By 750 THE GAME STAFF
In August 2019, Auburn freshman Bo Nix played his first game of college football against Oregon. Now, Nix is ready for his second season as Oregon’s starting quarterback, and fifth overall in college football.
Nix’s initial three seasons with his boyhood team did not go as planned, and he transferred to Oregon at the end of the 2021 season.
His first year with the Ducks, Nix shined alongside playcaller Kenny Dillingham, now the head coach at Arizona State. Nix completed a career-high 71.9 % of his pass attempts with another career-best 29 touchdown passes against just seven picks. Oregon won eight straight games after a season-opening blowout loss against Georgia, but suffered a pair of losses to rivals Washington and Oregon State that cost the Ducks a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
In all likelihood, this will be Nix’s final season at Oregon before entering the NFL Draft in 2024. Nix had the chance to go into the draft after his career season in 2023, but decided to come back to Eugene.
Now with a new offensive coordinator in Will Stein from UTSA, Nix looks to replicate or exceed his 2023 year. Doing so would not only mean another strong season for Oregon as a whole but would also bolster Nix’s stock for the 2024 NFL draft.
Mock drafts, though way premature for next spring, are a mixed bag for Nix. Some place him as a mid-to-late first-round pick, while others have him as a day-two selection.
Fellow Pac-12 transfer quarterbacks Caleb Williams (USC) and Michael Penix, Jr. (Washington) are both considered first-round locks, with Williams the near-unanimous favorite to go first overall.
Justin Herbert was Oregon’s last quarterback to be drafted, going to the LA Chargers with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 draft. Herbert has shined as a professional and will look to be among the next wave of highest-paid quarterbacks in the league.
Herbert never had a season in Eugene throwing for as many yards or completing the same rate of passes as Nix did in 2023, but his frame and arm talent sets him clearly above Nix in terms of NFL prospects.
Nix would become the 17th Oregon Ducks quarterback to be selected in the NFL Draft. Six have gone in the first round: George Shaw in 1955 (No. 1 overall to Baltimore), Chris Miller in 1987 (No. 13 overall to Atlanta), Akili Smith in 1999 (No. 3 overall to Cincinnati), Joey Harrington in 2002 (No. 3 overall to Detroit), Marcus Mariota in 2015 (No. 2 overall to Tennessee), and Herbert in 2020 (No. 6 to LA Chargers).
National perception holds Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye in high regard as the top-two draft prospects at quarterback. Penix is considered a half-tier below that duo, though most mocks have him near the top-ten. Other prospects that are likely to be early-round selections include Texas’ Quinn Ewers, South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler, Arkansas’s K.J. Jefferson, LSU’s Jalen Daniels, and Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders.
We’ll see how far Nix can ascend up mock draft boards as Oregon’s season progresses this fall.
The Ducks open the season on Sat., Sept. 2nd vs Portland State.