PFF names Jackson Powers-Johnson the best returning guard across college football
The biggest question for the Oregon Ducks heading into the 2023 season is how well the offensive line will fare. After losing most of the 2022 starting linemen, there is some questions about how consistent Oregon will be in the trenches, though there are also reasons to be hopeful.
One of the only returning O-linemen from last season is Jackson Powers-Johnson, a fourth-year guard. Ahead of the 2023 season, Pro Football Focus graded Powers-Johnson the highest out of all returning guards in FBS at 84.1 out of 100.
Last season the Ducks’ offense relied a lot on running the football and Bo Nix passing from the pocket, both of which were possible due to the blocking success of the offensive line. Powers-Johnson was a large part of that success. He played in all but one of the Ducks’ 13 games last season and consistently used his quickness to get outside and set the edge on run plays.
There definitely are questions about the offensive line that will only be answered when they are tested on the field. Still, Oregon’s O-line has the potential to be elite like it was last season, it is just unclear if that potential will be maximized.
In addition to the return of Powers-Johnson, former 5-star recruit, Josh Conerly Jr. will enter his second year and likely fall into a starting role at left tackle. Furthermore, Ajani Cornelius — a 4-star transfer from the University of Rhode Island — is expected to start at right tackle for the Ducks, and Interior O-lineman, Junior Angilau — who transferred from Texas — is expected to be another high-caliber player.
The Ducks have talented O-Linemen, but besides Powers-Johnson, most of them aren’t proven. Time will tell if Oregon’s offensive line can approach the level of last season, but the presence of Powers-Johnson on the line of scrimmage should provide some much-needed experience.
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