Imagine the possibilities…
The deception, the trickery and the fast pace are all staples of the team, and they’re all reasons the offense has been elite the past few seasons.
Since Chip Kelly’s introduction as head coach in 2009, he’s produced some of the best offensive statistics in the country, but with great players spread all across the nation, just imagine what this team would look like in 2012 if they had some of the country’s best talent stockpiled on their current roster.
Kenjon Barner is going to be very good, the starting quarterback—whoever it may be—will surely get the job done and nobody might be more fit for this team than De’Anthony Thomas, but there are a handful of players who were seemingly made for Oregon’s offense and would absolutely thrive in Eugene next season.
5) Collin Klein, QB
To say that Collin Klein is a dual-threat quarterback is almost unfair to his running game. He rushed for 27 touchdowns on 317 attempts last year compared to 13 passing scores on 281 throws.
That being said, he was efficient enough to remain a throwing threat with his 1,918 yards and 57. 3 percent completion rate.
When you watch Klein play, he runs the option well, which is something the Ducks have had in their back pocket for years, and he looks like a more refined version of the two quarterbacks who will be competing for time at Oregon this fall.
4) Knile Davis, RB
Knile Davis isn’t the prototypical Oregon running back, but his elite combination of speed and strength could prove to show LeGarrette Blount-like production for the Oregon Ducks.
Despite a freak injury that took Davis out early last season, he is a big back who can certainly handle the load of being a No. 1 option.
His field vision is great and his ability to run past, around, or over, defenders makes him versatile enough to fit right in under Chip Kelly.
3) Sammy Watkins, WR
When it comes to Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, he and the Oregon Ducks’ offense have one thing in common.
In his 2011 freshman season, Watkins caught 82 passes for 1219 yards and 12 touchdowns. His game is fast, agile and more than anything else, down-right exciting, as he is a much more refined version of Josh Huff heading into his sophomore season.
Watkins is primarily used in Clemson’s offense in short routes and quick screens, and he would be a perfect option to spread the field with his blinding speed as an Oregon receiver.
2) Tavon Austin, WR
West Virginia’s Tavon Austin might be as close to De’Anthony Thomas as it gets outside of Eugene, Ore.
At 5’9”, 174 pounds—Thomas measures in at 5’9”, 173 pounds—Austin is similar in physique and similar in style.
Both of them are explosive on offense, can hit the right holes and can change the course of a game with one electrifying play.
The two players even had an identical 36 kick returns for 938 yards and two touchdowns—Thomas’ longest return was 96 yards while Austin’s went the distance for a cool 100.
Despite being a threat in the sweep, Austin doesn’t have nearly the impact in the running game that Thomas showed last season, but with the team looking for that go-to wide receiver, Austin would easily find a place in Oregon’s offense.
1) Denard Robinson, QB
University of Michigan’s Denard Robinson is the ultimate dual-threat quarterback.
Having thrown for 2,173 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2011, he also ran for 1,176 yards and 16 scores on the ground.
Robinson has never been known as a top-tier passer, as he threw 15 interceptions last year.
That being said, Oregon’s offense is designed to complete short passes, establish the run and create for open opportunities down field.
If Robinson wore green and yellow instead of blue and yellow, he could be one of the team’s greatest offensive players to ever suit up for the University of Oregon.