They say early in the weekend is the best possible time to release news the public won't appreciate. Well, Oregon Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas announced early in the weekend that he's entering the 2012 NFL Draft, which means many of us are only just now getting around to wondering what in the world is going on here.
First of all, Oregon should be fine. Backup Bryan Bennett has played well in relief and will have an entire offseason to prep for the job of throwing things at De'Anthony Thomas and watching them disappear over the horizon seconds later.
But, yes, it's official and real and everything. He's even signed with agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Oregon fans at Addicted to Quack make sure to appreciate everything Thomas did for the program before wondering why this notion popped into his head:
With Thomas at the helm, Oregon was a top 5 team heading into next season. Without him, we get to see what Bryan Bennett or Marcus Mariotta will do. Both are supremely talented athletes, and it will be exciting to see what they can do. But losing both LaMichael James and Darron Thomas to the draft is a big blow for the team. These two were the leaders of the Oregon offense, and took the team to levels we have never seen.
But beyond the impact on Oregon football, this seems like a bizarre decision for Thomas. He had not been spoken very highly of as a pro prospect, and has some obvious footwork and mechanical problems that will be tough to overcome at the next level.
Pac-12 blog Pacific Takes foresees a rough 2012 for Oregon, but makes the point that it's not like Thomas would've gained NFL quarterbacking experience had he stuck around for another year anyway.
However, as we've seen with Tim Tebow and Andrew Luck and others, offensive staffs of all philosophies are often mindful of making their senior quarterbacks more NFL-palatable. Not hard to imagine Chip Kelly might've tweaked Thomas' senior responsibilities to show a little bit more NFL-readiness before the draft came calling. It's good for recruiting anyway, you see, as potential incoming quarterbacks like to see evidence they'll get a chance at the NFL.
Every Day Should Be Saturday just sees Jevan Snead all over again. That's never a good thing.
For more on the Ducks, visit Oregon blog Addicted to Quack.