The top 10 players returning to the Oregon Ducks for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Penei Sewell, T
2. Deommodore Lenoir, CB
3. Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE
4. Jevon Holland, CB/S
5. Thomas Graham Jr., CB
6. Mykael Wright, CB
7. Nick Pickett, S
8. Brady Breeze, S
9. Mase Funa, LB
10. CJ Verdell, RB
Honorable Mention: Johnny Johnson III, WR; Isaac Slade-Matautia, LB; Verone McKinley III, CB; Travis Dye, RB; Jaylon Redd, WR
Sewell is not only the best returning player to Oregon, nor is he just the best returning player to the Pac-12. He's a once-in-a-generation talent at left tackle and is the best returning player in all of college football. Sewell does everything at an elite level and was far more deserving of even more hardware than he brought in last season alone. He was worthy of a Heisman Trophy finalist invite to New York and should be on the shortlist for preseason candidates as well.
He's a stalwart in pass protection and perhaps the best run-blocking left tackle in college football's illustrious history. There is no play he can't make and no defender he can't take on one-on-one without being a clear head above anyone in the country.
Then there's the secondary. Dominant in depth and at elite talent, the Ducks are the best secondary in all of college football. At the top of that list is Lenoir, who is an incredibly gifted cover corner with great instincts. His plays on the ball are just as good as his plays when he's not even targeted, routinely taking an entire half of the field out of play.
Holland, Graham, Wright, Pickett and Breeze each represent proven, battle-tested members of the best unit in football. Wright, the youngest of them all listed above, has another added dimension with his return skills while Holland and Graham possess positional versatility that they utilize to their advantage at will.
They lose Troy Dye at LB but they make up for it with a talented nucleus of young stars and Thibodeaux rushing off the edge should buy the linebackers the time they need to adjust to life without Dye. Thibodeaux is the best sophomore pass-rusher in the game and we were shown why he was the most sought after recruit from last year's circuit.
This team will go as far as their new quarterback allows them to but their secondary is as good as anyone's in the country over the past decade, and they should win them some games in 2020.