By Ray Hamill — There will be plenty of local interest in the upcoming NFL Draft and not just because it’s about the only sporting event we have to look forward to these days.
The draft, which runs for three days, gets under way on Thursday and should feature the name of one local star at some point.
Former Eureka High player Jake Hanson, who has been a solid starter at Oregon for the past four years, is expected to have his name called out somewhere in the later rounds.
The 6-foot-3, 303-pound center graduated Eureka High in 2015 and has been a consistently strong starter for the Ducks since then.
“He’s been really reliable for them for four years. He’s not a center you are looking for, but he’s a center you might be willing to work with,” an unnamed national scout for an AFC team told NFL.com.
Sports Illustrated has Hanson going in the seventh round to Cleveland in its mock draft.
According to NFL.com, “Hanson has been on NFL scouts’ radar since his redshirt freshman season. The four-star recruit from Eureka, California, took over the starting center job for the Ducks in 2016, earning his first of four straight honorable mention All-Pac-12 nods.”
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein described Hanson as someone “who has the ability to assimilate into a variety of schemes but is unlikely to stand out in any particular one.
“His strong, accurate hands and determined effort are his calling cards and he’s been able to hang in against a series of big, talented interior linemen over the years.”
Zierlein added that Hanson is “a steady performer who could offer late-round value as a backup.”
For more on Hanson’s NFL.com draft profile, click here …