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Quarterback: 2018 Spring Recap + Fall Preview

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NCAA Football: Oregon State at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year again! The true offseason has been ongoing for a few weeks now after the Spring Game finished in late April. It’s time to look at each position and how they will fare for the upcoming season and beyond. First off, we begin with the quarterbacks.

Depth Chart (Spring)

1. Justin Herbert 6’6 225 Junior Eugene, OR

2. Braxton Burmeister 6’1 204 Sophomore La Jolla, CA

3. Tyler Shough 6’4 187 Freshman Chandler, AZ

Analysis

- Herbert is the unquestioned starter under center for the Ducks and has been for the past couple of years. Not much else to see here, folks. The only question I have for him is can he stay healthy for a full year? Oregon really suffered without him as he missed several games due to injury. The Ducks went 1-4 in his absence.

- Another question is that Herbert could declare for the draft after the 2018 season as a draft eligible junior. Most mock drafts (yeah it’s May, I know things will change between now and next April). have him going solidly within the top 15 or so picks. The QB class in the 2019 draft is a bit underwhelming as it currently stands. The current NFL CBA (collective bargaining agreement) states that first round rookies are tied to their teams for five years. The fifth year option has to be picked up by a team by the beginning of the player’s fourth league year (league years begin in March and teams typically have a deadline in May). It isn’t Sam Bradford rookie money but it is based on average of top ten player’s salary at that position. Will Herbert be tempted by NFL riches sooner rather than later? To see it in former Duck perspective, Marcus Mariota recently had his fifth year option picked up by the Tennessee Titans.

- Speaking of that minus Herbert 1-4 record, the Ducks had to resort to a clearly not ready Braxton Burmeister and it showed. He played in seven total contests, posting a stat line of 44-77 for 330 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions. Obviously he needs to make improvements from a physical and fundamental standpoint.

- Tyler Shough reportedly did well throughout the spring in battling Burmeister for the right to back up Herbert. He’s a big dude at 6-4 187, similar to Herbert. Impressive for an early enrollee true freshman.

Depth Chart (Post Spring)

1. Herbert

2. Burmeister

3. Shough

Analysis

- I feel like the backup job is far from settled and won’t be until fall camp ends. Burmeister has the experience but Shough is coming on strong despite not having the live fire reps. Do I think that Shough will be redshirted? Likely. Given that Herbert is coming off an injury, I wouldn’t be surprised if Shough wasn’t redshirted.

- I just didn’t see it from BB last year. He has to make massive improvements to even compete for the job in 2019 or 2020. Shough is a total wild card so there’s that. It remains to be seen how the offense will be built under a new regime so Shough may have the advantage of not picking up bad habits in the previous coaching staff’s offense.

- I tend to live by new GM/AD, new coach adage. No one wants to be saddled with the previous selection that they did not make so it will be interesting how Shough and Burmeister will react. Will either transfer or duel it out?

- Shough will need to fill out in the weight room so a redshirt year could be beneficial to him. It could be a situation where Coach Cristobal will flat out refuse to pull the redshirt off no matter what happens for Shough to learn and execute the system.