite at eluding defenders along with exhibiting an ability to be a pass catcher out of the backfield. He could be a swiss army knife for the Cowboys. Irving is a big play waiting to happen.


 

Best Fit for Khyree Jackson, CB: Los Angeles Chargers


The Los Angeles Chargers have a huge problem in their cornerback room following the departure of Michael Davis, who occupied the outside boundary for a few years. They also parted ways with J.C. Jackson during the season last year. The room currently consists of Asante Samuel Jr, Deane Leonard, Ja'Sir Taylor and recent signee Kristian Fulton. While Fulton offers an upside as a corner on the outside, he is coming off of an injury riddled 2023 and is not something to bet the house on. Chargers' defensive coordinator Jesse Minter loves lengthy corners who can be trusted in man coverage. Jackson has 32-inch arms, ran a 4.5 40-yard dash and stands at a whopping 6-foot-4. This is a Sauce Gardner like frame. The worry with Jackson is that he did not play many games at Oregon, but his tape does all the talking. The Chargers could potentially address nickel early by selecting Mike Sainristil to pair back with Minter and Jim Harbaugh which could open up the opportunity to address the need for outside corner later by selecting Jackson. Jackson would be coming into a corner friendly scheme, with the ability to learn behind Asante Samuel Jr. if he cannot pick up the scheme quick enough to be a day one starter. With the right coaching, Jackson offers an All-Pro upside that other corners in this draft do not.



 

Oregon Ducks Honorable Mentions:


There are other names that the Ducks hosted at their pro day who could possibly hear their name called in the sixth or seventh round. Evan Williams, safety, is at the top. Williams contributed serious reps for the Ducks last season while playing through an injury that forced him to wear a brace on his hand. Other names are Mase Funa, Jamal Hill, and Junior Angilau. Jamal Hill, who moved to linebacker for the Ducks, logged a 4.41 40-yard dash at his pro day. This would top any other linebackers time at the combine. However, he stands at 6-foot, which is undersized for an NFL linebacker. He is an intriguing prospect to keep an eye on.



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