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PFF: Royce Freeman Projects as a Late First Round NFL Draft Pick

“A disappointing year for Oregon hasn’t slowed Freeman down as his impressive size/speed combination have him averaging 7.7 yards per carry.”

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NCAA Football: Oregon at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a down year for the Oregon Ducks, and must be especially tough for Royce Freeman, who was getting some Heisman hype in the preseason.

But Pro Football Focus has released a list of the top 32 NFL Draft picks, and indicates the down season for the team hasn’t done too much to hurt his draft status:

A disappointing year for Oregon hasn’t slowed Freeman down as his impressive size/speed combination have him averaging 7.7 yards per carry. Few 230-pounders move as well as Freeman and he may get lost in a deep class at times, but he’s an efficient downhill runner who is also solid in the pass game.

Freeman is the fifth-highest ranked RB in the mock draft, behind LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Georgia’s Nick Chubb. Ironically, all four of the other backs also play for teams who haven’t lived up to preseason expectations. Then again, preseason expectations often fail to hold up under the weight of eight weeks of football.

Freeman would be the Ducks’ sixth first-round draft pick in the last five years if he does go in the first round. But the question now is whether or not that kind of trend will continue if the team doesn’t improve on the field.