PSA: Get used to hearing Oregon Ducks taken off the board early and often in future NFL Drafts.
Because Mario Cristobal is leading the way. It starts with recruiting, which we all know that Cristobal is one of the best. Then it's about turning those guys into NFL caliber players, which we've seen happen since Cristobal took over as head coach on Dec. 8, 2017.
But not just NFL players… top-10 draft picks.
On the latest Talkin' Ducks Podcast, host Jordan Kent is joined by special guest GoDucks.com editor-in-chief Rob Moseley, who joined the Oregon Athletic Communications Office in July 2013 and works as the Editor in Chief for all Oregon athletics.
I think that just naturally follows when you're recruiting at an elite level. Guys break the mold every year. Three-star guys and two-star guys succeed in college and upset the rankings a little bit in the college level and you see it in the draft… The odds that you're going to succeed are just so much higher, the higher rated recruit you are. - Rob Moseley
A few examples come to mind: offensive lineman Penei Sewell and safety Jevon Holland. Both are projected as top-10 draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Those are two kids too who the moment they got here, you're like ‘Oh, those are dudes.' - Rob Moseley
The Sewell Heisman hype train left the station the moment he stepped onto the field.
FRESHMAN YEAR (2018)
- Rated the top freshman offensive lineman overall, the No. 2 offensive lineman in the Pac-12 and the No. 7 tackle in the nation with an 84.0 grade from Pro Football Focus. Sewell became the first offensive lineman in Oregon history to earn All-Pac-12 Conference honors as a true freshman.
- First Oregon true freshman offensive lineman to start the first game of the season since 1997. Unfortunately, an injury kept him out for the final six games in that 2018-2019 season. But the fact that Sewell received all those accolades in just seven games is quite impressive.
SOPHOMORE YEAR (2019)
- The 2019 Outland Trophy Winner, presented to the nation's top interior lineman regardless of offense or defense. Sewell is the first player in Oregon history to win this award.
- Finished as the top-graded offensive lineman in the nation and in Pro Football Focus history at 95.5.
- Also led the nation with a PFF run-blocking grade of 95.3 and was third with a pass-blocking grade of 91.1.
Penei Sewell, he's going to be a guy like Chase Young this year: everyone was like ‘He's the best player, but I don't know if he'll be the No. 1 pick. We'll see what teams need if they're picking No. 1.' But Chase Young was the best player in this year's draft class and you can see a similar discussion about Penei Sewell next year. - Rob Moseley
He's not wrong.
And then there's Jevon Holland.
He is one of three players returning this upcoming season with four or more interceptions in the last two seasons. Holland's nine interceptions from 2018-2019 were tied for the third most in the FBS over that span and the Ducks are 7-1 when he has an INT.
You look at the versatility a player like Jevon Holland has, it just seems like a perfect fit for what you need to do to play defense now. He's big enough to be a safety, come up and tackle anybody who's carrying the ball and yet athletic enough to cover just about anybody too. - Rob Moseley
The highest number of Ducks selected in an NFL Draft is six: 1940, 1943, 1950, 1972, 2002, and 2009. This upcoming year could indeed break that record.
Oregon Ducks have a pipeline of Top-10 NFL Draft picks for years to come originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest