Oregon corner Thomas Graham Jr. declares for 2021 NFL Draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest
One of the most consistent corners to come through Eugene, Oregon has officially played his last game in an Oregon Football uniform.
Thomas Graham Jr., a 5-foot-11, 193-pound three-year starting corner from Rancho Cucamonga, California, has declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest former Oregon football running back LeGarrette Blount].
Like his partner-in-crime across the field, Deommodore Lenoir has also decided to forgo his senior season - whatever that may have looked like - and pursue his NFL dream.
Both corners - along with defensive lineman Austin Faoliu and nose tackle Jordon Scott - elected to return to Oregon for their senior seasons, however, with the ever-present coronavirus pandemic and skepticism in college football, this decision makes complete sense.
Here is why Graham Jr. will go down as one of the greatest corners to play in Autzen Stadium.
Immediately made an impact from the moment he stepped on campus. Earned the starting role on the opposite side of senior Arrion Springs. Made 12 consecutive starts and played in all 13 games. Graham Jr. tied for the team lead and ranked sixth in the Pac-12 with three interceptions. He finished his freshman campaign with 49 solo tackles, three interceptions and seven pass breakups.
After a breakout freshman campaign, opposing quarterbacks continued to throw Graham’s way. In his sophomore year, he finished with 21 pass breakups, 47 solo tackles and three interceptions.
Graham Jr. continued to make big plays in what would eventually be his final season in green and yellow. He finished with 47 tackles, two interceptions, 12 pass breakups and one forced fumble.
He also made two huge interceptions in 2019: on the national stage against Auburn in week one; and again on the national stage in the 2020 Rose Bowl against Wisconsin.
He entered his senior year as the FBS active leader in passes defended (40) and pass breakups (32).
With so much uncertainty in college football, and especially in the Pac-12 conference, it makes complete sense why, but Oregon’s secondary will look a lot different next season without its two multiple-year starting corners on the field.
Stay tuned for a deeper analysis on what the 2020-2021 Oregon secondary could look like…