The spring season for Oregon was relatively un-newsworthy. And when it comes to spring football, un-newsworthy is a good thing. With the exception of the Bralon Addison injury, the Ducks had 15 uneventful practices. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t standouts.
This week we’ve taken a look at five standouts from spring practices.
No. 1: The defensive line
It’s hard to pick just one player on the defensive line considering, as a whole, it looked so improved in the spring game. We couldn't just give the No. 1 spot to only Arik Armstead or only DeForest Buckner or only Tui Talia or only Stetzon Bair when all of them (and others, too) looked much more complete (as players and as a position group as a whole) in May than they did last October and November.
This might be the most important improvement of the spring considering how the line struggled with stopping the run last fall. If this group continues to improve this summer like it has since the end of the 2013 season, then the defensive line that takes the field this fall will be much more capable of competing in the Pac-12.
It’ll also help that most of the best rushers in the conference from last season are gone, either to the NFL or graduation. However, don’t overlook Week 2 opponent Michigan State, which comes in with Jeremy Langford. The importance of this game cannot be overstated. The Ducks will need to have their game together when the Spartans come to town because a loss to MSU, which will use its run game to open up passing lanes for QB Connor Cook, could keep the Ducks out of the inaugural College Football Playoff.
Other spring standouts: