Linebacker Troy Dye was a tackling machine at Oregon and now the No. 132 overall pick in this year’s draft will try to crack the starting lineup of the Minnesota Vikings as a rookie. Here are Dye’s odds at Mybookie to win 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year as well as the Vikings’ over/under win total.
Dye was a four-year starter at Oregon. He was named a Freshman All-American in 2016. Dye had a team-high 91 tackles, good for fifth in the Pac-12. He was one of three FBS true freshmen to lead their team in tackles. Dye ranked second in the Pac-12 in tackles per game (8.27) and made 57 solo tackles which ranked seventh in the Pac-12. He also led the team with 13.0 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, which ranked tied for sixth and tied for seventh in the conference, respectively. He was second among FBS freshmen in tackles for loss and tied for fourth in sacks. In his collegiate debut, Dye had 11 tackles to become the first Oregon freshman with double-digit tackles in first appearance since Peter Sirmon in the 1996 season opener.
In 2017 as a sophomore, he led the team in tackles (107) for the second consecutive season to become the first Duck to accomplish the feat since 1992. Dye was one of just five Power 5 players to lead his team in tackles in 2016 and 2017. He ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in tackles and tackles for loss (13.5). Dye led the team in tackles eight times and had double-digit stops in six contests. He was one of three FBS players with at least 100 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Dye was the top-rated linebacker in the Pac-12 with a grade of 87.7 percent, according to Pro Football Focus.
As a junior, he ranked seventh in the Pac-12 with a team-best 115 tackles. He was the first Oregon player with back-to-back 100-tackle seasons since Michael Clay in 2011 and 2012. Dye had 66 solo stops while adding 8.0 tackles for loss and two sacks. He became just the second player in program history to lead the team in tackles three consecutive years.
Then last year, he became the first player in program history to lead the team in tackles four consecutive seasons despite playing the final eight games with a cast on his right hand due to a broken thumb. Dye was one of eight Power 5 players with 80 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. He finished with 84 tackles, including 9.5 stops for loss, and had 2.5 sacks. His 52 solo stops were good for 11th most in the Pac-12.
Dye finished third in program history in career tackles (397) and tied for fourth in tackles for loss (44.0). He was one of just nine FBS players since 2000 with career totals of at least 15 sacks and five interceptions and led Oregon in tackles 22 times in 50 career games and tied the record for most double-figure tackle performances (19).
Minnesota took Dye at No. 132 overall in the draft. Dye fell further than many draft analysts expected, so the Vikings were gifted a higher-value pick. He was used differently in college (as a pass-rusher, he had 13 career sacks) than his projected role in the NFL as a 4-3 outside linebacker. That’s similar to Anthony Barr’s story coming out of UCLA.
Dye’s role for the Ducks often put him on tight ends. Some believe he could also see reps at safety with the Vikings, or elsewhere later in his career. He has the speed and instincts to play on passing downs as long as he’s healthy following his postseason knee surgery.
Dye is the fourth Oregon player drafted by the Vikings in franchise history. He will be reunited with former Ducks teammate Dillon Mitchell, whom the Vikings drafted 239th overall in 2019. Mitchell, who lived with Dye when the two attended Oregon together, spent last season on Minnesota’s practice squad. The Vikings tabbed the other two Oregon products in 2003.