It was announced that the four juniors who tested the draft waters have announced that they will return for their senior seasons. Cornerbacks Thomas Graham, Jr, Deomomodore Lenoir, Defensive Tackle Jordon Scott, and Defensive Lineman Austin Faoliu held a joint press conference to announce their returns
All four played an integral part in leading the Ducks defense to its lofty perch among the best defenses in the nation. This is huge not only for their career developments but for the Ducks defense in the second year of defensive coordinator Andy Avalos’ system. Their decisions to return allows the Ducks to bring along the younger players more slowly until they are ready to take over.
From a draft evaluator’s perspective, this was the right decision as the prevailing thought has presented TG4, Lenoir, and Scott as Day 2 (Rounds two and three) selections at best. Faoliu would likely have been an undrafted free agent hoping to latch on somewhere.
Scott is the quintessential 3-4 nose tackle type that can eat up space and provides some pass rush ability while Faoliu is a key swing piece on the defensive line. Graham and Lenoir project as nickel corners at the next level given their frames but can play outside at boundary corner.
Statistically in 2019, Scott had 32 tackles and three tackles for loss. Faoliu produced 39 tackles, five tackles for loss, and two sacks. Graham had 64 tackles, five tackles for loss, two interceptions, and ten passes defensed. Lenoir had 46 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one interceptions and seven passes defensed.
This is a gigantic boon for the Ducks defense with their returns as the Ducks would’ve had to replace a lot of production without them with potentially not ready replacements. It gives the coaching staff more time to develop their younger teammates.
Welcome back, guys! Enjoy your senior seasons!