Naming the Oregon Ducks all-time G.O.A.T lineup-- Offense
During the 21st century, Oregon football's been known for blazing speed, high scoring offense, and revolutionary uniforms.
Today, we break down the all-time Oregon offensive unit with the best players at each position. Also, the formation used will be an 11-personnel set so therefore we'll name one running back, three wide receivers, and one tight end.
Let's get started...
QUARTERBACK — Marcus Mariota (2012-2014)
No surprise here that the G.O.A.T. and Heisman Trophy winner is Oregon’s All-Time starting quarterback.
In three years as the starter for Oregon, Mariota won a Fiesta Bowl, Rose Bowl, and took the program to its second-ever National Championship where the Ducks fell short 42-20 to the Ohio State Buckeyes. However, the Ducks trailed just 21-20 in the third quarter before the talent disparity between the two teams was too much for Mariota and Oregon to overcome.
He owns the Pac-12 records for career touchdowns (135), single-season total offense (5,224), single-season total touchdowns (58), freshman passing touchdowns (32) and passes attempted without an interception (353).
Additionally, he owns the Oregon program records for career total offensive yards (13,089), career passing yards (10,801), career passing touchdowns (105), single-season passing yards (4,454), single-season passing touchdowns (42), and single-game passing touchdowns (6 at Cal in 2012).
Mariota was selected No. 2 overall by the Tennessee Titans in the 2015 NFL Draft and is currently with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Depth chart: Dennis Dixon, Joey Harrington, Dan Fouts, Darron Thomas
RUNNING BACK — LaMichael James (2009-2011)
Another Heisman candidate takes the starting spot behind Mariota in Oregon’s offense.
These two never took the field together, but can you imagine the electricity if they had? When you think you had James stopped in the backfield, in the blink of an eye, he was gone sprinting down the field with that 10.62, 100-meter speed.
After setting school record with 1,731 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns in 2010, he claimed the 2010 Doak Award as the nation’s best running back. All three seasons James suited up in an Oregon uniform, he recorded over 1,500+ rushing yards and averaged 137.4 per game. That’s insane.
James was drafted in the second round (No. 61 overall) by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Depth chart: Jonathan Stewart, Royce Freeman
WIDE RECEIVER - Samie Parker (2000-2003)
We’re going to split this one up into three since there are usually three wide receivers out on the field at once.
That one retro No. 1 Ducks jersey you have in your closet belongs to Samie Parker (2000-2003). He finished his four-year career at Oregon with 178 receptions totaling 2,761 receiving yards, 19 touchdowns and averaged 15.5 yards per catch. Parker was selected in the fourth round (No. 105 overall) by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2004 NFL Draft.
WIDE RECEIVER - Jeff Maehl (2007-2010)
Would you believe that Jeff Maehl started off as a reserve in Oregon’s secondary before making the switch to wide receiver in 2007?
Well, he did. And it was a good position change. Maehl equaled Parker’s school records for receptions in a season (77) and a career (178) and finished with 2,311 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns.
WIDE RECEIVER - De’Anthony Thomas (2011-2013)
Then came along the fastest, most elusive and shifty slot receiver Oregon has ever seen: De’Anthony Thomas.
In his three years in Eugene, Oregon, Thomas spent time both in the backfield behind Mariota and in the slot, both of which he excelled at. He finished his career with over 1,000+ yards in both rushing and receiving, caught 14 touchdowns and rushed for 20 touchdowns. He’s also still seen as one of the most iconic players to ever suit up for Oregon and opening up the Southern California to Eugene pipeline that still glows strongly today.
Wide receiver depth chart: Josh Huff, Dillon Mitchell, Cristin McLemore, Tony Hartley, Keenan Howry
TIGHT END — Ed Dickson (2006-2009)
Dickson was Oregon’s second-leading receiver in 2009, the same season Oregon was No. 1 in scoring offense in the Pac-10 Conference. He caught 124 passes for 1,557 yards and 12 touchdowns throughout his four-year career in Eugene.
He was ranked the nation’s No. 6 tight end coming out of high school and finished his collegiate career named First-Team All-Pac-10. His best game was against Cal on September 26, 2009, where he recorded 11 catches for 148 yards and three touchdowns.
Dickson was then drafted in the third round (No. 70 overall) by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Depth chart: Lavasier Tuinei, Jacob Breeland, Pharaoh Brown
LEFT TACKLE - Penei Sewell (2018-present)
The only Oregon player to ever win the Outland Trophy (and up for it again in 2020) has to be the choice here at left tackle.
Starting from his true freshman year, Sewell has been one of the nation’s best players ever since stepping onto the field. Currently seen as a generational tackle prospect, expect him to head to the NFL after his junior season where he’ll be among the first players taken off of the board. He was the first sophomore offensive lineman to win the Outland Trophy Award and finished that campaign as the top-graded offensive lineman in PFF history (since 2014). Through two seasons in Eugene, he’s only allowed just one sack over 1,376 snaps.
Depth Chart: Tyrell Crosby, Max Unger, Tom Drougas
LEFT GUARD - Calvin Throckmorton (2015-2019)
Although he never actually started a game at left guard, Calvin Throckmorton was famous for his ability to play all five positions along the line and deserved a place on the all-Oregon first-team offense.
He started 52 consecutive games to finish his career as an Oregon Duck and allowed just one sack over his final 3,224 snaps (45 games), including 1,602 in pass protection. He was named a second-team All-American as a junior and senior, and was the only lineman in FBS to start at four different positions in 2018.
CENTER - Hroniss Grasu (2010-2014)
Hroniss Grasu was a four-year starter for the Ducks during the peak of Oregon football so far.
As a man of Oregon, he won two Rose Bowls, a Fiesta Bowl, and appeared in the program's second-ever National Championship game. He was named a finalit for the Rimington Trophy, which is given to the nation's best center, two years in a row and was a first-team All-American as a senior.
RIGHT GUARD - Gary Zimmerman (1980-83)
The best offensive lineman in Oregon history (or at least until Penei Sewell enrolled in Eugene.)
Gary Zimmerman was named the Pac-10 offensive lineman of the year in 1983 and would go on to be selected in the first round of the 1984 supplemental draft by the New York Giants. In the NFL, he was a 7x Pro Bowler, was an All-NFL selection five times, was the NFL Lineman of the Year in 1997, and a Super Bowl Champion for Denver in 1998.
Depth Chart: Jake Fisher
RIGHT TACKLE - Geoff Schwartz (2004-2007)
A 23-game starter for the Oregon Ducks, Geoff Schwartz allowed just three sacks as a sophomore in 2005 as his offensive line gave up the third-fewest in all of FBS football that season. He was also named the co-offensive player of the week in the 2005 game against Oregon State and was player of the week for his performance against Oklahoma in 2006.
Then in 2007, he started at right tackle for the Ducks team that could have easily won a National Championship, if not for quarterback Dennis Dixon's torn ACL, and help lead the Ducks' conference-leading rushing attack for the second straight season.