From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling USC RB Travis Dye.
#26 TRAVIS DYE/RB USC – 5095, 210 LBS (SENIOR)
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Travis Dye||5095/210||9 1/4||28 7/8||70 2/8|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
– Good vision of rushing lanes
– Feel for developing cutback lanes
– Takes on contact without hesitation
– Nice contact balance
– Runs with high frequency
– Solid hands
– Fluid routes out of the backfield
– Recognizes pressure well when blocking
– Light frame
– Lacks explosiveness and top-end speed
– 10 fumbles in five years are way too many
– Misses any kind of spectacular trait
– Won’t run through contact
– Not enough physicality in pass protection
– Tested poorly at his pro day due to heavy rain, unable to run drills at the Combine
– 3-Star Recruit out of Norco, CA
– Birthday 08/24/1999 – 23 years old
– Brother Troy plays LB for the Vikings
– Brother Tony, former FS in the NFL, coaches at San Bernardino Valley College
– Scored 34 TDs on 255 carries his senior year of high school
– Played 4 years at Oregon
– Transferred to USC prior to the 2022 season
– Tw0-year starter, one each for the Ducks and Trojans
– Holds Oregon’s freshman single-game rushing record with 199 yards vs Oregon State
– All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention 2020
– Second-team All-Pac-12 2022
– Carted off with an ankle injury against Colorado 2022
– Career Stats: 666 Att, 3,995 Yards (6.0 Average), 30 TD’s, 104 Rec, 1,071 Yards (10.3 average), 8 TD’s
Travis Dye is an instinctive runner with good vision as a ball carrier. In zone schemes, he has a feel for rushing lanes and takes the opportunity to create yards. He’s got decent elusiveness but doesn’t create enough separation in the open field.
Dye runs with low center-of-gravity and is able to absorb initial hits. He always keeps his legs moving to keep his balance. He doesn’t go to the ground easily.
With a lot of experience at the college level, he’s got the ability to find cutback lanes and reads his blocks and the defender consistently.
His game lacks explosiveness to get through the hole, so his offensive line needs to keep gaps wide open for him. It takes him too long to find his speed, which isn’t blazing fast anyway.
Dye struggles to finish runs, as he usually gets caught. Defensive backs and even linebackers are often faster. He only clocked a 4.82 at USC Pro Day, most definitely not NFL speed. This will concern many franchises.
Despite his light frame, he still takes on defenders and tries to run through contact. He’s not afraid to get hit, as he lowers his shoulder to break tackles and keep his balance. He’s got some serious physicality to his game, which is far better than average compared to his size.
As a fluid route runner out of the backfield, he offers the possibility for checkdowns of any kind. He’s got reliable hands and looks comfortable in the process.
In the open field, he is able to create yards and get first downs. He is definitely not a receiver but plays well enough to catch the ball on short routes and over the middle.
Unfortunately, his physicality doesn’t show in pass protection. Dye doesn’t have the strength to stand up pass rushers or blitzers. He usually chooses to cut block, which isn’t always executed well enough.
Being on the older side as a running back — he turns 24 before the season — Travis Dye will need to fight to stick on any team’s 53-man roster. He certainly has the experience and skill set to perform as a backup in his career. It remains to be seen whether he’s got anything to offer on special teams. A big concern will be his ball security, as he fumbled way too often. After leading the Ducks in 2021 Dye decided to transfer to USC in 2022, where he would eventually injure his ankle. That held him out the remainder of the season and at the NFL Combine. His pro day performance was pretty underwhelming, mostly because of weather conditions. So don’t be surprised if he won’t be drafted but turns heads during camp. It will be vital for him though to play in the right scheme and to find a coach who gets him in the right position.
Projection: Late Day 3/UDFA
Depot Draft Grade: 6.3 – End of Roster/Practice Squad (6th/7th Round)
Games Watched: at Oregon State 2022, vs Washington State 2022, at Utah 2022