By Arthur Dowell @a24dowell on May 27, 2014
The Oregon Ducks will enter the program's second season under head coach Mark Helfrich with some high hopes in the Pac-12, but those expectations can only be met if the players filling in for some key departures can step up and produce. These five guys have some big shoes to fill in the 2014 season.
Bralon Addison will be moved into the No. 1 receiver slot after the Ducks lost Josh Huff to the NFL. Huff left a great legacy with many records. Addison, though, did have a good season with 61 catches for almost 900 yards. It'll be fun to see what him and Marcus Mariota can do together.
The veteran CB should have no problem being a starter for the explosive Oregon Ducks. He will have an easier time transitioning into the role after Terrence Mitchell's departure for the NFL. Mathis' experience will help him greatly to carry starting role and look to his numbers become similar to Mitchell's.
DeForest Buckner will be looking to fill huge shoes this season. After losing Taylor Hart and his 75 tackles, Buckner will look to keep pressure on opposing offenses. He has shown great ability to pressure the quarterback as he collected three sacks in his limited time playing last year. Buckner should feel comfortable after a few weeks, and if not, he could get benched quickly.
Though his predecessor is pictured above, Balducci has no easy task. Replacing three year starter and four year contributor Wade Keliikipi has to be high on the list for biggest shoes to fill. When healthy, Keliikipi was someone every offensive coordinator kept an eye on when making plays. Balducci has played some in the last two years, and the 300-pound man should be a big piece to Oregon's success.
Oregon has been known for a legacy of running backs since Jonathan Stewart. Tyner will look to do that after De'Anthony Thomas' departure for the NFL. He has the most pressure as Thomas was known for being an all-around player capable of running, receiving and returning kickoffs. Tyner should get more touches as a RB than Thomas did as he comes in 40 pounds heavier.
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