Scouting the Pac 10: Oregon Ducks

The Ducks are always competitive. While they occasionally put a prospect in the early reaches of the draft, for the most part their players are mid-to-late round prospects. That trend will remain in 2004 for one of college football's best-coached teams.

Sammie Parker offers a solid pass catching target and reliable hands at receiver. He has a great feel for the position and naturally comes back to the ball, helping out the quarterback to make himself an available target. His size/speed numbers are less than desirable and will cause him to fall into the second day. Jason Fife did an admirable job stepping into Joey Harrington's starting slot last season and efficiently runs the short passing game, but he lacks the size and arm to be a starter at the next level. If the Ducks have a player with an outside shot of breaking into the draft's first day it's guard Joey Forster, an athletic blocker with a good amount of size and playing potential.

Defensively, Keith Lewis flashed abilities early on at safety.  While the hard-hitting defensive back displays top athleticism, his play has stagnated a bit since 2000. Lewis has good size and decent speed, but he is a run-first safety with only average skills against the pass. He has a penchant for getting caught up the field or biting on play action passes and lacks the great lateral range.

Flying to the combine on February 20th, we sat next to a New York Jets coach on our way to Indianapolis, eventually sharing a cab with him into town. The topic of Oregon prospects came up and the Jets coach paid the biggest compliment to Oregon's headman Mike Bellotti. Word around the league is "Oregon players are over-coached" meaning the Duck program gets every ounce of talent from them and except for a rare few, they are not viewed as players that possess the great upside potential for the

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