Predicting the NFL Futures of All Oregon Ducks' Draft Picks
The Oregon Ducks had four players selected in the NFL draft this year.
Oregon is now a football powerhouse with the innovative Chip Kelly at the helm. Kelly may be one of the best college coaches, but his offense is not the most NFL-ready, and this can sometimes hurt his players in the draft.
Out of these four players, some may be diamonds in the rough, while others may have a short career.
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NFL Draft: San Francisco 49ers, Second Round, No. 61
NFL Future: Darren Sproles
The San Francisco 49ers stole LaMichael James in the second round, and other teams will pay.
Many people were surprised when the 49ers selected James due to a crowded backfield of Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs and Kendall Hunter. However, James is a threat to score every time he touches the ball, and Harbaugh was burned by James too much when coaching at Stanford to keep him off the field.
His first few years, James will be a clone of Darren Sproles. James is 5'8" and weighs 194 pounds, while Sproles is 5'6" and weighs 190 pounds. Both backs are small but pack a punch while they can run, catch and return kicks and punts for their team
Harbaugh will love to utilize James all over the field, and don't be surprised if he is Gore's eventual replacement as the starting running back for San Francisco.
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NFL Draft: Miami Dolphins, Fifth Round, No. 155
NFL Future: Consistent NFL Veteran
The Miami Dolphins selected outside linebacker Josh Kaddu in the fifth round of the draft.
Kaddu is a solid athlete and will be chasing down running backs and quarterbacks for a long time. At 6'3" and 239 pounds, Kaddu has solid size for an outside linebacker in the NFL.
At Oregon, Kaddu had great intangibles. As a senior, he was selected as a team captain for his hard work and leadership.
Hard work will continue in the NFL for Kaddu, and though he may not be a star, he will be a consistent NFL veteran.
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NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills, Sixth Round, No. 178
NFL Future: Backup NFL Veteran
The Buffalo Bills added depth in the sixth round, by selecting Mark Asper.
Asper is another hard worker from Oregon. As a senior, he was rewarded the Ed Mashofsky Trophy as the team's best offensive lineman and has made the Oregon Iron Club twice.
At 6'6" and 319 pounds, Asper has the size to help an offensive line, but he also has holes in his game. He is far from an elite pass- or run-blocker and will find trouble at the next level.
Asper's effort and personality will keep him in the NFL, but he will be a backup for a long time and make the most out of his opportunities.
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NFL Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers, Seventh Round, No. 240
NFL Future: Poor Man's Heath Miller
The Pittsburgh Steelers picked a solid tight end in David Paulson, in the last round of the draft.
Paulson may be a poor man's version of current Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller. The two may not be eye-popping athletes, but they are both reliable.
At 6'3" and 246 pounds, Paulson possesses average height and weight at best. He also has below-average speed but knows how to get open.
In the NFL, Paulson may not be a star, but his very reliable hands will keep him in the NFL for a long time.