The University of Oregon athletic offense announced this evening that Darron Thomas will leave the Ducks and declare for the NFL draft.
It's a shocker. Kenjon Barner was the borderline decision, and he stayed. Thomas has had an extremely productive career for the Ducks, but his throwing mechanics, footwork and pocket awareness don't add up to NFL-ready. Still, he's a competitor, and has battled the athlete label at every level with great success.
For the Ducks, Bryan Bennett is the favorite to start after throwing six touchdowns and no interceptions in spot duty this last season, as well as displaying some nifty running ability.
Many fans say the Ducks will be fine with Bennett, but coaches have to be concerned about depth and experience. With a senior returning starter Oregon was sure to be a preseason Top Five team, but now Bennett and Mariota have to grow up quickly to prepare for defense of three straight conference titles. Wary fans might remember 2007 and 2008, when injur...