NFL Draft

Damien Lewis is ready to ‘maul guys’ in run and pass protection

Damien Lewis is ready to ‘maul guys’ in run and pass protection

The Seattle Seahawks needed to beef up their offensive line after the 2019 season, so Pete Carroll and John Schneider selected one LSU guard Damien Lewis in the third round of last month’s draft to meet that need.

Lewis, fresh off of winning a Nation Championship with his alma mater, spoke with 710 ESPN Seattle about how confident and ready he is about helping the Seahawks offensive line improve from last year

I’m just a mean, tough and nasty guy who can do it all,” Lewis said. “Maul guys in the run, maul guys in the pass, just come in and just lay it out every play, every snap, just going to give it my all.

Lewis was projected to be drafted in the third round in this year’s draft, and when he was finally selected by the Seahawks, Lewis talks later in the interview about how that moment was a surreal and quite an emotional one. 

“That right there really just something that I’ll never forget, that phone call,” Lewis continued. “Just really laid on my heart. Coach Pete told me he wanted me to come to play, and I told him I’d give it my all. From day one to come up there and earn everything; I don’t want nothing given to me. Come up there and compete. . . . I’m a winner. This is what I do; I love to win. And I’m going t come in, bring the same thing: mean, tough and nasty.”

With the Seahawks releasing Justin Britt and D.J. Fluker, the offensive line is in need of Lewis and his tough, nasty contribution sooner rather than later.

Russell Wilson could be seeing a bit more time in the pocket than in year’s past, for once.

You can listen to the full interview with Damien Lewis here.

Seahawks first-round pick Jordyn Brooks wants to be the best at his craft

Seahawks first-round pick Jordyn Brooks wants to be the best at his craft

Many were surprised when the Seattle Seahawks selected a linebacker, not a pass rusher, in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. 

They were even more astonished when it was Texas Tech’s Jordyn Brooks whose name was their preferred choice, not LSU’s Patrick Queen, who was still available when Seattle was on the clock.

But the Seahawks stunned NFL observers and selected Brooks out of Texas Tech at No. 27 overall. Beat reporters at home, rather than in media room headquarters, frantically combed through NFL draft bios to get to know the Seahawks’ first-round surprise.

General manager John Schneider knew there was a solid chance the top three linebackers in the draft would still be on the Big Board when it was their time to pick. So, he made sure to come away with one. 

“These guys are too special,” Schneider told Sports Radio 950 KJR. “I think that you’ll see [Kenneth] Murray, Queen, Brooks be really outstanding players for a number of years. All three of these guys could be culture changers. These guys are unbelievable kids, unbelievable work ethic. We basically had a wall where we were like ‘look, we’re not going to leave if one of these guys is here.'”

Brooks was their guy. 

[RELATED: Why Seahawks coveted Jordyn Brooks, according to Carroll and Schneider]

The 6-0, 240-pounder will have an opportunity to make an impact on Seattle’s linebacker corps which features a cast of Pro Bowlers including Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, as well as veteran Bruce Irvin who had 8.5 sacks in 2019. All three players are presumptive starters entering the 2020 season.

John Schneider revealed Wright is rehabbing from an offseason surgery, which makes a little more sense as to why the Seahawks drafted a linebacker in the first round. Schneider did not reveal a timeline for Wright’s return, but said the procedure was not serious. 

The recent offseason surgery could carve way for Brooks to slide into the weakside linebacker spot, as Seahawks Insider Joe Fann mentioned, allowing veteran Wright to be used on the strongside. 

As a senior at Texas Tech, Brooks racked up 108 tackles with 20 tackles for loss. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds unofficially, giving Seattle another tantalizing and speedy player on defense. One NFL scout told Fann his mentality, grit and passion make Brooks simply “a Seattle guy.”

Seahawks fans may still be coming to grips with the Brooks selection, but Schneider, for one, believes he will be a playmaker in the middle of the Seahawks defense for years to come. 

“He embodies what our organization is all about with a chip on his shoulder and just being a guy that really wants to be the best at his craft,” Schneider said. “Once he’s here, he’ll remind you a lot of Bobby and K.J. in the way he plays and everything.”

Be sure to listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms. 

Oregon OL Calvin Throckmorton one of PFF’s top UDFA signings

Oregon OL Calvin Throckmorton one of PFF’s top UDFA signings

Calvin Throckmorton waited for three days to hear his name called during the 2020 NFL Draft, but it wasn’t until after the draft concluded that the former Oregon offensive lineman got the call.

Throckmorton, an NFL Combine invite, as well as Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Bowl participant, was scooped up by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent.

Behind Washington tight end Hunter Bryant and Washington State quarterback Anthony Gordon, Pro Football Focus ranks Throckmorton the third-best UDFA signing.

More from PFF’s Ben Linsey on Throckmorton:

You don’t want to overreact to NFL Combine performances, but Throckmorton’s was really bad. That lack of athleticism was likely a driver in his fall and may limit him to center in the NFL. There are a lot of things to like with Throckmorton, though. He played tackle, guard and center in the Oregon offense as a four-year starter. That’s about as good as you’re going to get from an experience standpoint. He’s also graded well with pass-blocking grades above 85.0 in each of the past three years and overall grades above 70.0 all four years as a starter. It’s a solid depth signing for the Saints, a team that had just four draft picks last week.

During his time at Oregon, Throckmorton started four different positions on the Ducks offensive line and played 3,653 career snaps. He earned career grades of 83.8 overall, 91.2 pass block, and 80.2 in run block, according to PFF

Throckmorton will make a pretty penny with the Saints. His contract includes a base salary with $110,000 guaranteed and a $12,500 signing bonus, per Nick Underhill of the Saints.

He may have been one of three Ducks left on the Big Board, but Throckmorton will get his chance to make an impact in the NFL. He may very well be one of the Saints draft gems. 

The results of the NFL Draft tell you one important thing about Oregon's Ducks

The results of the NFL Draft tell you one important thing about Oregon's Ducks

You have to give the Oregon football team credit -- to be anywhere near the national championship chase this season and to have won the conference and the Rose Bowl, was a great achievement, given the Ducks’ talent level. The players and the coaches may have overachieved.

The NFL completed its seven-round draft Saturday and Oregon had only four players selected and just one -- quarterback Justin Herbert -- in the first three rounds, which is where the true stars are taken.

And yes, I understand a lot of the Ducks’ talent was young. But that only serves to enhance the achievement. Yes, Oregon had a terrific senior quarterback, but it helps a great deal to have seasoned veterans on your team and the Ducks didn’t have a lot of them.

And neither did the Pac-12.

The SEC had 63 players drafted, the Big Ten had 48 and the Pac-12 just 32. And on top of that, the SEC had 40 of its picks in the first three rounds. The Pac-12 had a dozen over the first three rounds -- a huge disparity in top-end talent.

And make no mistake, the number of players drafted is a pretty good indicator of how good a conference or a team was during the season.

Here’s a look at the schools with the most players selected during the draft:

LSU: 14

Michigan: 10

Ohio State: 10

Alabama: 9

Clemson 7

Florida 7

Georgia: 7

Utah: 7

Auburn: 6

Notre Dame: 6

I do expect, given the recruiting success Mario Cristobal is having in Eugene, that the Ducks will climb the ladder of teams featuring future NFL players.

And if they want to chase a national title or just do well outside of a mediocre conference, they better.

Here is the Oregon Ducks 2020 undrafted free agent tracker

Here is the Oregon Ducks 2020 undrafted free agent tracker

After three busy days, the 2020 NFL Draft has officially concluded. But that doesn’t mean the action ends there. 

Over the next few days, teams around the NFL will be adding undrafted free agents to bolster their roster.

2020 ProDucks: Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers); Troy Dye (Minnesota Vikings); Shane Lemieux (New York Giants); Jake Hanson (Green Bay Packers).

There are a few Oregon Ducks, however, who did not hear their name called in the draft that would siege the opportunity. 

Here’s a look at which teams have signed Ducks to training camp rosters and will be updated accordingly:

CALVIN THROCKMORTON

In somewhat surprising news, the offensive lineman was not selected during the NFL Draft. But it didn't take long to hear his name after it ended on Saturday afternoon.

It has been reported that Throckmorton has signed with the New Orleans Saints.

Throckmorton was the only FBS offensive lineman in 2018 to start at four different positions (RT, C, RG, RT). Made 52 consecutive starts (41 at right tackle; five at left tackle; three at right guard, three at center) to finish his career at Oregon. Throckmorton allowed just one sack over his final 3,224 snaps (45 games), including 1,602 in pass protections.

He was named a second-team All-American as a junior and senior.

BRADY AIELLO

The 6-foot-7, 311-pound senior offensive lineman from Lafayette, California played in 13 games and made five starts his senior year. He started at three different positons (LT – 1, RG – 2, RT – 2).

Aiello joins former Duck teammates Troy Dye and Dillon Mitchell in Minnesota.

Aiello also scored a touchdown for the Ducks last season:

JUWAN JOHNSON

The big man, 6-foot-4, 231-pound grad transfer wide receiver Juwan Johnson signs with the New Orleans Saints.

His one and only season in an Oregon uniform was a good one: Hauled in 30 receptions for 467 yards and four touchdowns. One of three Pac-12 players with three receiving TDs in a conference road game (at USC on November 2). 

The Saints did not select a wide receiver in the NFL Draft and will join teammate Calvin Throckmorton on the training camp roster.

GUS CUMBERLANDER

Senior defensive end Gus Cumberlander, who missed the final nine games of the 2019-2020 Oregon football season, has been given a chance at an NFL career with the New Orleans Saints.

The 6-foot-7, 256-pound defensive end's size and speed must have been too much to pass up. He will join Throckmorton and Juwan Johnson in New Orleans.

BRYSON YOUNG

6-foot-5, 248-pound outside linebacker Bryson Young is headed for the ATL. Young's most productive season at Oregon was his last: Started all 13 games at the STUD position in Andy Avalos' defensive system. Totaled 56 tackles after a combined 17 the previous three seasons.

The Falcons drafted one linebacker in the fourth round, pick 199: Fresno State's Mykal Walker.

JACOB BREELAND

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound senior tight end is on his way healthy to a team that loves tight ends. Breeland finished fourth among all-time Oregon tight ends with 1,225 receiving yards. He was Herbert's go-to guy before missing the final eight games of the season due to a season-ending injury. 

Breeland finished his career at Oregon with career totals of 74 receptions for 1,225 yards and 13 TDs.

More to come as more Ducks are signed to training camps...

Buffalo Bills select Isaiah Hodgins No. 207 in 2020 NFL Draft

Buffalo Bills select Isaiah Hodgins No. 207 in 2020 NFL Draft

The Biltkinoff Award semifinalist has found a new home.

After inexplicably falling, the Buffalo Bills selected Oregon State wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins with the 207th pick of 2020 NFL Draft.

Isaiah Hodgins

Position: Wide receiver
Year: Junior
Hometown: Oakley, California

Measurables: 

Height: 6’3 5/8" 

Weight: 210 pounds

Hand: 9 7/8"

Arm: 33 1/8

Wingspan: 80 4/8

40-yard dash: 4/61

Vertical jump: 36.5

Broad jump: 124.0

Bench press: 9 reps

His resume

The junior finished with 86 receptions for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns, those single-season numbers rank 5th, 9th, and 2nd in school history, respectively. He ultimately finished as a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award which recognized him as one of the nation's elite receivers. 

He was named First-Team All-Pac-12 from Associated Press and Phil Steele’s FCS Postseason teams and second-team by Pac-12 Coaches.

What Buffalo is getting in Hodgins

Hodgins uses his nearly 6'4" frame to create an insane catch radius which makes him an elite redzone threat. As a junior, he caught all 12 redzone targets turning into nine Oregon State touchdowns.

Throughout his career, he received 156 targets with only three drops. The Bills are getting a playmaker that can make big plays downfield and move the sticks as a possession receiver. And he'll get to learn from Stefon Diggs how to get it done at the next level.

What the Jacksonville Jaguars saw in Oregon State QB Jake Luton

What the Jacksonville Jaguars saw in Oregon State QB Jake Luton

This is one big day for Oregon State Quarterback Jake Luton. 

He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The 189th player selected. He is added to a roster that features two other quarterbacks right now: Gardner Minshew, the former Washington State Cougar, and Joshua Gibbs, who played at Tennessee. Nick Foles was in Jacksonville last year but is now with the Chicago Bears.

This is a great opportunity for Luton who had a tremendous redshirt senior season at Oregon State throwing 28 touchdown passes and just three interceptions. He did show NFL arm strength at the Combine in February and great accuracy on fade routes.

This is a tremendous accomplishment for Luton. Beaver fans remember September 16, 2017 in Pullman. He was knocked out of the game with a serious back injury. Removed from the field on a stretcher it looked serious. It turned out to be a thoracic spine fracture and he did achieve a full recovery.

Luton is the first Oregon State Beaver to ever be drafted by Jacksonville and takes pretty impressive number from college football into the NFL. He wound up with 5,227 yards passing which is 7th all-time at Oregon State. 42 touchdown passes which is fifth all-time.

Luton joins a pretty good group of Beavers drafted in the NFL. Derek Anderson was drafted in the sixth round by Baltimore in 2005. Sean Canfield went in the seventh round to New Orleans in 2010 and Sean Mannion went in the third round in 2015 to the St. Louis Rams.

More on Luton and his reaction soon!

New York Giants select Shane Lemieux No. 150th overall in 2020 NFL Draft

New York Giants select Shane Lemieux No. 150th overall in 2020 NFL Draft

Oregon’s iron man has found his new home. 

Shane Lemieux developed his passion for football in Yakima, Wash., thrived in Eugene, Ore. as a member of the Ducks, and will now join the New York Giants, as the team’s 150th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Shane Lemieux

Position: Offensive guard
Year: Senior 
Hometown: Yakima, WA

Measurables: 

Height: 6’3 7/8" 

Weight: 310 pounds

Hand: 9 4/8"

Arm: 32 2/8

Wingspan: 77

NFL Combine results:

40 Yd Dash: 5.11 seconds

Vertical Jump: 25.5 inches

Broad jump: 107.0 inches

3 Cone Drill: 8.13 seconds

20 Yd Shuttle: 4.9 seconds 

His resume 

Lemieux played 3,611 snaps at left guard over his career, including 900 each of his last three seasons at Oregon. He earned first-team All-American honors during his junior year and added second-team All-American honors as a senior. In 2019, he was a two-time Pac-12 Offensive Lineman of the Week and named to the AP Pac-12 All Conference first team. 

What the Giants are getting in Lemieux

In his four years at Oregon, Lemieux exemplified why he is a dependable and versatile player. He started 52 consecutive games at left guard for the Ducks and played nearly 98 percent of the offensive snaps. 

Lemieux has proved that the caliber of his play on tape matches the person he is. He’s a vocal leader which is reflected in his call blocking responsibilities and gifted when reading opposing defenses.

The 6-foot-4, 310 pounder may not be a Day 1 starter, but if he can improve as a pass protector and sharpen up his technique, Lemieux has the potential to develop as a starter over time.  

The Minnesota Vikings select Troy Dye No. 132 in 2020 NFL Draft

The Minnesota Vikings select Troy Dye No. 132 in 2020 NFL Draft

The first and only player in Oregon Football history to lead the team in tackles for four consecutive seasons, linebacker Troy Dye, has found his new home in the NFL.

The Norco, California native and AP All Pac-12 Conference first team player will now join the Minnesota Vikings, as the team’s 132nd overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.

TROY DYE

Position: Linebacker

Year: Senior 

Hometown: Norco, CA

Measurables

Height: 6’3” 

Weight: 231 pounds

Hand: 9 3/8”

Arm: 32 1/4

Wingspan: 77

NFL Combine participant, but held his own make-shift Pro Day: 

OREGON RESUME

Dye finished third in Oregon program history in career tackles (397) and tied for fourth in tackles for loss (44.0). Throughout his four-year career at Oregon, Dye went through three different defensive coordinators: Brady Hoke, Jim Leavitt and Andy Avalos. That constant change put a lot of pressure for leadership on Dye’s shoulders, and by Dye returning to Oregon for his senior year, put the cherry on top of an exponentially growing program going from a 4-8 season in 2017 to a Rose Bowl victory in 2020.

You're not the only one surprised Troy Dye is still on the NFL Draft boards

You're not the only one surprised Troy Dye is still on the NFL Draft boards

UPDATE: Troy Dye is headed to the Minnesota Vikings with the No. 132nd overall pick. SKOL Ducks! 

---

Day two of the 2020 NFL Draft is officially in the books.

One surprising takeaway through the first three rounds of this draft is seeing one name in particular still there: Troy Dye.

The Oregon Ducks linebacker, who is the first Duck to lead the team in tackles every season in his four-year career at Oregon, was a projected late third-round pick by several mock drafts, but no team has pulled the trigger yet.

Social media, along with Dye himself, took notice:

However, it may not take long into Saturday morning to hear Dye's name be called as he is the seventh best available prospect, according to Mel Kiper:

Round 4 begins Saturday morning at 9 a.m. (PT) with the Cincinnati Bengals picking first.