While it's always difficult to say good-bye to Oregon Ducks you've loved watching on Saturday, it's exciting to watch them perform in the NFL combine with results that will get them playing on Sunday.
Five of your favorite Ducks from the past few years are currently at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium, showing off for NFL team representatives.
Of the five—Kyle Long, Kenjon Barner, Kiko Alonso, Dion Jordan and John Boyett—who boosted his draft stock? Did any of the Ducks take a step backward?
Find out here.
Former Oregon Ducks running back Kenjon Barner finished among the top 10 performers at his position in six of the seven drills, likely boosting his draft stock, according to The Oregonian's Aaron Fentress.
Barner's overall score was 69.5. His best events were the vertical jump, 3-cone drill and 60-yard shuttle; he was a top performer in all three events. Barner's best event was the 60-yard shuttle, where he tied for first place among all running backs with former UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin. Their first-place time was 11.33 seconds.
Barner placed fifth in both the vertical jump and 3-cone drill, ahead of RBs such as Wisconsin's Montee Ball and North Carolina's Giovani Bernard, both of whom are expected to be drafted ahead of Barner.
Here are Barner's results in all seven drills:
40-yard dash: 4.52 seconds (sixth place)
Bench press: 20 reps (15th place)
Vertical jump: 35.5 inches (fifth place)
Broad jump: 122.0 inches (sixth place)
3-cone drill: 6.87 seconds (fifth place)
20-yard shuttle: 4.20 seconds (eighth place)
60-yard shuttle: 11.33 seconds (first place)
Barner is expected to be drafted in the fourth or fifth rounds. If NFL scouts included a hairdo drill, Barner would be a clear first-round pick.
Proving that genes count for something, NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long's son, Kyle, had a solid, athletic performance at the combine.
Long, who is expected to be one of the top offensive linemen selected in this year's draft, had a strong overall outing, scoring 77.0, probably raising his already high draft stock.
Long's best event was the 40-yard dash, where he blazed with a time of 4.94 seconds, finishing third among all offensive linemen. Frankly, it's hard to imagine a 6'6", 313-pound guy in spandex running that fast.
Here are Long's results in each event:
40-yard dash: 4.94 seconds (third place)
Vertical jump: 28.0 inches (not ranked in top performers)
Broad jump: 107.0 inches (14th place)
3-cone drill: 7.83 seconds (not ranked in top performers)
20-yard shuttle: 4.63 seconds (eighth place)
The almost perfect combination of size and athleticism will ensure that Long goes early, probably in Round No. 2.
The Duck with the dazzle at the combine was defensive lineman Dion Jordan. No surprise there for Duck fans.
Participating in three drills, Jordan scored an overall grade of 88.0. He finished third among all defensive linemen in the 40-yard dash, with a timed 4.60 seconds. He was fourth in the broad jump competition, leaping 122.0 inches.
The only event that Jordan was not a top performer in was the vertical jump, where he finished out of the top 15.
Here are Jordan's results:
40-yard dash: 4.60 seconds (third place)
Vertical jump: 32.5 inches (not a top performer)
Broad jump: 122.0 inches (fourth place)
Jordan will be the top Duck selected in this NFL draft; he may go in Round No. 1. His shoulder injury has held him back physically, and he is scheduled to have surgery on it next week. Here's what NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said about Jordan's shoulder:
"Dion Jordan is a guy to me that's had trouble in keeping weight on, and part of the problem has been that shoulder. So if you want to like Dion Jordan, and I do, Dion Jordan could be an Aldon Smith type of defensive player, but he has to put 20 pounds. To do that, he has to get the shoulder right."
Here's another quote from Gregg Rosenthal, Around the League Editor, that addresses the impact that Jordan had on Monday:
"Oregon's Dion Jordan was an absolute freak to see in person. He looks like he could cover Kevin Durant and Aaron Hernandez. A man as big as Jordan should not move like he moves."
Rosenthal added "NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah believes that BYU product [Ezekiel] "Ziggy" Ansah will not make it out of the Top 15. If that's true, Jordan should be a virtual lock for the Top 10. Perhaps Jordan can even sneak into the Top 5."
Will the Philadelphia Eagles take Jordan with their No. 4 pick? B/R's own Matt Miller—and if there is anyone out there who knows more about the NFL draft, let him show himself now—thinks it's Jordan to the Eagles:
Dion Jordan to the #Eagles at No. 4. I'm writing it in ink.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 25, 2013
Former Oregon linebacker Kiko Alonso pulled himself out of last month's Senior Bowl, on his doctor's advice, to let his wrist injury continue to heal.
That same injury kept him from performing at the combine. Alonso was there, however, going to interviews and participating in position-specific drills, but he did not perform any of the testing drills, according to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian.
Alonso, with the help of his Oregon coaches, has appeared to address his off-the-field and alcohol-related issues. Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com even went so far as to say that he heard a rumor that Alonso has quit drinking, which would be significant.
According to NFLDraftScout.com, Alonso will be the No. 3 inside linebacker selected, probably in Round No. 3 or No. 4. Alonso should benefit from a fairly weak inside linebacker class this year.
Former Duck safety John Boyett was invited to the combine in spite of his surgery last September on both knees.
Boyett participated in the bench press but did not perform in the other test drills, according to this tweet by The Oregonian's Aaron Fentress:
John Boyett clearly not doing running and jumping drills as he continues to rehab from knee surgery early last season.— Aaron J. Fentress (@AaronJFentress) February 26, 2013
At least Boyett made his one event count, according to this tweet by the U of O's Andy McNamara:
Boyett may benefit from Oregon's long tradition of placing terrific defensive backs in the NFL. Players like Patrick Chung (New England Patriots), Jairus Byrd (Buffalo Bills) and T.J. Ward (Cleveland Browns) prove that Oregon knows how to turn out NFL-ready DBs.
Boyett is a little shorter than most scouts prefer at the safety position, and he will have to prove he's medically sound, but who out there doesn't believe that John Boyett will make it in the NFL?
Yeah, it's unanimous.
Kay Jennings is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.