Outside linebacker, Oregon Ducks
40 time: 4.70e
Dye had 84 tackles as a senior, the lowest single-season total of his career, but he led Oregon in tackles in each of his four seasons. A second-team All-Pac-12 pick each of the past two seasons, he was viewed as a safety prospect coming out of high school but became a starter at Oregon (nine games) as a true freshman and never looked back.
Dye pulled out of the Senior Bowl and sat out the NFL Scouting Combine after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus, which he played through for the final four games of 2019.
Dye is a rangy, athletic chase linebacker with above-average speed to the flanks and in coverage, plus more grit in the box than his safety-like frame suggests. Wiry strong, playing tougher than he looks due to good knee bend and pad level to neutralize the leverage battle. Quick hands to slap away the grasps of would-be blockers. Generally reliable face-up tackler with the reach to lasso ball carriers seemingly out of his grasp. Quick to attack the line of scrimmage in the running game, trusting instincts and showing burst to and through the ball. Possesses the speed to beat backs to the edge and the change-of-direction and awareness for coverage duties. Does not panic with the ball in the air, showing both poise and good hand-eye coordination (14 career passes defended, five INTs). Durable, four-year starter with plus production. Personable, high energy player popular with teammates and coaches. Played through torn meniscus and broken thumb late in 2019.
Dye is built like a safety and occasionally tackles like one, relying on speed and length to catch ball carriers, rather than punishing them with collisions. Stouter than he looks but lacks the sand in his pants to hold up for four quarters against a power running attack, struggling to shed blockers once they make contact. Further, Dye needs to gain greater grip strength to pull down runners outside of his frame, too often seeing his arm tackle attempts fail. Not the polished pass rusher his 13 career sacks suggest, winning with elusiveness and determination rather than a refined rush arsenal. Has battled a number of injuries despite not missing extensive time.
Cory Littleton, Los Angeles Rams — A proud and productive four-year starter at Oregon, Dye likely won’t be thrilled with a comparison to a former rival Washington Husky in the 6-3, 225 pound Littleton, but both players offer awareness, better-than-advertised playing strength and closing speed.
Projection: Fourth Round