This year's draft was a stark contrast to the Oregon storylines just one year ago. In 2013, both Dion Jordan and Kyle Long were taken in the first round, with the Miami Dolphins moving up to #3 overall to take Jordan. There were no Ducks taken on the first day of the draft this year, and it looked for a while as though the second day would come and go without an Oregon player hearing his name called. It was former Oregon coach Chip Kelly that stepped up in the third round, taking WR Josh Huff. Huff was a freshman sensation for Kelly's Ducks in 2010, and after battling through two injury-plagued seasons, finally showed how good he really was in 2013 with over 1100 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.
The next man up to the hypothetical podium was the most anticipated draftee of this class, De'Anthony Thomas. The Black Momba had a rocky road to the draft after a 2013 filled with injury and underwhelmament. He ran only a 4.50 40-yard dash at the Combine, and is already on his third agent after leaving the first two. But his explosiveness still speaks the loudest, and the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Thomas in the 4th round, potentially to fill the hole left when Dexter McCluster left for Tennessee in the offseason. But make no mistake, Thomas is a marquee football talent, and SB Nation's Arrowhead Price readers agree, with over 70% giving the pick an A or B grade.
Chip Kelly, job creator, was at it again in Round 5. After taking Josh Huff in Round 3, the Eagles scooped up DE Taylor Hart in the 5th round. Hart has a strong bond with Eagles coach Jerry Azzinaro, and already knows the 3-4 two-gap scheme that the Eagles run. Those may have been factors in the pick, but Hart has NFL size and NFL skills, and will add depth to an Eagles defensive front that sorely needs it.
The player with the most anxious weekend was CB Terrance Mitchell, who forewent his final year of eligibility to enter this year's draft. Mitchell failed to move up a crowded draft board in his pre-draft workouts, and it looked for a while as though he'd do undrafted altogether. But the Dallas Cowboys saved the day with only four picks to go in the draft, taking Mitchell with the 254th pick. That leaves former Ducks Boseko Lokombo, Brian Jackson, Avery Patterson, and Colt Lyerla left to find their way in the NFL through free agency.
Congratulations and good luck to all the former Ducks embarking on their pro careers!