After one of the most successful drafts in the history of the university, it is time to look forward to the potential 2014 NFL prospects to come out of Oregon. There are at least three Ducks that I foresee going early in the next draft, but I can’t see it being as good as this last draft.
My number one NFL prospect going into this season is red-shirt senior defensive tackle Taylor Hart. He had an amazing 2012 season and it’s hard to not think that he’s going to improve this upcoming season. Hart had a team-best eight sacks and was second on the team with 11 tackles for loss.
Coming into this season, Hart stands at 6-feet 6-inches, and weighs roughly 300 pounds — the prototypical size for a dominant defensive lineman in the NFL. I could see Hart getting double digit sacks this season and really catapulting his draft stock.
2014 NFL Draft Stock: Late first to second round
The next Duck that has NFL potential and a lot of scouts thoroughly impressed with is junior Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. He had a coming out season last year; he racked up 63 total tackles, 20 pass deflections, six forced fumbles, four interceptions and one touchdown.
Ekpre-Olomu has perfect NFL defensive back size, standing at 5-10 and weighing around 190-pounds. In some mock drafts that I have seen they project him going in the first round in next year’s draft. He needs to have another solid season in order to keep this early projection. I project Ekpre-Olomu to have at least four more interceptions and over 25 pass deflections this coming season, helping his draft stock soar even higher.
2014 NFL Draft Stock: First Round
This last prospect has a long shot of getting drafted, but if senior wide receiver Josh Huff has a huge 2013 season he can be a 5th or 6th round draft pick. After the Spring Game this past Saturday, one can’t help but predict what potential Huff and quarterback Marcus Mariota can have this coming season.
Over the past three seasons Huff has progressed every year. He has tallied 1,226 yards on 82 receptions and 12 touchdowns in three seasons with Oregon. During his freshman season he also showed his rushing ability with 214 yards on just 12 carries and two touchdowns. If Huff has over 600 receiving yards and double digit touchdowns this season, he can get the attention of NFL scouts without a doubt.
2014 NFL Draft Stock: Late 6th or 7th Round
Other potential players to watch are Mariota and junior athlete De’Anthony Thomas. I foresee both of these guys coming back for the 2014-15 season though, so I didn’t evaluate them for the 2014 NFL Draft.
After the 2013 Draft, Oregon has set the bar pretty high for their prospects. 2014 projects to be another great draft for the Ducks, these are just a few of the players that will have the NFL scouts watching them progress this season.