- Justin Herbert graded out very well in PFF’s rankings for last season despite the inconsistencies in the receiver room. The adjusted pass completion percentage is striking given all issues with drops and overthrows. It’s pretty remarkable given Herbert’s tendency to revert to sometimes hopeless deep throws to current Minnesota Viking WR Dillon Mitchell.
- Herbert was especially productive when using the play action off the running back. Grading out highly in the conference. I believe he was top five in that category. OC Marcus Arroyo would be wise to utilize more play action in the offense next season given the stable of running backs and the question marks at receiver.
RB C.J. Verdell
Yards after contact for Pac-12 running backs in 2018, according to PFF
1. Eno Benjamin 1,030 (ASU)
2. Travon McMillian 763 (CU)
3. Myles Gaskin 742 (UW)
4. Jermar Jefferson 713 (OSU)
5. CJ Verdell 671 (UO)
— Mike Singer (@Rivals_Singer) January 27, 2019
- Verdell was the bellcow back between the tackles grinding out the tough yards in 2018. Despite all the jokes about Verdell having virtually no vision like a NFL Trent Richardson, he relished the contact and was tough to bring down, ranking in the top five in yards after contact.
- He ranked third last season in first down / touchdown conference, which is surprising given the talent in the conference at the position. I expect him to improve on the ranking in 2019. It will be interesting to see how and when the carries are divvied out between Verdell, Travis Dye, CHL, and Sean Dollars.
Oregon Offensive Line
LT Penei Sewell
- The “franchise left tackle” Penei Sewell was graded highly as a true freshman getting his first reps in major Division 1 college football. To allow pressures on 0.01% of your snaps is seriously impressive. I’m surprised that his run blocking graded out slightly higher than his pass blocking grade. It’s not overwhelming out of balance so he has room to improve.
- The difference between the line having Sewell and not having Sewell was very tangible. It’s a concern that a freshman left tackle impacted results that much. He’s the highest graded sophomore tackle that’s returning in 2019. Sewell was the highest graded true freshman left tackle according to PFF.
- Lemieux is the rock of the Ducks’ offensive line and the grading shows. There’s not much else to say but to state that Lemieux might be the best guard in the country in 2019.
- According to PFF, his pass blocking grade decreased from 2017 to 2018. 2.4% pressures allowed is still crazy good. If he continues his form in 2019, he’s going to get drafted high in next year’s draft.
- Hanson is the most experienced Ducks lineman, be it good or bad is up in the air. He did lead the conference in pass blocking grades for centers so there’s that.
- The hope is that he’s off his case of the yips he experienced last season.
- Warmack held his own but PFF graded him as the “worst” Ducks lineman last season. As a result, his spot in the starting lineup might be in jeopardy this upcoming season.
- PFF grades are pretty much confirmed by watching the tape. Warmack wasn’t the best but he wasn’t as bad as some people made him out to be.
- It will be interesting to see if he can stay healthy and keep the competition at bay.
- Throckmorton is the most talented lineman on the roster. The grades reflected his stellar play. He allowed just 13 pressures on 926 of his snaps (0.01%).
- His pass blocking grade is extremely high and Throckmorton could be the best right tackle in all of college football.
- The run blocking grade was a little off it seems but it can argued to a certain extent.
DT Jordon Scott
- The grades bear out that Fat Mac was the monster in the middle for the Ducks’ defense.
- The elder Faoliu brother was a key cog in the run defense scheme last season, garnering high praise from PFF in that category.
- As you can see, he led the conference among returning defensive tackles last season in run stop percentage. However, having Fat Mac beside him had to have help him a bit. I expect him to continue the stellar run game play this coming season.
LB Troy Dye
– As expected, Dye was it in terms of Ducks linebackers. He was the leader in 2017 as well in run stops according to PFF.
– Much will be expected of the senuor this season and he needs to deliver for draft stock.
CB Thomas Graham, Jr
- Battle tested rising junior TG4 returns after a stellar campaign last season. He was one of the more unheralded cornerbacks in the game. The Ducks have two standout corners, can they find a third to alleviate the pressure?
- Can TG4 continue his good form with a relatively new face next to him at safety?
- Rising sophomore Jevon Holland was a freshman revelation and nearly took current Seahawk Ugo Amadi’s job from him last season. He was the best young safety last year.
- He missed spring practice with an injury but a return to health should bode well as the key piece in a loaded Ducks secondary.
- I expect him to play cornerback in certain big nickel formations in 2019 as well.
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