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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Bucky Irving (RB – Oregon)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Bucky Irving (RB – Oregon)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Oregon running back Bucky Irving.

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Bucky Irving

Bucky Irving (RB – Oregon)

5’10” – 195 lbs.

Background:

Originally attended Minnesota, where he was part of a three-headed monster as a freshman, finished with 133-699-4 (5.3) and eight catches. Transferred to Oregon the following year and split carries with Noah Whittington, going 156-1,058-5 (6.8) with 31-299-3 receiving. As of the time of writing, has been even more productive, with 172-1,063-10 (6.2) and a 53-395-2 receiving line.

Positives:

Has three seasons of high, escalating production and has shown that he can handle a relatively heavy workload. Very flexible player with impressive balance and agility. Makes excellent cuts in the backfield, and has a creative approach to the position; simply put: recognizes and gets to some lanes that a less athletic back wouldn’t be able to reach. Able to make something out of nothing at times when met with early penetration, or when offensive linemen get driven into the backfield. Knows when to lower his shoulder and run behind his pads between the tackles. Does a nice job of weaving through congestion on inside runs. Shows competitiveness in terms of his leg drive after contact. Accomplished receiver who the team moves around the formation a little bit (much more in 2022 than this season), whether lining him up in the slot or, roughly twice as often, split out wide. Has the type of elusiveness in space that teams like to scheme looks on screens, pop passes, and other plays of that nature.

Negatives:

Rarely survives contact, and smaller frame could lead some teams to question how durable he’ll be at the next level. Wasn’t retained in pass protection frequently, and has struggled when asked to do so; willing to stick his nose in, but doesn’t really have the frame or functional strength of a high-end pass protector. Receiving duties are mostly on swing passes or screens; average depth of target over his career has been behind the line of scrimmage.

Summary:

A classic jitterbug type with probably the best agility in this year’s class, he’s established himself as a major part of Oregon’s offense, combining decisiveness between the tackles with creativity on lateral rushing attempts and value in the screen game. Lack ideal size, power, and pass-blocking chops means he’ll almost certainly be part of a running-back rotation, but teams looking for a creative spark on offense will be interested. Oregon actually runs a lot of gap concepts, but would probably be best on outside zone plays at the next level.

Projection: Round 4

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