Bucky Irving And The Sixth RB Off The Board

June 1st, 2024

Bucs rookie RB Bucky Irving.

Joe landed in a heated conversation with a Bucs fan recently about rookie running back Bucky Irving out of the University of Oregon.

Tampa Bay drafted him in Round 4.

The guy Joe was talking to was in love with Irving and insisted he’ll be a hit-the-ground-running impact player.

Man, the dude nearly lost his mind when Joe said something like, ‘Irving was the sixth running back off the board and has plenty to prove.’

An astute NFL fan, the guy came firing back at Joe and noted that Dolphins stud De’Von Achane ran absolutely wild last season as the sixth running back drafted in 2023, before he lost a bunch of games to injury. The fan also pulled Kareem Hunt out of his back pocket for being taken in the same spot back in 2017.

Joe countered that the 2017 draft for running backs may become the greatest in history so it almost doesn’t count. Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon and Alvin Kamara came off the board before Hunt.

Regardless, here’s a list of the last 10 running backs who were the sixth running back taken in their respective draft classes.

De’Von Achane — Miami 2023
Brian Robinson Jr. — Washington 2022
Kene Nwangwu — Vikings 2021
A.J. Dillon — Packers 2020
Damien Harris –Patriots 2019
Kerryon Johnson — Lions 2018
Kareem Hunt – Chiefs 2017
Kenneth Dixon – Ravens 2016 —
Duke Johnson – Browns 2015
Terrance West – Browns 2014
Christine Michael – Seahawks 2013

Does that group scream Irving will dominate? No. But there certainly were quality seasons from that bunch. Probably half the teams look favorably on their picks, which ranged from Round 2 through Round 4.

Harris had a very special 2021 in New England but then fell off the map. Injuries quickly derailed Kerryon Johnson and Dixon after good starts. Duke Johnson was among Joe’s favorite running backs to watch. He had a nice career catching out of the backfield.

Hunt never matched his rookie Pro Bowl output but has been productive. Robinson Jr. has been decent for two bad offenses. Achane, of course, blew a lot of minds last season but needs to prove he has a full season in him.

Joe simply would like to see Irving not have much of a learning curve (many RBs don’t) so he legitimately can challenge Rachaad White in training camp, and also serve as a strong complementary back all season.

If he can do both of those things, the Bucs’ run game should improve from Week 1.

20 Responses to “Bucky Irving And The Sixth RB Off The Board”

  1. dbbuc711 Says:

    Watch videos of Irving, the kid has a wicked stiff-arm

  2. JimBobBuc Says:

    No guarantees in the NFL obviously with busts and great players in every round, including the sixth. . Both Bucky and White need a lot of reps in camp with new OL players and Coens system. Like most rookie backs, Bucky needs to work on pass pro and ball security. The word from the Oregon OC is that Bucky is coach able and works hard. I’m optimistic about Bucky but let’s see him play.

  3. David Says:

    He won’t dominate because White will still be the main guy. Should be a great 1-2 punch though

  4. JamesrunningWilder Says:

    There have been PLENTY of Great RB’s that were either Drafted After the Irving Spot or completely Undrafted. Terrell Davis comes to mind.

  5. Netwalker Says:

    Can’t say it enough. Bucky Irving is custom made for kickoff returns in this new system. Can’t wait to see it.

  6. Gotti-Dog-05-20-84 Says:

    “……Bucky needs to work on pass pro and ball security.”

    Pass pro yes…..ball security…not to be ignored or disregarded but the guy only fumbled once in his college career so he’s ahead of the curve there

  7. heyjude Says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I cannot wait to cheer “Go Bucky Go!” Bucs, Bucky, Bucees. All sounds great.

  8. Hodad Says:

    I can see Bucky rushing for 500, and receiving for 500. That would be a huge boost in production from our second back. Let’s face it, after White we got nothing last year.

  9. Dude Says:

    Coen mentioned he’s got acquaintances on the Oregon staff at his post draft presser, wouldn’t doubt there being information shared about what Bucky works best in so we can maximize his potential w/o getting him in spots where the growth may not immediately be there.

    I’m excited about this kid. Don’t care about the imaginary competition between he and Chaad, who’s better at picking up blitzes and keeping the pocket clean-ish for Mayfield when need be so he’s got the leg up in terms of first chances. Shouldn’t matter though, the season is long and I won’t be upset if we aren’t getting heavy doses of Bucky from the outset.

  10. Booger Says:

    LoL There is a huge difference between TRACK STARS Achane & Hunt versus Bucky. I mean, come on. And, you can do that all day long with every pick and round.

  11. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Any juice added to the offense is ok by me. GO BUCS

  12. Letsbucinggo Says:

    More worried about traveling man Coen than Bucky. Bucky will be fine.

  13. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    dbbuc711 Says:
    Watch videos of Irving, the kid has a wicked stiff-arm
    I watched some videos of Irving some weeks ago and saw him make some would be tacklers look foolish.

    I’m praying that he can do at the NFL level what he did in college.

    That said, I don’t know how much he’ll see the field until he shows he can pass protect.

    I’m hoping also that Sean Tucker can take a big step forward now that he had a full off-season to train and his heart issue is behind him. Bucky may have to compete with him as well.

  14. BucEmUp Says:

    I like his vision and early commitment to his lane. He has crazy fast feet

  15. Todd Says:

    Some of us think in cans, not can’ts.

  16. ModHairKen Says:

    2017 RB class has zero HOF.

    The Bucky kid will play. He will have some success. He will be out of the league within 5 years. That’s the likely reality.

  17. unbelievable Says:

    ModHairKen Says:
    June 2nd, 2024 at 12:11 pm
    2017 RB class has zero HOF.


    So that means it was a bad class of RBs? Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, etc would say otherwise…

    And I could easily see CMac making it into the Hall one day if he stays healthy for a while. Making it to the hall as a RB is hard these days since that position typically had a short shelf life AND the NFL is way more of a passing game now.

  18. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Ha! Zero HOF – true since non have been retired for 5 years to be eligible. And if HOF is your requirement….

  19. Jake been there since the beginning Says:

    So if the online is better then White should get better. Bucky I hope you get to have some fun. There’s a difference between a Volkswagen van coming through the hole and let’s say a Porsche. Look forward to seeing him run, with vision and that sidehop thing and a burst, bye bye.

  20. Roland Says:

    What burst Jake? His top end speed is very NFL slow. His reacceleration is elite, when Breaking arm tackles of defenses that are sub par for college.
    He’s a kick returner. Who better learn pass pro real quick or Tucker and the UDFA who the SEC salivated all over (then got hurt) will take his job.

    My money is on the UDFA… But raw talent doesn’t always win out.