Oregon doesn’t have mainstream collegiate recognition, but they’ve produced a litany of offensive stars, a number of whom are on Oregon’s 2022 NFL Top 10 Players list.
The Oregon Ducks have never won a college football national championship, but a number of players have been selected as top-three picks in the NFL Draft.
Marcus Mariota came close to becoming the first Oregon Duck to be selected first overall in 2014, but fell short.
Of the 28 Oregon Ducks alumni who are currently signed to the NFL, there are a number of standouts.
Below is the final ranking of Oregon’s top 10 NFL players in 2022.
#ten. Justin Hollins, LB, Los Angeles Rams
Justin Hollins kicks off Sportskeeda’s list of Oregon’s top 10 NFL players. He is a Super Bowl winner with the Los Angeles Rams, although he is only a role player at linebacker.
As the Rams took the sport’s ultimate hit in 2021, Hollins made eight appearances and recorded two sacks and 14 solo tackles.
In 2022, he impressed enough to be promoted to LB starting, making a sack in four starts as well as 12 solo tackles.
He still needs to improve, but Hollins is exceeding expectations for a player who was selected in the fifth round in 2019.
#9. Juwan Johnson, TE, New Orleans Saints
Juwan Johnson has a unique build. He wasn’t quite suited to being a wide receiver in the NFL, and in his third year with New Orleans, he enjoyed his greatest success as a converted tight end.
After seven games in 2022, he already has a career-high 202 receiving yards, as well as 30 targets.
He’s a big body at 6’4″ and 231 pounds, which makes him such an attractive target for the Saints’ offense.
In 2022, he has already completed 10 first downs and has a catch percentage of 63.3%, the highest of his NFL career.
#8. Terrance Mitchell, BC, Tennessee Titans
Terrance Mitchell was not a popular cornerback for Oregon. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but has carved out a fine professional career for himself.
He’s far from being one of the league’s leaders in his position, but he’s been a valuable contributor to several teams.
His best year came in 2021 with the Houston Texans, where he played as a right side CB.
In 13 starts, he made one interception and had 10 pass defenses. He also had 45 solo tackles.
2022 saw Mitchell signed by the Tennessee Titans, and he struggled to find much time on the court due to injuries. In two starts, he has 14 solo tackles, one successful pass defense and one forced fumble.
#seven. Kayvon Thibodeaux, LB, New York Giants
Not a single NFL Draft hopeful has been talked about more in 2022 than Kayvon Thibodeaux.
Described as the most naturally talented player to come through the Oregon Ducks system, he was always going to be somewhere in the top 10 NFL players on Oregon’s roster.
His attitude rejuvenated the New York Giants, who started the 2022 season 6-1. In five starts, the former Duck has one sack, three successful pass defenses and one forced fumble.
Obviously, the Giants will want Kayvon to reach more quarterback as he develops. But for a rookie who had so many worries off the field before the draft, his comeback has been impressive.
2023 will see Thibodeaux placed even higher on a list of Oregon’s top 10 NFL players, which is virtually guaranteed.
#6. Marcus Mariota, QB, Atlanta Falcons
Marcus Mariota is the highest drafted player ever developed by the Oregon Ducks football program.
In 2015 he was in a straight battle with Jameis Winston to be the No. 1 overall pick, but just missed out.
Mariota was a great mobile quarterback who led the Tennessee Titans to a great postseason run in 2017.
Two disappointing years as a substitute in Las Vegas taught Mariota a lot. Having been one of the most fired QBs in the NFL, he knows when to let go of the ball.
In 2022, the Atlanta Falcons gave him a chance to start again in the league, and he took it with both hands.
After seven games, Mariota has thrown for 1,179 yards and seven touchdowns and is playing like an NFL starting quarterback.
#5. Arik Armstead, DE, San Francisco 49ers
Halfway through Sportskeeda’s ranking of Oregon’s 10 best NFL players in 2022 is Arik Armstead.
The San Francisco 49ers chose Armstead as one of the first defensive plays in their rebuild and his talent and longevity have been fantastic for them.
In 2019, he recorded 10 sacks in his most productive NFL season, but 2021 saw him return to his dominant level with six sacks.
Injuries have struck again in 2022, but he remains a serious playmaker in defense.
#4. DeForest Buckner, DT, Indianapolis Colts
DeForest Buckner was expected to be another part of the 49ers defense for years to come, but he fell victim to franchise cap issues and the arrival of Nick Bosa.
The Indianapolis Colts jumped at the chance to sign him and he’s been brilliant for them ever since.
In 2021 he made the Pro Bowl after recording seven sacks and 40 solo tackles, while in his six starts in 2022 he has already hit three sacks and a forced fumble.
Buckner is a smashing defender. He makes sure the attacking players know he’s there, and for the TD position he’s pretty athletic.
His NFL career was one of the most notable in Oregon’s football program.
#3. Jevon Holland, S, Miami Dolphins
Jevon Holland ranks third on Sportskeeda’s list of Oregon’s top 10 NFL players in 2022.
After being selected in the second round of the 2021 draft by the Miami Dolphins, Holland has been a brilliant backline defenseman for the team.
As a rookie, he had 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries. His style is all in action, rarely things happen with Miami’s defense on the field that don’t involve Jevon Holland.
In seven starts in 2022, he has already improved. He has two interceptions and returned both for at least 30 yards. Holland completed four successful pass defenses and one forced fumble.
His 1.5 sack return is sure to increase before the end of the season. Holland is very exciting to watch. His speed allows him to cover large swaths of the backfield and even make plays when his team blitzes.
Drafted as a player with an upside, Holland is starting to show he could be a perennial Pro Bowler if he continues to improve, and that’s very exciting for Dolphins fans.
#2. Penei Sewell, OT, Detroit Lions
After being selected seventh overall in 2021, there were those who had Penei Sewell marked as the most talented pound-for-pound player in the class.
His rookie year with the Lions was positive as he was on the field for 100% of the team’s attacking snaps.
Despite his own ruthless self-criticism as a rookie, Sewell never allowed more than two rushing quarterbacks in a game, and by the end of the year he had allowed only five sacks.
The former Oregon Duck called the comeback “not good enough” even though he was playing on a bad Lions team.
In 2022, he was moved to right tackle on a permanent basis, and that’s where he feels most comfortable.
In seven games, he’s allowed just one sack and is becoming one of the NFL’s true elite offensive linemen. If it weren’t for a certain brilliant quarterback, Sewell would undoubtedly top this list of Oregon’s top 10 NFL players.
#1. Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert is one of the NFL’s current product stars. He is the starting quarterback for a team in one of the biggest media markets in the world.
The Los Angeles Chargers trusted the former Oregon QB and allowed him to lead their offense.
The results have been excellent. He made the Pro Bowl once and was the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Herbert has improved year after year. As a rookie he threw for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns, then in 2021 he threw for 5,014 yards and 38 touchdowns.
In 2022, he leads the league in completions with 203 through seven games, while he has already had 2,009 throwing yards and 12 touchdowns.
Despite the Chargers’ struggles to combine their talented squad, Herbert is on course for his best year yet.
In his career, he has 10 game-winning drives and is perhaps the Ducks’ best prospect to ever play in the NFL along with Dan Fouts and Mel Renfro.
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