Dillon Mitchell continued the process of realizing his NFL dream during Oregon’s pro day Thursday.
Mitchell, the Pac-12’s leading wide receiver last season, understands there is a chance the quarterback situation for the team he ends up with may not be as good as the one he’s leaving behind.
Mitchell was the Ducks’ only junior to declare for the 2019 draft. Several of his classmates, including star linebacker Troy Dye, watched the workout behind a scrum of stopwatch-holding scouts inside the Moshofsky Center.
Star quarterback Justin Herbert put the NFL on hold and is one of 10 returning starters on Oregon’s offense.
“Playing with Justin was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, unless I get a chance to play with him at the next level,” Mitchell said. “Throwing with other guys and realizing every quarterback is unique ... I have been throwing with a couple guys and I have noticed that Justin is still a different dude. …
“The ball comes out different. I can’t explain the dude.”
The 6-foot-6, 237-pound Herbert will draw a crowd at next year’s pro day. His predecessor at Oregon, 2015 starter Vernon Adams Jr., showed up to throw to Mitchell and the other prospects.
Adams, who lacks the prototypical size for an NFL quarterback, has spent his professional career in the CFL.
“I love Vernon, man. My freshman year he’s the one that gave me a lot of confidence,” said Ugo Amadi, who struggled early in his career at cornerback and was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award at safety as a senior. “Every time after practice he’d come up to me in the locker room and always gave me little pep talks. … He’s by far one of the best players I’ve played with.”
Two of the Ducks’ other defensive standouts from last season, defensive end Jalen Jelks and outside linebacker Justin Hollins, let most of their numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine stand.
Linebacker Kaulana Apelu and running back Tony Brooks-James, who missed chunks of their senior seasons due to injuries, took advantage of the opportunity to perform in front of the talent evaluators representing 31 of the 32 NFL franchises.
“Today was it, do-or-die day for me,” Brooks-James said. “So I just left it all on the field.”
Brooks-James ran a hand-timed 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds, which would have tied for second among running backs at last month’s combine in Indianapolis.
The other former Ducks who went through drills were tight end Kano Dillon, wide receiver Charles Nelson and linebackers Jimmie Swain and Pou Peleti-Gore.