Oregon Football's Bucky Irving Impressing Tampa Bay Quarterback Baker Mayfield

Former Oregon Ducks running back Bucky Irving has captured the attention of Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield. The rookie is getting reps to showcase his talents.
Oregon running back Bucky Irving takes off with the ball as the No. 6 Oregon Ducks host the USC Trojans Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.
Oregon running back Bucky Irving takes off with the ball as the No. 6 Oregon Ducks host the USC Trojans Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore. / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA

Former Oregon running back Bucky Irving was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, following a stellar year in the Ducks backfield.

It can be hard for NFL rookies to capture the attention of their veteran teammates... But that is not the case for Irving and Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield.

“Obviously, it’s been a little hard in the run game with no pads on," Mayfield said about Irving. "One thing I will say about (Irving) - Obviously he has good hands. When he decides to cut up field and go north and south, he goes. He decides and he hits it. That’s good so far.”

Oregon running back Bucky Irving takes off with the ball as the No. 6 Oregon Ducks host the USC Trojans Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.
Oregon running back Bucky Irving takes off with the ball as the No. 6 Oregon Ducks host the USC Trojans Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore. / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA

The Bucs were in need of help in the running game when they drafted Irving. While there did not seem to be a clear plan in place on how he might be used, he will get his shot.

“Bucky was drafted to come in here and help this football team so obviously he’s gonna have an opportunity to showcase what we can do,” said Bucs running back coach, Skip Peete. “I think it’s gonna create a lot of competition in the room, which is a good thing for everybody.”

Irving definitely brings an impressive resume to Tampa Bay and joins starter Rachaad White in the RB room. White totaled a massive 272 rushing attempts last season, while the No. 2 back Chase Edmonds only had 49.

Irving has proven himself in the college ranks with over 1,000 rushing yards in his last two seasons at Oregon. In 2023, he ran for nearly 1,200 yards, averaging over six yards per carry and 11 touchdowns. Irving was also a reliable receiver out of the backfield with 56 catches to his credit. These numbers add up to a big-play athlete if given a defined role in the offense.

Despite not having played a single down for Tampa Bay, NFL Wire has Irving on their “breakout list” for the upcoming season.

“The rookie out of Oregon is likely to get a lot of touches in a thin Bucs’ backfield,” writes NFL Wire. “Outside of Rachaad White, there isn’t another truly proven back that will get a lot of attention and touches.”

Irving’s production at Oregon tells us that he had the physical tools to play in the NFL and it is now up to this former Duck to make it happen and have that breakout year.


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Mark Lantz

MARK LANTZ