Travis Dye is still undecided about his future with Oregon football but if he does decide to go to the NFL after this season, his stock has been raised.
Heading into Wednesday night’s Alamo Bowl matchup between Oklahoma and Oregon football, there was one thing I wanted to see from the Ducks: more Byron Cardwell.
I was lobbying for Cardwell to get some major carries against the Sooners so we could see what he’d look like as the team’s RB1 in 2022 and beyond. In typical me fashion, I was completely wrong and Travis Dye proved once again why he was the lead back and deserved the lion’s share of carries.
Dye looked like the only weapon Oregon had from the opening kickoff until the Ducks were down 30-3. He did come out and score the first touchdown of the game for the Ducks in the third quarter on that first drive and he continued to play well, adding to his season total.
The junior running back finished the day with 153 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries to go along with five catches for 28 yards. It was his second-most productive game of the season and he looked like a star on the biggest stage. If he was up in the air about his NFL future before the game, this may have helped push him out the door.
Without CJ Verdell healthy, Dye was able to prove that he had what it took to be the team’s lead back and he finished the year with over 1,200 yards rushing and 46 catches for 402 yards and 18 total scores. His stock was raised drastically.
Where could the Oregon football back go in the 2022 NFL Draft?
While no decision has been made, there’s just a gut feeling on my end that he’ll be headed to the NFL (so you could probably put money on the opposite happening).
Where could I see Dye going? He was about a seventh-round graded running back before Wednesday’s Alamo Bowl and I think that he could rise up into that 5-6 round range, especially if he has a good workout process.
Teams are seeing what Austin Ekeler has been able to do with the Chargers as a pass-catching running back and Dye is built from that same mold with a similar body type.
We’re looking at a late-round gem here.