A quartet of former Oregon players had their names called on the third and final day of the NFL draft.
Safety Ugo Amadi (Seattle), outside linebacker Justin Hollins (Denver), wide receiver Dillon Mitchell (Minnesota) and defensive end Jalen Jelks (Dallas) were all selected Saturday.
Amadi was the first Duck taken off the board in the fourth round. The senior will be staying in the Pacific Northwest after being picked by the Seahawks with the 132nd overall pick.
“They want me to do everything. Nickel, corner, safety, special teams, everything. Swiss Army knife,” Amadi said of coach Pete Carroll and his staff. “My versatility is my strength.”
Amadi played two seasons at cornerback, two seasons at safety and emerged as a dangerous punt returner with the Ducks.
During Oregon’s 9-4 finish last season the 5-foot-9 Amadi returned two interceptions and a punt for touchdowns.
“I know how to get the ball back for the offense. That’s my strength,” Amadi said. “I’m instinctive, quick, fast, know how to lay the deep ball. I’m an all-around DB.”
Hollins, who was the defensive most valuable player of the East-West Shrine Game, was taken by the Broncos with the 156th overall pick in the fifth round.
Denver general manager John Elway, who drafted Oregon running back Royce Freeman in the third round in 2018 and visited Autzen Stadium last fall to get a look at Justin Herbert, said Hollins’ athleticism will allow him to contribute immediately on special teams.
“It feels great being under the wing of those great players,” Hollins said of playing with the Broncos’ star pass rushers, Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. “(Miller’s) a potential (Pro Football) Hall-of-Famer. In most eyes, he is a hall-of-famer already.
“Being able to learn from those guys is going to elevate my game. It’s just impressive. “
Hollins played on Oregon’s Pac-12 championship team in 2014 before redshirting in 2015 due to injury.
The 6-foot-5, 242-pound fifth-year senior led the nation with eight forced fumbles during the past two seasons and finished ninth in program history with 36.5 career tackles for loss, including 19.0 over his final 17 games.
“It allowed me a little more time to develop and become more ready,” Hollins said of exhausting his eligibility at Oregon, where he played for three different defensive coordinators. “I felt like it really helped switching systems back to the 3-4, stuff like that, and getting a little bit more weight and developing a little bit more.”
Mitchell set an Oregon single-season record with 1,184 receiving yards last season. Herbert’s go-to-target decided to leave for the NFL after his breakout junior campaign.
The 6-2, 189-pound prospect had to wait until the 239th overall pick in the seventh round until the Vikings drafted him.
“I have a lot of people to prove wrong,” Mitchell said of the excruciating wait to be drafted. “I didn’t really know where I was going to go. I’m just real excited to have the feeling of being drafted and having the opportunity.”
Minnesota has arguably the best starting wide receiver duo in the NFL in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.
Mitchell and rookie classmate Olabisi Johnson, who was taken eight picks later, will be in the competition for the No. 3 spot.
“That moment was indescribable, like many guys say,” Mitchell said of getting the call from the Vikings. “My heart was pounding. I didn’t really know if it was going to be the call or not. So I was just super excited, super emotional and crying like a baby.”
Jelks was taken 241st overall, two picks after Mitchell, in the seventh round by the Cowboys.
The 6-6, 245-pound fifth-year senior led the Pac-12 in tackles by a defensive lineman (57) and finished with 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks last season.
“Rated very high on our board and we’re down to the end of the draft and he’s still sitting there like a blinking light,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of Jelks. “There’s so much to like about this guy. He’s big, he’s long, he’s athletic and he plays with a relentless spirit.”
Running back Tony Brooks-James, who missed the Redbox Bowl due to injury and was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent. Tight end Kano Dillon also was signed by the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent.
“Major chip on my shoulder for me not being invited to the bowl game or the combine,” Brooks-James said after running a 4.45-second 40-yard dash at Oregon’s pro day last month in the Moshofsky Center.
Herbert, who announced his decision to play his senior season at Oregon before the Redbox Bowl last December, is projected to be a first-round pick in 2020.