Luke Easterling of USA Today’s DraftWire service put out a three round mock draft this morning.
There are several Ducks in his mock as expected with such a veteran laden Pac-12 North leading and playoff contender squad. Where do they fall in Mr. Easterling’s board?
Let’s start with the most obvious one.
He has senior QB Justin Herbert going to the allegedly London (don’t ask the owner though) but currently Los Angeles Chargers with the tenth overall pick in the first round.
- Herbert lands with a Chargers franchise that may be looking to move on from likely Hall of Fame QB Philip Rivers soon. Rivers has been noticeably declining but is still a serviceable quarterback and might be looking to retire eventually. You know how that saying about teams are looking for the exact opposite of a person in their next guy goes, well, it’s true here. Rivers is, shall we say, a fiery competitor while Herbert is more reserved. JH can sit for a year or two and learn the nuances of the pro game under the tutelage of a master craftsman.
A quick side note (that will become relevant shortly): Easterling has Huskies QB Jacob Eason going to the Tennessee Titans at the 17th selection.
48. Shane Lemieux Tennessee Titans
- To put it mildly, the Titans interior line has been a inconsistent mess of things for years on end now. Particularly at the guard positions. With this hypothetical selection, Lemieux would likely move to right guard to compete with 2019 third round pick Nate Davis unless they decide to move on from expensive free agent left guard Roger Saffold after just a year.
63. Calvin Throckmorton Seattle Seahawks
- Throckmorton joins Ugo Amadi in staying close to Eugene for his pro career. He would fill a need as both RT starter Germain Ifedi and backup George Fant are on cheap deals with Fant on an expiring contract. He could fill in as a backup swing type for his rookie season before ultimately making the jump as a sophomore starter.
82. Troy Dye Jacksonville Jaguars
- The Jags sorely miss Telvin Smith’s presence as one of the premier inside linebackers in the NFL. He’s currently taking some time off for mental health reasons. Dye would slot in nicely next to talented linebacker Myles Jack. Also the Jags need to get as cheap as they can get to get under the salary cap due to Nick Foles’ albatross of a contract. They have to pay a lot of emerging guys such as Yannick Ngakoue.
87. Deommodore Lenoir Kansas City Chiefs
- Amazingly, most of KC’s corners are cheap or on expiring deals. Also the specter of having to pay superstar QB Patrick Mahomes the equivalent of the national debt* looms large on the horizon. Some long term stability at the cornerback position would be great for the Chefs after Kendall Fuller. The Chiefs just need an OK defense to complement their high powered offense. Lenoir is currently undecided as a draft eligible true junior but it would behoove him to come back for a senior season because of the depth of the cornerback class is insanely loaded.
*may or may not be an exaggeration but he will certainly get the richest contract in league history.
Five Ducks being drafted in the first three rounds is a bit optimistic pending draft decisions. I just don’t know if it’s financially smart for Lenoir or Graham to come out as juniors due to the depth at cornerback in this class. Likewise for Jordon Scott as the defensive tackle class is similarly loaded as well.
Obviously Herbert is the crown jewel here but if it works out that he lands with the Chargers, he’s going to an ideal situation where he can pick up a few things from a legendary veteran before becoming the starter. Hopefully he picks up some of Rivers’ passion along the way. Not to mention, Rivers gets another babysitter for his considerable family.
The only quibble I have with this mock draft is Lemeiux going to the Titans as they have some promise at guard and an expensive free agent but more depth is needed there. It’s a small quibble but overall, a well thought out piece from Mr. Easterling.