Preseason Position Preview: Offensive Line
Ahead of the Oregon Ducks’ season kick-off game against the Auburn Tigers at the end of August, it’s important to look through the team’s depth chart and figure out how the Ducks stack up against the rest of the nation.
To start things off, let’s take a look at the running back room in Oregon, and determine how things stand:
Penei Sewell — Sophomore
Sewell is a young player who is being placed with a huge responsibility — protect QB Justin Herbert.
In his freshman season, Sewell became the first Ducks true freshman lineman to start a season opener since 1997, taking the position from veteran Tyler Crosby. The freshman ranked as a top-10 offensive lineman in the nation until an ankle injury ended his season.
It's no surprise that Sewell is listed as the starter here, as he is one of the best lineman in the country. If he stays healthy, Oregon is set on the left edge.
Steven Jones — Sophomore
Jones played in five games during his freshman season, starting in place of Sewell, who was out with an injury. In his time with the first-team, Jones did not commit a penalty or allow a sack, and he graded out as the No. 1 left tackle in the Pac-12 after Oregon's win over UCLA in November.
Should something terrible happen to Sewell, Oregon can rest assured that they have a lot of talent ready in the waiting behind him.
Shane Lemieux — Redshirt Senior
Be it because of the hair or the name, chances are you already know about Shane Lemieux. The redshirt senior has been a staple on the offensive line for Oregon for much of his career, and as a junior he was named a second-team All-American.
He graded as the No. 3 guard in the nation in 2018, and will enter his senior season with an experience group of pass-blockers around him, and a veteran quarterback who feels comfortable with his protection up front. Look for Lemieux's draft stock to rise this season, because he will likely be around come awards season.
Alex Forsyth — Redshirt Sophomore
As a redshirt-freshman, Forsyth spent time moving around the offensive line and filling in when needed. He played in five total games, with most of his 43 snaps spent on the right side of the line. He is still young, but if he sees time this year should Lemieux be out, it wouldn't be the worst case scenario.
Jake Hanson — Redshirt Senior
Hanson is another reason why the Oregon offensive line is so hyped this season. Alongside Lemieux, Hanson has a load of experience at the position, and he has developed a relationship with Herbert over the years.
Hanson has only missed one start in the past three years, and was named to the Pac-12 second team in his junior season. He is likely to be one of the main reasons why Oregon's run-game gets going this season.
Ryan Walk— Sophomore
Walk played in five games as a freshman, spent exclusively at the center position. He is a native to Eugene, and graduated from Sheldon High School in 2017.
He lacks experience, but has the size to be successful at 6-2, 285 pounds.
Dallas Warmack — Redshirt Senior
Warmack came to Oregon in 2018 after playing his previous seasons at the University of Alabama, and he was a nice player for the Ducks. He started all 12 regular-season games for Oregon, and graded out as the No. 9 guard in the Pac-12.
Coming into 2019, he has another year under his belt gaining experience and comfortability with Herbert, and he is likely to be mentioned when awards season comes around.
Calvin Throckmorton — Redshirt Senior
Calvin Throckmorton — Redshirt Senior
Throckmorton graded out as the top offensive lineman in the Pac-12 last season, and he was the only player in the FBS to start at four different positions (RT, RG, C, LT).
The senior has played 1,133 snaps (15 games) without committing a penalty, and he has formed a strong bond with his fellow lineman and longtime quarterback. Look for Throckmorton to improve his draft stock this season.
Brady Aiello — Redshirt Senior
Aiello started the final seven games of the season at right tackle in 2018, and he graded out as the No. 10 tackle in the Pac-12. It was thought that he could make the move to permanent starting tackle this season if Throckmorton was to move inside, but the emergence of Warmack has kept Aiello on the second-team.
Still, if the Ducks need a right tackle in a pinch, they could do a lot worse than Aiello.