Oregon HC Dan Lanning Praises Buccaneers' selection of Bucky Irving in 2024 Draft

Moments after getting selected by Tampa Bay, Irving's head coach reacted on Twitter in support of the star running back
Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Liberty v Oregon
Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Liberty v Oregon / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

After three days filled with nonstop draft action, the NFL draft officially wrapped up on Saturday and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to feel good about how things went.

With seven picks in total, general manager Jason Licht and the Bucs' front office added a multitude of talent and depth at a variety of positions. That started with Tampa Bay's first-round selection of Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton, followed by Alabama edge rusher Chris Braswell, Georgia defensive back Tykee Smith, and Washington wide receiver Jalen McMillan with their next three picks.

At the start of Day 3, the Buccaneers continued to add notable players to their roster, including drafting Oregon star running back Bucky Irving with the No. 125 pick in the fourth round. Irving, a two-year standout at Oregon, is one of the most elusive and athletically gifted running backs in the draft class.

Standing at 5'9" and 192 pounds, Irving's frame and durability may cause for concern as he transitions to the NFL, but his two-year stint at Oregon shows his potential to form an elite running back duo alongside Rachaad White. Starting in 2022, Irving recorded 156 rushing attempts for 1,058 rushing yards, five touchdowns, and 6.8 YPC in 13 games, earning his first All-Pac-12 First Team selection.

This past season, Irving was even better for the Ducks, rushing for 1,180 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 6.3 yards per rush on 186 carries, while catching 53 passes for 413 yards and two touchdowns in 14 starts. Based on his play, Irving was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team by the Associated Press, Pro Football Focus, and the conferences' coaches.

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning praises Buccaneers for drafting Bucky Irving

Now in Tampa Bay, Irving projects to be a useful option on the ground and through the air for quarterback Baker Mayfield and offensive coordinator Liam Coen this season.

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning is already a fan of the pick, something he wasn't shy about.

Under Lanning and alongside fellow draft selections Bo Nix and Troy Franklin, Irving led Oregon to a collective record of 22-5 overall and 15-4 in the Pac-12, along with wins in the Holiday and Fiesta Bowls.

Across the past two seasons, Oregon's offense averaged 41.5 points and 515.9 yards per game, both top-ten marks in the nation.

Now in Tampa Bay, Irving will serve as an excellent complement to White in the backfield and will play a major role in upgrading the Buccaneers' rushing attack that notched a league-worst 1,509 rushing yards and 3.4 yards per rush.

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