Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft Bucky Irving: Revitalizing the Running Game
In a move that set the pace for their draft strategy, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Bucky Irving in the fourth round. Originating from Oregon, where he distinguished himself as a formidable running back, Irving brings a blend of skill and determination to the Buccaneers. Despite concerns regarding his size at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, Irving's college performance underscores his potential to revitalize Tampa Bay's struggling running game.

Impressive College Tenure

During his last year in college, Irving's stats were nothing short of impressive. Rushing for 1,180 yards and securing 11 touchdowns, his contribution on the field was undeniable. However, his transition to the NFL has not been without skepticism. Critics point out his size as a potential limitation in facing the physically demanding playstyle of the NFL. But Irving, undeterred, channels this skepticism into motivation, viewing it as fuel to exceed expectations and silence doubters.

Tampa Bay's Strategy

The Buccaneers have faced challenges in their running game for the previous seasons, an area they are keen to address. The addition of Bucky Irving aligns with the vision of new offensive coordinator Liam Coen and Head Coach Todd Bowles. They see Irving not just as a player, but as a pivotal piece in their strategy to inject life and dynamism into their running game. Known for his elusiveness and ability to make defenders miss, Irving's playing style adds a new dimension to the Buccaneers' offense. Mar'Keise Irving, known affectionately as Bucky, will don the No. 7 jersey for the Bucs. This marks a new chapter in his athletic career, one that Tampa Bay's management and coaching staff are optimistically betting on. Irving's consistent production in college and his multifaceted skill set — including his capability as a receiver and potential in the kickoff return game — bolster his prospects in the NFL.

Setting New Precedents

Irving was among the first of the Buccaneers' draft picks to sign his rookie contract — a testament to both the franchise's faith in his abilities and his own eagerness to make an impact. Irving's approach to the game is nuanced; he is calm and composed off the field but transforms into a relentless force once in play. His philosophy is simple: let his performance do the talking.

Overcoming Adversity Through Skill

Critics have not shied away from voicing concerns about Irving's physical attributes, labeling him as "undersized and underpowered." These assessments, while pointing out legitimate considerations, fail to encapsulate Irving's tenacity and heart. He uses these doubts as a challenge, aiming to demonstrate that heart and skill can defy conventional metrics of size in the NFL. "I play with a chip on my shoulder because everyone talks about my size and how small I am," Irving shared. His goal is to be an elusive target on the field, frustrating opponents' attempts to tackle him and enjoying the game to its fullest by "making people miss, making them look silly." The Buccaneers' coaching staff recognize and value these qualities in Irving. They acknowledge that while he may not embody the archetype of a power runner, his agility and resilience make him difficult to take down and a valuable asset in navigating the field. His potential contributions extend beyond the running game. With a clear vision and fearless approach, Irving could bring much-needed dynamism to the Buccaneers' kickoff return strategy. The overarching strategy underscores a run-first mentality, a domain where Irving is set to play a significant role.


As Bucky Irving embarks on his NFL journey with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the narrative surrounding him is one of defiance and perseverance. Facing doubts about his stature head-on, Irving is poised to leverage his collegiate success and distinctive skill set to make a lasting impact. The Buccaneers, in turn, see in him not just a player, but a beacon of their commitment to revitalizing their run game and challenging the norms of the league. It's this synergy of belief and talent that paints a promising road ahead for both Irving and the Buccaneers.