The first round of the NFL Draft is done and for the third-consecutive year, Oregon did not have any players drafted on day one, as expected. There are four Ducks that are widely expected to be drafted and a couple more that will hope to sign free agent contracts.
Guess who was on stage alongside NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in Nashville, though? Former Oregon quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, who made a short welcome speech as the "hometown quarterback".
Marcus Mariota is everywhere. In Eugene for the @oregonfootball spring game on Saturday, now back in Nashville as the "hometown QB" to welcome prospects #producks #goducks #NFLDraftDay2019 pic.twitter.com/nh3L3GOxIT
— Bri Amaranthus (@BriAmaranthus) April 26, 2019
The first Pac-12 Conference player to be selected was former Washington State offensive lineman Andre Dillard who was selected 22nd by the Philadelphia Eagles. Two other Pac-12 players were drafted; Atlanta selected Washington offensive lineman Kaleb McGary at No. 30, and New England drafted Arizona State wide receiver N'Keal Harry.
This is the first time that a Pac-12/Pac-10/Pac-8 player hasn't been selected in the first 20 picks of an NFL draft in the Super Bowl era.
With Eli Manning, 38, entering the final year of his contract, the Giants were expected to pick a quarterback in 2019 or 2020. The Giants were among several teams to scout Oregon QB Justin Herbert multiple times in 2018 only to watch the Oregon quarterback return to school for his senior season.
Herbert's return poised the question: will New York wait and tank for 2020 when Herbert, Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Georgia's Jake Fromm are expected to be on the board?
Of course, selecting Jones doesn't necessarily mean that the Giants aren't in the market for a Herbert/a quarterback next season, but it does answer the question that New York is willing to gamble on Jones in it's pursuit to find a successor to Manning.