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Is Oregon QB Bo Nix being unfairly looked past in 2023 NFL Draft discussions?

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Should college football analysts and NFL draft experts be talking more about Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix going into the 2022 season, and subsequent 2023 NFL Draft?

At first look, that sounds kind of like an insane question, simply because Nix hasn’t actually won the starting job with the Ducks yet, and still has to hold off both Ty Thompson and Jay Butterfield in order to be named the QB1. However, after the weeks of spring football, it feels like a safe consensus that Nix is currently the leader in the clubhouse to become the starter by a comfortable margin. We’ll see how things play out this summer, but for the sake of this argument, we are going to tentatively assume that it is Nix who will win the job in the end.

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So now I will ask again — is Bo Nix, the perceived starting QB for the Oregon Ducks, being overlooked when it comes to the 2023 NFL Draft?

Going through the mocks and early projections for what the first few rounds will look like, Nix’s name is nowhere to be found. Even when you look past the mocks and read USA TODAY Sports’ Touchdown Wire’s ‘QBs to watch for in the 2023 draft’ piece, Nix is once again absent from the list.

Not absent are players like Texas Tech QB Tyler Shough, Pittsburgh QB Kedon Slovis, Washington State QB Cameron Ward, and Stanford QB Tanner McKee. Nix may not be worthy of mentioning with the guys like Bryce Young (Alabama) and C.J. Stroud (Ohio State), but he feels relevant enough to be thrown into the mix with current and former Pac-12 guys like we named above.

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This is where we would argue that Nix is being underrated, and might turn some heads in his first year with the Ducks. With the Auburn Tigers, he proved that he has the intangibles to be really good. After coming to school as a 5-star recruit, Nix turned around and beat the Ducks in his first collegiate game in 2019, throwing for over 2,500 yards and 16 touchdowns in his freshman season. His production dipped slightly in the two seasons following, but he now reunites with former offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham in Eugene, and looks to have a high-flying offense at his fingertips, ripe with weapons and creative schemes.

Are we saying that Nix is going to turn into a world-beater for the Ducks and throw his name into the Heisman Trophy conversation? It seems unlikely. However, it’s absolutely possible — and probable — that Nix finds success at Oregon and can lead the Ducks to a number of wins while putting up stats that either rival or surpass his freshman production with Auburn.

Would that not be good enough to get him into NFL draft consideration?

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Maybe we’re crazy. Maybe we’re just looking at something that other people are ignoring. Maybe the fact that Nix hasn’t ‘officially’ won the starting job yet has people stopping short of evaluating his potential draft stock a year from now.

Whatever the reason, it feels like Oregon’s projected starting QB is getting the short end of the stick when predicting the future, and it’s likely going to change when the season rolls around.

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