Throughout the Oregon Ducks’ football history, they have provided some incredible NFL talent. Despite being criticized as a program that “does not prepare players for an NFL offense,” Oregon has produced some incredible NFL players. To prove this, I compiled a starting lineup...
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FishDuck.com Feature Writer Mike Ostrom sits down with Former Ducks Max Unger and Will Tukuafu of the Seattle Seahawks with LeGarrette Blount and Patrick Chung of the New England Patriots at Super Bowl Media Day: Two Oregon Ducks are going…
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It was a game that should have been shelved all together after last season, but the NFL All Star game also known as the Pro Bowl was reborn with input from executives and fans. The new format, which I’ll get to in a few, includes a draft process for players that will make up two […]
Three Former Ducks Make List of 2014 Pro Bowl Players, Kiko Alonso and TJ Ward Snubbed – Autzen Zoo – Autzen Zoo – An Oregon Ducks Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
Oregon Duck football is not only represented on Saturday’s. A plethora of Duck alum are now NFL players who excel and leave their mark on the NFL landscape each and every week. Here’s how they performed in Week 13:
Kiko Alonzo delivered 13 tackles in the Bills thrilling OT loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Alonzo has been the rookie surprise of the NFL season thus far. He is second in the NFL in tackles and will likely spend Week 18 in Honolulu. With the Ducks recent struggles stopping the run, one can only reminisce on the days when this guy patrolled potential running lanes for UO.
In a season defined by failed contract negotiations and trade rumors, Jairus Byrd has played in seven games this year and caught a few picks, but hasn’t played up to the same level that he has in the past. In order to get the big contract he so desires, he must make more game changing plays. Byrd had nine tackles against the Falcons.
RB LeGarrette Blount had a good game for the New England Patriots. Blount had 12 carries for 44 yards and a TD. Blount has filled the role of change of pace power back for the Patriots nicely this season, accumulating 418 yards and three touchdowns on 4.4 yards per carry.
St. Louis Rams QB Kellen Clemens completed 52% of his passes for 218 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT during the Rams loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Clemens is the prototypical backup QB. He can make some good throws and manages the offense, but he is doesn’t have the ability to carry a team to victory. In consequence, he will almost certainly spend the rest of his career as an injury safety net.
DE Dion Jordan earned three tackle in the Miami Dolphins convincing 20-3 victory over the New York Jets. Jordan’s playing time has been steadily increasing this year. If Miami falls out of the playoff picture in the coming weeks, look for Jordan’s playing time to continue on its upward trajectory.
After breaking the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond was suspended for four games last week. He will be back to his reserve CB role on Dec. 23.
Against his cousin Maurice Jones Drew, S T.J. Ward had seven tackles and two tackles for loss in the Browns loss to the Jags.
TE Ed Dickson continued to be a non-factor for the Ravens, only catching one pass for 13 yards against the Stealers.
RB LaMichael James powered through food poisoning and returned punts for the Niners, though he was understandably hesitant to do anything other than call for a fair catch in most of his opportunities.
DT Haloti Ngata accumulated two tackles for the Ravens. Ngata has been dealing with knee issues, but has had a solid year thus far anchoring the Ravens defense.
Casey Matthews captured his eighth tackle on the season in the Eagles win over the Arizona Cardinals.
RB Jonathan Stewart had a healthy amount of attempts for the Panthers, but didn’t do much with them. The RB ran the ball 14 times for 39 yards in the Panthers 27-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Stewart is super talented but his career has been marred by injuries. This season has been no different. Hopefully J-Stew can fully revitalize so we can see even half of his potential as a RB.
LB Spencer Paysinger had his best performance sine Week 5, accruing eight tackles in the Cowboys win over the Redskins. Paysinger gained back his starting role, starting for “America’s team” for the first time since week 7.
S Eddie Pleasant had four tackles in the Texans loss to the Patriots.
Kyle Long– Started at G for the Chicago Bears.
Max Unger– Started for the Seattle Seahawks.
Geoff Shwartz– Started at G for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Adam Snyder- Started at G for the San Francisco 49ers.
Rookie Bills LB Kiko Alonzo continued his strong play, accumulating 13 tackles including one tackle for loss against the New York Jets.
The Bills S Jairus Byrd had arguably his best game of the season, catching two interceptions for 57 return yards and four tackles against the Jets.
Byrd wasn’t the only former Duck to catch an interception last weekend. Walter Thurmond picked off Minnesota Quarterback Christian Ponder and returned it 29 yards for a TD. Thurmond also had 3 tackles.
New England Patriot RB LeGarrette Blount had 10 rushes for 49 yards in last nights controversial loss to the Carolina Panthers.
RB Jonathan Stewart ran for 10 yards on 4 carries for the Panthers.
LaMichael James had two rushes for seven yards in the Niners three-point loss to the Saints.
Ed Dickson had one reception for 16 yards in the Ravens loss to the Bears.
Ravens DT Haloti Ngata did not play as he is suffering from a left leg injury.
DE Dion Jordan had one tackle in the Miami Dolphins win over the San Diego Chargers.
LB Casey Matthews delivered two tackles in the Philadelphia Eagles win over the Washington Redskins.
S Patrick Chung added two tackles for the Eagles.
S T.J. Ward had two tackles including one tackle for loss during the CLeveland Browns loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
S Eddie Pleasant had two tackles in the Texans loss to the Raiders during Houston’s 8th straight loss.
Duck offensive lineman:
Kyle Long– Starting G for the Chicago Bears
Max Unger– Starting C for the Seattle Seahawks.
Adam Synder– G for the San Francisco 49ers
Mark Asper– G for the Buffalo Bills
Geoff Schwartz– Backup G for the Kansas City Chiefs
All other former Ducks in the NFL didn’t record a stat or didn’t play last week.
With the 2013 NFL Draft approaching, I decided now would be a pretty good time to look back over the past six draft classes to see which Oregon Ducks were the best NFL Draft prospects.
Note: While Kelly took over as head coach for the 2009 season, he joined the program as offensive coordinator in 2007. Players from the 2008 NFL draft through now are included.
Listed below are a handful of Ducks who dominated the NFL draft.
Pick: No. 13
Stewart played all four of his seasons under then head coach Mike Bellotti, but spent one as the primary running back for coach Kelly in Kelly’s first season with the Oregon program. Stewart put up huge numbers for the Ducks in his junior season, totaling 1,722 rushing yards on 280 carries (6.2 YPC) and 11 touchdowns. He also totaled 614 kickoff return yards.
Stewart skipped on his final season of eligibility to enter the draft early and was picked up by the Carolina Panthers with the 13th overall pick. Stewart, battling nagging injuries throughout his pro career, has been with the Panthers organization for five seasons. He has amassed 3,836 yards and 27 touchdowns in his professional career.
Pick: No. 49
It was a bit surprising that Unger fell as far in the draft as he did, especially considering the huge career he had in Eugene. Unger started all four seasons he played with the Ducks and is one of the best offensive linemen in school history. He was named to the all-Pac-10 first team twice with the Ducks and was selected second team all-Pac-10 and honorable mention. Unger played for Bellotti all four seasons.
Unger was listed by most scouting services as the No. 1 offensive guard, but has played the majority of his professional career as center for the Seahawks. Unger has made one NFL pro bowl (2012) in his career.
Pick: No. 34
New England Patriots
Chung played arguably the biggest role in his four seasons with the Ducks than any other player on this list. He considered leaving school a season early, but ultimately decided to return for one final season with the Ducks. Over his four years, he totaled a remarkable 370 tackles nine interceptions. Yes, you read that correctly. Chung recorded 370 tackles for the Ducks!
Chung has started more games than any other defensive player in Oregon football history including 51 consecutive games during his time in Eugene. Chung, like Unger, played all four seasons under Bellotti.
In the pros, Chung has excelled for the Patriots. He has been the anchor of an often time inconsistent secondary. In one of his early moves as the new Philadelphia Eagles head coach, Kelly brought in Chung to play in his defensive backfield. Even while focusing solely on the offense for the Ducks, all it took was two seasons to get Chip’s attention.
Chung has 239 career tackles, seven interceptions and one touchdown in the pros. He also started in Super Bowl 46 for the Patriots.
Pick: No. 38
Ward has overcome roadblocks throughout his football career and continues to excel in every opportunity he gets. After an injury during his senior season of high school football, few schools were willing to take a chance on Ward. He walked on at Oregon and had a legendary career spanning four seasons. Ward earned a 2008 Pac-10 Honorable Mention and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Many NFL scouts worried about Ward’s size, but the Browns’ organization took a chance and boy has it payed off. In three seasons, Ward has 230 tackles including 123 his rookie season. Ward has also forced five fumbles and has three interceptions. Injuries have slowed Ward down over the past two seasons, but he is close to playing at a pro bowl level.
And last, but not least, is recent graduate Dion Jordan who is ready to burst onto the NFL stage. The former Ducks football star was a monster for opposing offenses in his senior season, and has the size/speed to play either defensive end or outside linebacker at the next level.
Many scouts project Jordan to go somewhere in the top-10, and some have him going No. 4 to the Kelly-led Eagles. Jordan played all four of his seasons under Kelly, and would be a great addition to a struggling franchise. EDN will bring you full coverage of the NFL Draft.