NFL Draft

Which Oregon Ducks are testing the NFL waters and why now?

Which Oregon Ducks are testing the NFL waters and why now?

'Tis the season for bowl games and NFL mock drafts.

According to NFL operations: To be eligible for the draft, players must have been out of high school for at least three years and must have used up their college eligibility before the start of the next college football season. Underclassmen and players who have graduated before using all their college eligibility may request the league’s approval to enter the draft early.

The decision to return for a senior year can be more than just not liking where your draft stock is. It can be other things such as wanting to finish your degree, tone your skill to prepare you better for the NFL stage, returning for the complete college experience and improving the team as a whole, etc.

Following his junior season, linebacker Troy Dye also tested the NFL waters and ultimately decided to return to Oregon for his senior year. Whether that was due to his draft stock is not clear, but what is clear is how much fun Dye is having in his final season at Oregon.

[RELATED]: Legacy of a Leader: Troy Dye’s intensity guiding Oregon to a season worth coming back for

On Saturday, Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal addressed the media before the team is released a short Christmas break and then off to the Rose Bowl. Besides the seniors who will be pursuing an NFL career, Cristobal listed some of the juniors on his team that will be testing out the NFL waters: 

  • Jordon Scott 
  • Austin Faoliu
  • Deommodore Lenoir
  • Thomas Graham Jr.

Once we get the information, we provide that information for them to help them make the best decision for them and their future, which they’ve been great about. As a team, we always have an agreement before the season starts to make sure we will always discuss that after our responsibilities of the season are taken care of. — Mario Cristobal

These are four prominent defensive players that Cristobal named who have played together for three years. Defensive tackle Jordon Scott has been integral in stopping the run with his sheer size at 6-foot-1, 322 pounds drawing so much attention of the offensive line. Then comes in other defensive tackle Austin Faoliu to clean up and make the tackle. Deommodore Lenoir and Thomas Graham Jr. have been steady-handed on the outside for Oregon for three years as well. The two know the system in and out and have good chemistry with safeties Jevon Holland, Brady Breeze and Nick Pickett. Both stand at 5-foot-7 and approximately 200 pounds.

WHAT IT MEANS IF THEY GO

It would be a hard hit to the defense if all four left for the NFL, but definitely understandable. A chance to make your dream come true at the NFL level. 

Here is who would be the next men up: corner Mykael Wright has seen crucial time as a true freshman and has made an impact on the defensive end as well as on special teams returning two kickoffs for touchdowns this season (USC, Oregon State). DJ James, and Trikweze Bridges were highly rated prospects coming out of Alabama; sophomore Daewood Davis has seen time on both sides of the ball showing off his versatility; and then four-star corner Luke Hill, the No. 10 rated cornerback in the nation, is coming next season.

In terms of replacing Scott and Faoliu, redshirt freshman Andrew Faoliu (Austin’s younger brother) along with sophomore Popo Aumavae along with freshman Kristian Williams, Sua’ava Poti and Keyon Ware-Hudson will have to step up and fill in the holes.

WHAT IT MEANS IF THEY STAY

This Oregon defense that has been on the rise thanks in a lot of part to the four players listed above will continue to be a dominant force next year. This year, Oregon’s 15.7 points allowed per game in 2019 is the lowest in school history since 1966, holding 12 of 13 opponents under their season scoring average. The Ducks would return all starters on the defense except for one: linebacker Troy Dye. A hard act to follow, but Cristobal has done it once again on the recruiting front getting two five-star linebackers Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell in the 2020 class.

The defense that was allowing 329.6 yards and 15.7 points per game will be back and maybe even better next year…

NFL Scouts galore in Eugene at No. 13 Oregon vs. Colorado

NFL Scouts galore in Eugene at No. 13 Oregon vs. Colorado

It was hard not surpass the allotted Twitter character count for all the NFL Scouts in attendance for No. 13 Oregon vs. Colorado in Eugene, Ore. 

Senior quarterback Justin Herbert, senior linebacker Troy Dye, senior offensive linemen Shane Lemieux, Jake Hanson, Calvin Throckmorton and Dallas Warmack are among some of the players that have caught attention from scouts. 

Troy Dye, projected first round 2020 NFL draft pick, will smash Oregon record

Troy Dye, projected first round 2020 NFL draft pick, will smash Oregon record

In 2019, I predict Oregon inside linebacker Troy Dye’s reign of terror on Pac-12 offenses will continue and the senior will take down the Oregon record for career tackles, set in 1971.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Dye will undoubtedly be the leader of Oregon’s 2019 defense and he’s already etched his name in UO history books: leading the team in tackles for three straight seasons, only the third Duck to do so since 1970.

The “freak athlete” as NFL scouting reports often refer to Dye, finished the 2018 season with 115 total tackles totaling 313 in his collegiate career. He needs 121 tackles, six more than he had last season, to set the record.

[READ: Justin Herbert gearing up for final Duck season, invited to Manning Passing Academy]

The career record for tackles by a Duck was set by Tom Graham with 433 from 1969 to 1971, with an insane 206 tackles in 1969.

Dye, whose 313 tackles rank third among current FBS players, elected to return for his senior season after being projected as a mid-round 2019 NFL draft selection.

The linebacker has jumped up in 2020 NFL Draft projections to the first round. Rotoworld’s 2020 Mock Draft has the Los Angeles Rams selecting Dye at No. 32 overall. The Rams, who failed to address their linebacking need until the seventh round of the 2019 draft, have their eye on the speedy and versatile Dye.

Dye is in a position to become the first Duck to tally three straight 100 tackle seasons. Yes, he has more defensive talent around him this season (cough, Kayvon Thibodeaux, cough) but Dye’s elite agility and lateral quickness gives him the ability to power through linemen and can get skinny to shoot multiple gaps.

His slighter frame was Dye’s biggest weakness, but he intends to add muscle this offseason with the goal of playing next season around 235-240 pounds.

“Troy impacts our program in so many ways with his passion, leadership and love for the game,” Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said. “He leads by example and is someone his teammates look up to. Troy is a difference-maker every snap that he is on the field, and his desire to be great helps elevate our culture to the next level.”

A stronger Dye could very well lead the Pac-12 Conference in tackles next season. In which case, he’d likely earn his first All-Pac-12 first team defensive honors.


On a personal level, Dye’s decision to stay for his senior season opened up the opportunity to make Oregon history, add to his resume and his growing NFL stock.

As far as the team goes, the Ducks are probable favorites in the north division and the conference for 2019. Entering year two under Cristobal with a veteran offensive line, running back weapons CJ Verdell and Travis Dye, an influx of young talent at receivereight returning starters on defense and a few extraordinary freshman who could make instant impacts… 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting season for Oregon football.

Dillon Mitchell: The future mayor of Memphis but first a Super Bowl to Minnesota

Dillon Mitchell: The future mayor of Memphis but first a Super Bowl to Minnesota

Former Oregon wide receiver Dillon Mitchell is now a professional football player for the Minnesota Vikings with a Tommy Hilfiger deal pending and driving a custom Lamborghini Gallardo as a draft gift from a Memphis car dealership.

Although those perks are thrilling, Mitchell is most excited to get to Minneapolis, Minnesota for Vikings rookie mini-camp to show that he belongs in the National Football League.

Projected to go as high as the second round, the Vikings drafted Mitchell with the 239th overall pick in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft in what has been widely considered as a “steal.” As the wait prolonged for Mitchell to hear his named called, many wondered, did the junior make the right decision to turn professional?

“Looking back I definitely feel like I made the right decision for myself,” Mitchell said. “Going forward, I believe at the next level, with great coaches and great people around me, I will only build up my skills. I’m happy with my decision.”

Coming off of the best seasons a Duck has ever had, Mitchell’s mindset never wavered; he had zero moments of doubt. As more teams passed him up, Mitchell held tight, knowing his opportunity would come. The Memphis-native stayed calm by being around his close circle of family and friends in his hometown and taking naps.

Mitchell’s agent told him they were aiming for day two of the draft (rounds two through four), but when day three arrived and a team hadn’t called yet, Mitchell began to revel in being a “diamond in the rough” and went out to breakfast with his family on Saturday morning.

“As the days and the picks dwindled, the size of the chip on my shoulder increased,” Mitchell said.

When he finally got the call, he pressed pause on the Sherlock Holmes movie he was watching with his fiance, former Oregon track and field athlete and current Nike sprinter, Deajah Stevens. He expected to have tears of joy but Mitchell described the moment he got drafted as “life changing.”

He plans on using that determination to compete for the Vikings’ vacancy for a third receiver from the jump. Mitchell’s ability as a ball carrier, excellent route running, efficient footwork and yards after catch potential make him an enticing weapon for the Vikings.

The biggest slight on Mitchell, who holds Oregon’s record for single season receiving yards with 1,184, on any draft profile is the concern with his work ethic in the weight room. Right now, the 6-foot-1 receiver is weighing in at 205 pounds after adding five pounds of muscle working out ahead of the draft. He plans on becoming more of a “gym rat” to build a solid base to compete at the next level.

Interestingly, Mitchell will get to learn from two veterans that know his situation very well. Recent history shows the Vikings have success in bringing in under-the-radar receivers and making a success out of them. Minnesota selected Stefon Diggs in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, while Adam Thielen went undrafted in 2013 before attending a rookie tryout and signing a three-year, $1.48 million contract as an undrafted free agent.

“It definitely shows me that their coaching staff and organization invests and believe in their players when they draft them,” Mitchell said. “It’s showed me that anything is possible, you don’t have to be a top-four round pick. Thielen, he’s one of the best receivers I’ve ever seen, and Diggs, I’m just so excited to get there and follow in the footsteps of guys like them, plus the history of Cris Carter and Randy Moss."

Getting drafted by Minnesota was a “dream come true,” but it was also a shock. The Vikings did not bring Mitchell out for a pre-draft workout or reach out prior to day three of the draft. 

Mitchell celebrated with a good old-fashioned BBQ in his hometown of Memphis. To show appreciation to his closest friends, he gifted them Oregon jerseys from this breakout junior season. Then, he flew to Los Angeles to pick up the rest of his stuff and reports in Minnesota on Thursday. He can’t wait to explore the city of Minneapolis, which he has visited once before on a basketball tournament trip in high school.

Mitchell is turning a new leaf with a new jersey number, 13 (his number at Oregon) was available but the receiver decided to start a new era of his career wearing the number 17 in purple. He laughed as he divulged that purple is his favorite color, a dangerous statement considering the former Ducks rival Washington sports the same color.

In Minneapolis, he will be reunited with former Washington quarterback Jake Browning and Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion, both competing for the backup role behind Kirk Cousins.

“It’ll be a little weird now being on the same team, but I’m excited because I know those guys are excited and great people.” Mitchell said.

His four-year contract is projected to be worth $2,600,316 with a $80,316 signing bonus, according to OverTheCap.com. Mitchell plans on saving his signing bonus and the rest of the checks for the season, while living off the Tommy Hilfiger deal.

Mitchell isn’t done at Oregon, though. He has aspirations to finish his Bachelor’s Degree in political science. He is only two quarters of classes away and plans on taking online classes during season and will return to Eugene to take a few more classes in the offseason. With his political science degree, Mitchell’s goal is to become the mayor of Memphis, but first, he’s focusing on priority one: helping bring a Super Bowl to Minnesota.

Seattle Seahawks draft grade with a caveat following a mesmerizing three days

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USA Today

Seattle Seahawks draft grade with a caveat following a mesmerizing three days

Grading NFL drafts is about as obnoxious as the media can get. It's like grading a test in school before reviewing the student's answers. Nobody on earth knows how any of these drafts will actually pan out until a few years down the road. 

So, it's with great trepidation that I give Seattle an A-plus grade for its performance during the draft under general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll. I do so based on what Seattle did more so than based on the players selected. It can never be forgotten that the NFL is a universe where arguably the greatest two quarterbacks in history, Joe Montana and Tom Brady, were drafted in the third and fifth rounds respectively and combined to win 10 Super Bowls, and Seattle built a Super Bowl champion with mostly stars taken in the mid to late rounds. 

So let's not pretend that predicting how well these rookies will perform is mostly based on reasonably educates guesstimate​​. However, there is zero denying that how Seattle handled the draft was pure poetry. 

I monitored Seattle's draft along with web producer Ashley Young while both in different locations communicating via text. Our banter was filled with sheer amusement as we watched Seattle bouncer around the draft to accumulate picks and move up to get the guy they wanted. The most common phrase used was "they traded another pick," whether up or down. 

The net result was that Seattle, which entered last week with four picks, exited the draft with 11 rookies and an extra second round pick in 2020.

(pause for applause). 

I mean....that was flat out mesmerizing. 

Schneider should have taken the podium before the media on Saturday and went all Russell Crowe from the movie "Gladiator" and screamed, "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?"

Now, the down side to all of this is that Seattle had to give up defensive end Frank Clark, who had 13 sacks last year and is just entering his prime at age 25. Dealing him to Kansas City prior to the draft netted the No. 29 pick this year and a second-round pick next season. But there is no guarantee that Seattle will be able to replace Clark's production even with the man the team selected with that No. 29 pick, defensive end L.J. Collier out of TCU. 

Another down side is that while all of the wheelin' and dealin' proved to be entertaining and potentially fruitful, for all we know Seattle passed up on some star players in the process. 

For examples: Seattle traded its own No. 21 pick to Green Bay for its No. 30 pick and two fourth-round picks (No. 114 and No. 118). What if there were several Pro Bowlers taken between No. 21 through No. 28 that Seattle could have had? Atlanta took wide receiver Calvin Ridley with the No. 26 pick in 2018. He produced 821 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Falcons. Of course, the final 10 picks have produced many busts over the years as well. It's a gamble either way. Seattle's philosophy is clearly to go after volume while trusting the scouting department and the coaching staff's ability to develop talent under Carroll.  

Maybe the biggest "get" was the selection of wide receiver D.K. Metcalf with the 64th pick in the second round. Seattle traded up with New England to get Metcalf, a 6-foot-3, 228-pound receiver with as much speed as potential but also some question marks. 

“We never would have thought that we would have had a shot to get him," Carroll told reporters. " When John realized, he just snapped at the opportunity to get a pick to elevate, so we could have that 64thpick.  I was shocked.  That was as much fun as I’ve had.  Just to have that guy on our team.  All of a sudden, out of nowhere, everything converged perfectly.  We nailed it, and yes we got the trade, and bang, bang, bang, he made it to us.  It was really exciting.”

It was like that for three days. Seattle's brass getting giddy about its ability to move down and trade up in order to get, what in their eyes, was great value with each pick. 

Again, and this can't be stressed enough, we won't know for several years how this draft will ultimately look. Take a trip back down Seattle memory draft lane with this link and you'll find a bunch of names that will make you ask, "who?" mixed in with names you know. 

It's the nature of the beast. But on paper, this was an impressive draft for Seattle. Here's a quick rundown:

Round 1 • Pick 29 (29) • DE L.J. Collier, TCU: Seattle got its potential replacement for Clark right away. Collier is a power end with pass rushing potential that Carroll said will play the five-technique right away. “L.J. fits us," Schneider said. "He’s a heavy-handed, tough, chip-on-his-shoulder guy."

Round 2 • Pick 15 (47) • SS Marquise Blair, Utah: Seattle is solid at safety with Bradley McDougald, signed as a free agent last year, and former fourth-round pick Tedric Thompson, who started most of last year after Earl Thomas was lost for the season. Blair is a heavy hitter who will battle both for playing time. “We’d like to start him at safety on the inside knowing that there’s other things that he may be able to do, but we’re going to zero him in," Carroll said. "We really like him attacking the line of scrimmage. He blitzes well, he tackles well, hits well, great feel. It’s his toughness that we’re really excited about. He happens to be a really great athlete as well. But we’re going to zero him in and focus him in at strong safety.”

Round 2 • Pick 32 (64) • WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi: Carroll and Schneider said it would be a few weeks before they know more about wide receiver Doug Baldwin's status following multiple surgeries this offseason so getting a receiver in the draft was a must. Metcalf, at the very least, will be able to go deep and get up high for passes with his 40-inch vertical. "He’s equipped to do a lot of stuff," Carroll said. "Not just the stuff that he can do in the throwing game, but in the running game too. He’s going to be a big factor for us as a team that loves to run the football. He’s going to be a factor and he’s going to be able to help us in the play action game. He releases off the line of scrimmage with great violence."

Round 3 • Pick 25 (88) • LB Cody Barton, Utah: Seattle loves its starting three linebackers in Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks, but hadn't drafted a linebacker inside of three rounds since Wagner in 2012. That changed in this draft with the selection of Barton. “Versatility, size. He’s 6’2” and a half," Schneider said. "He can play all three spots. He’s always been a phenomenal special teams player. The guy is really intense and loves football. He’s got true grit to him...We got the two Utes. [Utah] actually had a really good defense. He comes from a system where Coach Whittingham is really demanding. [Marquise Blair and Cody Barton] are coming out of a system where they are both well disciplined guys when they come out.”

Round 4 • Pick 18 (120) • WR Gary Jennings, West Virginia: Seattle added more receiver depth with Jennings, who had 913 yards and 13 touchdowns for West Virginia last season. "Phenomenal hands. Really strong after the catch. He had an awesome visit with us, led the nation with 16 touchdowns.  He is going to come in and compete for that slot spot." 

Round 4 • Pick 22 (124) • G Phil Haynes, Wake Forest: Seattle led the NFL in rushing last season but certainly needed to add a young guard to the mix and did so with Haynes. “Phil is a guy that we targeted early because of his makeup and his style of play," Carroll said. "We’re really excited about how our guards have been playing. You saw us go out and get Mike Iupati to go along with what D.J. [Fluker] has done. We thought early on that this is a guy that can fit in the mold of that. He’s going to be 340 pounds. He’s a really strong, really physical guy. He likes to finish blocks and knock guys down. He’s got an attitude about him.”

Round 4 • Pick 30 (132) • FS Ugo Amadi, Oregon: The four-year starter at Oregon played both cornerback and safety for the Ducks. He might not have the speed to play full-time corner in the NFL but he certainly is versatile enough to bounce around the secondary when needed. “He’s a very versatile football player," Carroll said. "He’s been recognized and has been awarded some stuff through recognition of being an all-around player. He’s a safety and we’re going to start him off playing back in the middle, he’ll play free safety to start. Marquise [Blair] will be on the other side. He’s done a lot of coverage stuff on the slots, he’s done nickel work in a unique way and been effective there too.”

Round 5 • Pick 4 (142) • LB Ben Burr-Kirvin, Washington: The Huskies produce great defensive players and Burr-Kirven is certainly one of them. He had 338 career tackles for the Huskies with 11 1/2 sacks. Should be an immediate contributor on special teams. "I thought it was a really exciting pick to evaluate because he’s such a unique type of player. Whenever you get a guy that’s this active and has these kinds of numbers, you have to take a look. We took a really deep look at what Ben’s all about. He reminded me so much of Lofa Tatupu. Lofa had this extraordinary knack for finding the football in unique ways and the way he fit in the running game, he was amazing. This is the way that Ben plays.”

Round 6 • Pick 32 (204) • RB Travis Homer, Miami: Seattle is set at the top of the depth chart with Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, but both are 220-pound backs while Homer, at 5-11, 195, adds a speed back element. Over the last two seasons, he rushed for 1,951 yards and 12 touchdowns. “He can play an every down back," Schneider said. " He’s really tough.  He’s only 20 years old.  He’s a grit guy for us, hell of a special teams player.  He can play on third down.  We actually had him in the third down category because he had such good hands coming out of the backfield.  Really good instincts.  Just a really, really tough.”

Round 6 • Pick 37 (209) • DT Demarcus Christmas, Florida State: This late in the draft, a team is looking for guys that show them something that could be developed into a contributor.  “He’s going to play 3-technique to start us out," Carroll said. " We just want to bring him along.  Good, tough guy, who can do a lot of good stuff.  We just want to develop him, we need the depth, and we need the girth.  He’s a 300-plus pound guy."

Round 7 • Pick 22 (236) • WR John Ursua, Hawaii: Seattle, after already taking two receivers, traded to acquire a seventh-round pick just to take Ursua. “Besides the player, who we all really liked as a competitive slot receiver, when you’re in the seventh round, you have to look at where guys have visited, and who’s had private workouts with them, and who’s spent the most amount of time with them," Schneider said. "He had spent time with several teams that we were concerned about.  We were worried about not being able to sign him as a rookie free agent.  We did not have a seventh-round pick.  We had 12 picks next year, so, let’s go get the guy that everybody feels really good about, let’s just lock it down.  He’s a really cool kid.”

Seahawks sitting pretty after productive first night of NFL Draft

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USA Today

Seahawks sitting pretty after productive first night of NFL Draft

The Seattle Seahawks pulled off what about anyone with any knowledge of their history under general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll expected them to do on the first night of the NFL Draft held Thursday in Nashville, Tenn. 

After entering the day armed with two picks in the first round (21 and 29), but just five overall, Seattle traded down twice to stockpile picks, including No. 30, and used No. 29, acquired from Kansas City for Frank Clark, to replace him by selecting TCU defensive end L.J. Collier.

(Read that sentence twice if needed. It's a doozy.)

[RELATED: With the No. 29 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select DE L.J. Collier

The Clark deal also involved a second-round pick in 2020 and a swap of the team's third-round picks this year. The draft will resume with rounds two and three Friday night and four through seven on Saturday. 

The draft day deals began with Seattle dealing its own first-round pick (21) to Green Bay, acquiring No. 30 and two fourth-round picks at 114 and 118 (R4). Seattle later traded No. 30 pick to the New York Giants for No. 37 in round two, No. 132 in round four and No. 142 in round five.

Just like that, Seattle had ended the first day of the draft with Collier and eight remaining selections: round 2 (no. 37), round 3 (92), round 4 (114, 118, 124, 132), round 5 (142, 159).

Seattle entered this draft never having had fewer than eight picks in a Schneider-Carroll draft and averaging 9.6 picks since the duo took over in 2010. 

Seattle is now armed to not only answer other needs - maybe at wide receiver and linebacker - but also to potentially trade up for an additional pick in the second round should a gem presents itself. 

Still on the board is Mississippi wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, who was a workout wonder at the NFL combine but is also seen by some as a workout wonder that lacks true football polish.

There are some strong cornerbacks remaining, including Rock Ya-Sin out of Temple, a player many projected to go in the first round. 

The reality is that Seattle can now go in many different directions over the next six rounds. For a franchise that has a strong record of finding great value beyond the first round of the draft, the Seahawks have to feel very good about their chances of greatly improving the team despite having lost someone as talented as Clark.

 

Seattle Seahawks Draft Preview - A No. 3 running back might be needed

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USA Today

Seattle Seahawks Draft Preview - A No. 3 running back might be needed

Part 2 in an eight-part series that takes a position-by-position look at the Seattle Seahawks' needs heading into the NFL Draft on April 25-27. 

Past posts: Quarterbacks

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Today: Running backs:

Depth Chart: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, C.J. Prosise, J.D. McKissic, Bo Scarbrough. 

Need: Medium to low. 

Expectations: Seattle could be in the marke for a No. 3 running back. 

Potential targets: Ashley Young provides a list of potential draft targets at running back for Seattle.   

Picks: The Seahawks have four picks in round one (No. 21), round three (No. 84), round four (No. 124) and round five (No. 159).

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Seattle is certainly set at the top of the depth chart at running back but healthy depth is an issue.

Seattle went from being one of the worst rushing teams in 2017 to leading the NFL in that category last season thanks to the rapid development of a largely pieced together offensive line and running back Chris Carson. The former seventh-round pick rushed for 1,151 yards to become the team's first 1,000-yard back since Marshawn Lynch in 2014 (1,306). 

Uncertainty at the position last year after Carson played just four games because of a broken leg led Seattle to select Rashaad Penny in the first round of the 2017 draft. 

Penny, injured early on, could never supplant Carson, who fits the mold of a hard-nosed runner coach Pete Carroll likes to revolve his running game around. Penny, on the other hand, offers more breakaway speed. 

The No. 3 running back, however, remains a big question mark. Mike Davis, who rushed for 514 yards last season, got scooped up in free agency by Chicago. 

Seattle has been waiting for the electrifying C.J. Prosise to pay off since selecting him with a third-round pick in 2016. But numerous injuries have limited him to 192 rushing yards in 16 games over three seasons. Can the Seahawks continue to wait on him? 

J.D. McKissic, who also returns kicks, caught 34 passes in 2017 but was limited to five games last season because of injury. 

Seattle picked up Scarbrough late last season as insurance depth. 

If Seattle is committed to either Prosise or McKissic being the No. 3 running back then there is no need to burn a draft pick on a new project. With a 1,000-yard back and a recent first-round pick on the team, drafting a running back at all appears to be quite unlikely. 

However, given that Prosise and McKissic are hardly proven commodities, Seattle could do well to improve the depth here through the draft but only if the Seahawks are able to trade down to acquire more picks. Using one of their four current picks at this position would be too redundant at this point. 

Dillion Mitchell is meeting with NFL teams and ready to make the world 'eat their words'

Dillion Mitchell is meeting with NFL teams and ready to make the world 'eat their words'

Dillon Mitchell, the highly recruited four-star WR prospect out of Memphis, Tennessee, has been pegged as a “sleeper” in a loaded receiver class but has found a unique niche. The Pac-12 2018 receiving yards leader is eager to make a team and prove he belongs in the NFL, where his goal is to win a Super Bowl.

Mitchell has visited the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft, according to the former Oregon star. 

Coming off of one of the best seasons a Duck has ever had that resulted in an NFL Combine invitation, Mitchell also had formal meetings at the Combine with the Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys.

“It has been great to be invited in and get to be around the place I would be working,” said the Redbox Bowl MVP. “Only surprising aspect would be that as I viewed the NFL facilities, I look back at the Oregon facility as something like Mount Olympus now. Nothing compares to the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex. Nothing.”

Mitchell chose to strike while the iron was hot and declare for the 2019 NFL Draft after shattering expectations in 2018, which he describes as a tough decision. Oregon coach Mario Cristobal’s advice was if he decided to take his talents to the NFL, go in with a whole heart and don’t let an opportunity slip by… Guidance that Mitchell has taken to heart.

“The whole world is going to eat their words.” Mitchell tweeted on April 12.

UO’s single-season leader in receiving yards said he was referencing his hunger and determination to be one of the best receivers in the NFL. He wants to quiet critics, who list his ball-tracking as a main concern. Mitchell says his agent has told him to prepare for his draft range to be anywhere from first round to undrafted, come April 25-27.

I watched Mitchell show off his electric athleticism by making contested catches away from his frame and at tough angles at Oregon. The chip on his shoulder reminds me of former Ducks basketball star Dillon Brooks; it powers their ability instead of limits it. In my opinion, there is too much for an NFL team to fall in love with for Mitchell to go undrafted.   

Yes, the 2019 receivers group is full of incredible, large athletes who excel in contested catches. The pool of slot players and short-target threats is smaller. Mitchell fits the bill for a variety of team needs, but has been seriously linked to the Cardinals (where he could be catching passes from quarterback prospect and rumored overall No. 1 draft pick Kyler Murray).

If it was up to Mitchell’s father, Dillon would be in silver and black next season with the Oakland Radiers. He called his dad is a “top-tier Raiders fan” with a decadent man cave who is considering moving to Las Vegas. Can you imagine Mitchell alongside Antonio Brown in Oakland?

His ability as a ball carrier, excellent route running, efficient footwork and yards after catch potential make him an enticing weapon for NFL offenses. At 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, Mitchell checks the box for his frame. His explosive junior season caught a lot of attention, recording 75 catches for 1,184 yards and ten touchdowns.

The pre-draft visits are a huge opportunity for Mitchell to feature his large route tree and how quickly he can process different game scenarios. Naturally soft spoken, Mitchell's interviews could give him the opportunity set himself apart from the other mid-round wide receivers. 

His biggest strength is his versatility: he could play outside, in the slot, or both. His downfield speed serves as both a scorcher on offense and as a potential force in the return game. Mitchell periodically handled return duties, with a long return of 45 yards on a punt return during his rookie season.

The Draft Network said Mitchell is, "sudden as smoke when releasing off the line of scrimmage or attacking would-be tacklers on screens and other quick-hitting plays." Mitchell lands at No. 124 (round four) on the best available prospects list, which would be the Seattle Seahawks' selection.

A strong combine and Oregon pro day performance added buzz and likely raised his draft stock. Mitchell proved his extremely quick ability to accelerate and stretch the field in the 40-yard dash, timing in at 4.46 seconds, the 14th fastest out of 47 receivers who ran. At Oregon’s pro day he recorded a 6.93 second three-cone drill, which would be sixth among 29 wide receivers who ran at the combine.

With his whole heart in it, Mitchell can’t wait to hear his name called.

“I think it will be a different type of feeling that I’ve never felt before,” Mitchell said. "I’ve been holding onto this dream for so long, since I was a kid. And for something to finally happen… I’m not sure what the emotions will be but I’m going to have tears of joy most definitely.”

Familiar faces to announce Seattle Seahawks' draft picks

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USA Today

Familiar faces to announce Seattle Seahawks' draft picks

The NFL has announced the league legends that will participate in the NFL Draft later this month and two names dear to the hearts of Seattle Seahawks fans are scheduled to be involved. 

Former All-Pro running back Shaun Alexander has been selected to announce Seattle's second-round selection while Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancelor is scheduled to announce the team's third-round pick.

The draft will begin on Thursday, April 25 and run through Saturday, April 27 in Nashville, Tenn. 

Alexander, as of right now, won't have much to do on in the second round. The Seahawks have just four draft picks coming in the first, third, fourth and fifth rounds. 

However, Seattle could be looking to trade down out of the first round in order to acquire additional picks. 

Alexander starred for the Seahawks from 2000 through 2007 when he rushed for 9,429 yards. He was named to the Pro Bowl three times and All Pro once in 2005 when he led the NFL with 1,887 yards rushing and also scored a league-leading 27 touchdowns, which still ranks second all-time.

Chancellor, a four-time Pro Bowler, remains on the Seahawks roster because he is still being paid for a contract extension he signed before injuring his neck in 2017 and ending his playing career. 

[EXCLUSIVE] Dillon Mitchell gets real: His decision to go pro, which NFL teams he met with at the Combine and chemistry with Justin Herbert

[EXCLUSIVE] Dillon Mitchell gets real: His decision to go pro, which NFL teams he met with at the Combine and chemistry with Justin Herbert

After Oregon's victory in the Redbox Bowl, Ducks star wide receiver Dillon Mitchell told the media he was undecided on whether he would stay for his senior season or declare for the 2019 NFL Draft. Mitchell felt fans didn't get the full story and wanted to clear up why he made his decision. In an exclusive one-on-one with Dillon Mitchell and NBC Sports NW's Oregon Duck Insider, Bri Amaranthus, he dives into how his decision played out. 

Which teams did Mitchell meet with at the NFL Combine? Also, apparently Mitchell's family are quite the Oakland Raiders fans, man cave and all!

As Oregon's single-season receiving yards record holder, Mitchell looks back on his chemistry he had with quarterback Justin Herbert. Also, no surprise his favorite memory from last season was beating rival Washington.

Which NFL player does Mitchell model his game after?

Stay tuned for more updates on Mitchell. The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 25. 

READ: 

NFL combine performances may raise Ducks' draft stocks

It's do-or-die: Ducks leave it all on the field at Oregon Pro Day

Which team is going to fall in love with Dillon Mitchell?