Ohio State and LSU often fight for the nickname 'DBU,' but it might be time to start giving Oregon some credit as well. The Ducks have a plethora of defensive backs that'll be eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft, which includes Deommodore Lenoir.
After registering 46 tackles and an interception in 2019, Lenoir returned for his senior season and had 35 total tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in just six games. It was an impressive way for the 5-foot-11 cornerback to finish his career at Oregon.
Unfortunately this year's draft process will be a tad different due to COVID-19, but Lenoir will still have the chance to showcase his abilities in front of scouts this spring. A strong performance at his pro day would almost certainly boost his draft stock.
Earlier this week, Deommodore Lenoir caught up with The Spun to discuss his path to the NFL Draft, his mindset at cornerback, how his skillset will translate to the pros, and much more.
The Spun: This was a weird season due to COVID-19. How were you able to turn on that switch and play so well despite not knowing if the Pac-12 was even going to have a season?
Deommodore Lenoir: My mindset going into every game is kill or be killed. Once football was back on it was easy for me to learn what I needed to learn and get a feel for the team because I love the game so much.
The Spun: What do you feel like you showed scouts this past season?
DL: How athletic I am and how coachable I am. I also showed how I can shut down my opponent.
The Spun: You got a Pro Day set for early April. What’s the main goal for that day?
DL: Really it’s just to test out of this world. I feel like I’m going to test really well and turn a lot of heads.
The Spun: When does Oregon get in the conversation for ‘DBU?’
DL: I feel like 2019 was our year for DBU, but since COVID-19 hit we weren’t able to showcase it in 2020. Come draft time, we’ll get that ‘DBU’ nickname because we’re going to shock people at our pro day since all five of us can test well.
The Spun: What was it like playing for Mario Cristobal?
DL: One of the best head coaches I ever had. He always had us mentality and physically ready for a game. Before every game he’d tell us you’re either going to kill or be killed, so he really brought that dog out of all us.
The Spun: Tyler Shough transferred to Texas Tech this week. Were you guys somewhat surprised he left?
DL: At the end of the day, I feel like you got to make the best decision for you. I wish the best for him and I believe Tyler is a real competitor.
The Spun: Are you surprised by how good Justin Herbert was as a rookie?
DL: I wasn’t shocked at all. I knew what Herbert was going to do. I knew he was going to be that guy for the Chargers and that he was going to win Rookie of the Year. I always saw who he was and what he was capable of just by going against him in practice every day. He made it hard for us.
The Spun: Which quarterback do you want to intercept a pass from?
DL: If I’m not on his team, I’ll go Patrick Mahomes. I feel like he’s the new era. I know Brady won seven rings, but I feel like when he’s done, Patrick Mahomes is that guy. I’m always looking forward going against the best. If I am on his team, then I’d say Justin Herbert.
The Spun: Which NFL teams have you met with?
DL: I’ve talked to the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints.
The Spun: How close are we to seeing Oregon back in the College Football Playoff?
DL: I feel like they got it this year. With all the talent that’s there and the upcoming talent that just got there, they’re going to be in the College Football Playoff this year.
The Spun: Which cornerbacks do you study on film?
DL: I’d say Marcus Peters because of his knack for the football. I also watch Marlon Humphrey and Darius Slay.
The Spun:What’s sweeter: being a Pac-12 champion or a Rose Bowl champion?
DL: I’d say the Rose Bowl because of the whole scenery and I had all my family there since I’m from Los Angeles. It was just a different feeling.
The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Deommodore Lenoir?
DL: A competitor and a person who’s going to bring everyone’s morale in the locker room up, not down.
Lenoir isn't the only defensive back from Oregon going to the NFL this spring. Brady Breeze, Thomas Graham and Jevon Holland are all intriguing prospects as well.
While his coverage skills are impressive, Lenoir's ability to tackle defenders in open space is what really stands out to scouts. According to Pro Football Focus, he only missed 8 of his 137 tackle attempts at Oregon.
NFL fans should expect to hear Lenoir's name called at some point during this year's draft.
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