The Oregon Ducks are an explosive team with one of the best Offenses in the nation year after year. But, they’ve never been known for great Defense. Sorry, Duck fans, don’t yell at me. I am not your Head Coach or your Defensive Coordinator.
Last season, the Ducks made it to the championship game mostly behind the play of Heisman Trophy winning Quarterback Marcus Mariota and the outstanding Offense.
The Oregon Ducks finished number three in the nation in total Offense. Not only was Mariota outstanding, but true freshman Running Back Royce Freeman was one of the top Running Backs in the country and he finished with 1,365 yards rushing and 18 Touchdowns.
The Ducks had problems with injury up front in the Offensive Line and at Wide Receiver, but Byron Marshall still had 74 receptions for over 1,000 yards and 6 Touchdowns.
In spite of injuries, the Ducks still finished third nationally behind only Baylor and Marshall.
The Defense, on the other hand, was near the bottom of the standings finishing with a rather unimpressive 89th place finish in total Defense.
Even with the mediocre standings, the Ducks were not without it’s stars. Defensive End Arik Armstead elected to enter the NFL Draft and was selected with the 17th pick of the 1st round by the San Francisco 49ers.
Armstead has enormous potential at 6-7, 290, but he was not the best player on the Duck Defense or even on the Defensive Line.
That honor belongs to DeForest Buckner, the other Defensive End that is also around 6-7, 290.
Last season, Buckner was 4th on the team in tackles with 81 total. He had 13 tackles for loss and 4 Quarterback sacks. Buckner also broke up 4 passes, hurried the Quarterback 3 more times and forced a fumble. He was about twice as productive as Armstead and is a team leader for the Ducks on defense.
Buckner has started the 2015 season much the same as he played last year, being productive.
Unlike teammate Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner elected to return for his senior season of eligibility.
In today’s times, it’s rare for a quality player like Buckner to come back. But, he had his reasons.
It seems Buckner promised his father that he would graduate and he intends to do so this Fall with a degree in Criminology. If this guy doesn’t bring fear to NFL Offensive Linemen, he will bring fear eventually to bad guys when he wears a police uniform.
Some might look at Oregon’s 2-2 record and say that Buckner made a mistake coming back for his senior season. But, it’s never a mistake to fulfill a promise and it’s not a mistake to graduate from college.
But, even if Oregon just happens to completely fall apart and they lose every game remaining on their schedule that really won’t have an affect on Buckner’s draft status.
Unless Buckner is seriously injured beyond repair, he’s still going to be a first round draft pick by some NFL team. I personally believe that the team that takes him will have much more success with him than the 49ers will have with Armstead.
So far this season after 4 games, Buckner has 21 total tackles which is good enough for third on the Duck defense. Buckner has 4 tackles for loss and 1.5 Quarterback sacks. He also has 2 Quarterback hurries and a couple of passes knocked down which can happen a lot when you are 6-7.
Buckner has the athletic ability to play a Defensive End in a 4-3 or in a 3-4.
He will also have the athletic ability to slap some hand cuffs on just about anybody. So, don’t mess with DeForest Buckner.