March 1, 2021

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Runningback Woes and Target Talk in The Draft

2 min read

Image Credits: Roger Kisby | NY Post

The running back position is a sore spot for Bucs fans. While a true “bell cow” running back has been lacking in the Buccaneer roster, the need for other spots has overshadowed the chances to fill the gaps in years past. This year? Not so much. After bringing back the major bulk of the starters and depth on defense, signing a new highly mentioned quarterback – who’s name doesn’t need repeating – and drafting a new secondary(twice) in years past, 2020 is the perfect year to take that shot.

Jenna Laine made a good point about the Buccaneers run game and potential draft prospects:

The need for a pass-catching running back to help in the screen game has only intensified with Brady’s arrival. No one relies more on the use of the running back in the passing game than Brady does. At No. 45 in the second round, keep an eye on Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor and LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire, if they’re available — the Bucs have done a lot of work on both. Taylor told ESPN that he reached out to New England Patriots running back James White, who also went to Wisconsin, about playing with Brady.

So the research to cater to Brady and gear the team for victory surrounding him is being done. So what about Ronald Jones? Jones had a very forgettable rookie season where he landed himself as a healthy scratch more than he saw playing time in the first half of the season and still didn’t see all that much time later in the year. 2019 was much better, but he had his moments up and down where he looked like he was beating out Bucs RB turned Redskin Peyton Barber but never seemed to lock himself in as the true starter.

Jason Licht talked about Jones in his press conference/video chat/conference call:

We do think Ronald still hasn’t even scratched the surface of what he can be. We think he still has a tremendous amount of upside. That doesn’t stop us from wanting to add to that group, which may be something we do dependant on who’s there, where they’re at and what other positions we’re looking at.

So the need is definitely there, and the prospects are being evaluated, and all signs point to one being picked up in the draft. The question is: Who?

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