The NFL Combine will be here before we know it, and there will be plenty of talented Ducks on hand in Indianapolis later this month. Seven Ducks, including potential first-round picks Marcus Mariota and Arik Armstead, were invited to the combine, which will take place Feb. 17-23 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Aside from Mariota and Armstead, both who have been projected to go in the first round of this year's draft, five other Ducks were also invited. Offensive linemen Jake Fisher and Hroniss Grasu, defensive backs Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Troy Hill and linebacker Tony Washington also received an invite to the combine.
After suffering a shoulder injury in the national championship against Ohio State, Marcus Mariota might not throw at the combine. But that could be a blessing in disguise for the quarterback. Instead of having to throw to a receiver he's never worked with, Mariota can save the throwing for a pro day in Eugene where he can use his own receivers. Oregon's pro day will take place in March. According to the schedule of on-field workouts, quarterbacks will take the field on Feb. 21.
All eyes have been on where Mariota will go in the first round of the draft. When Jameis Winston declared for the draft after just two seasons at Florida State, suddenly Mariota wasn't the unanimous No. 1 pick across everyone's draft boards. It is highly unlikely Mariota will slip out of the top 10 with so many of those teams in desperate need of a new quarterback. The most likely teams as of late to grab Mariota appear to be the Buccaneers or Jets. The Buccaneers, of course, have the No. 1 overall pick, while the Jets have the No. 6 pick. The Titans, who have the No. 2 pick, have also come up as potential suitors for Mariota.
Many eyes will also be on defensive lineman Arik Armstead. In the latest mock draft at NFL.com, Armstead is slated to be taken by the San Francisco 49ers with the 15th overall pick. Other projections I've seen have him going early in the second round, potentially to the Titans or Redskins.
If both Mariota and Armstead are taken in the first round, it'll be just the third time in school history that two Ducks were selected in the first round in the same year. The first time that happened was in 1972 when Ahmad Rashad and Tom Drougas were both selected in the first round by the Cardinals and Colts, respectively. In 2013, the Dolphins took Dion Jordan with the No. 3 overall pick while the Bears selected Kyle Long with the 20th pick.