You could make a case for Travis Dye here as well, but I think NFL teams will be more likely to value CJ Verdell because of his downhill running style and toughness. He would likely absorb contact better than Dye and that could prolong his career in the NFL.
Plus, Verdell is likely to be the workhorse back for the Ducks and therefore his numbers should be better in 2021.
Verdell has two career 1,000-yard seasons but he wasn’t healthy enough to make a huge impact in 2020. He finished with just 285 yards and three touchdowns on a career-low 4.4 yards per carry. Oregon fans probably want him to do more than just run between the tackles all the time and we could see more of that in 2021.
The junior running back also set a lofty goal for himself ahead of the 2021 season of 2,000 rushing yards. This might not seem attainable, but as long as he stays healthy and gets back to averaging around six yards per carry, it’s possible.
If he hits 2,000 yards, he could play himself into a 2-3 round pick.