Complementing LeGarrette Blount

March 28th, 2012

Now that famed NFL draft guru Mike Mayock of the NFL Network — in just a matter of days — has gone from saying there is no way he would draft Trent Richardson in the top 10 to just this week claiming the Alabama running back is a top-five talent, many Bucs fans, seemingly unaware the Bucs already have a running back on the roster, have gone completely loco.

Perhaps forgetting the Bucs back seven on defense has more holes and question marks than a game of “Battleship,” these same fans actually believe it is wise to ignore this and draft where there is not a need.

That doesn’t mean Richardson will be available, if he is the next Jim Brown as some suggest. If the Bucs do not draft Richardson, Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune is confident the Bucs will draft a running back at next month to complement LeGarrette Blount.

Q: Is there more a need to take Justin Blackmon or Morris Claiborne as far as the fifth pick? I don’t see the Browns passing up on Richardson. Is Ronnie Hilman of interest if LaMichael James is unavailable in the second round? And are there any pending free agent fullbacks in the league left? Do we have the money to spend?

Tyrone Odom, San Diego

A: Claiborne probably fills a bigger need. Even though the Bucs added Eric Wright and will have Ronde Barber back, they still don’t know how much access they’ll have to Aqib Talib and you just can’t have enough top-level corners. As for the running back issue, I still think the Bucs have a good shot at getting Richardson, but if they don’t they’ll grab someone to complement LeGarrette Blount. At fullback, there really isn’t much out there. Earnest Graham, 32, may be the best of the bunch, but he’s coming off that Achilles tendon tear. The Bucs believe they have a starting caliber FB in Erik Lorig, so it’s really a backup that they’re looking for. They can pick that up off the street at almost any time.

As much as Joe loves Earnest Graham, there are not too many players in their 30s in the NFL who rebound from an Achilles injury, much less a 31-year old running back.

Rather than get a clone of Blount with the fifth overall pick when the defense is in dire need of cornerback and linebacker help, Joe likes the idea of grabbing LaMichael James, a true burner, later in the draft.

48 Responses to “Complementing LeGarrette Blount”

  1. Fatmosh Says:

    I agree with everything in your post except for: “Rather than get a clone of Blount with the fifth overall pick ”

    I think just about every single one of your readers will know that is not a true statement. Richardson is stronger, faster, and a better blocker and receiver than Blount.

    (I’m not saying we need Richardson because of that, but him being ‘a clone’ isn’t the reason.)

  2. Kujolw84 Says:

    Drake Dunsmore!! Mabey get him in the 5th since we don’t own a 4th. He can play HB/FB/TE , So you know he can catch block like a FB and have a little better speed. Hell that’s how we used M.Alstott and if we get him in the 5th that gives us depth at all three of those position in one guy, But I would have him backing E.Lorig and have E.Graham being our 3rd down back. I still think we should trade down and gain picks there are alot of good players out there at the CB RB LB and we need all three. I would even take a TE/SS in the later rounds.

  3. deminion Says:


  4. HFXBUC Says:

    The ideal scenario is Tannehill and Richardson both being available at 5 and trading back to get an extra pick and grab S. Gillmore or D Hightower. However, that is highly unlikely (although Miami may be looking to do something dramatic and maybe Cincy would do something to get Richadson) so Claiborne is the best choice. I can’t see Dominik grabbing a RB in the 2nd round either, I suspect another DB or LB is happening in the 2nd (M. Kendricks, L. David, H. Smith -S- ) and maybe a RB in the 3rd but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a DB or LB in the 3rd as well. Build Depth and talent at LB and DB in this draft…

  5. Jerrjenn2 Says:

    Rather than get a clone of Blount with the fifth overall pick

    I agree we should go defense with the 5th pick, but to say T.R. is a Blount clone is just wrong.

  6. thibs5599 Says:

    Ronnie Hillman would be nice, like that suggestion, as well as James and Pead.

  7. ATLBuc Says:

    Richardson is no clone of Blount but I still think he’s the wrong pick (even as a huge Bama fan). Richardson is a luxury pick, Claiborne is the need pick. If the Browns pick Claiborne I hope the Bucs pick up the phone to trade back.

  8. bucfanjeff Says:

    “Rather than get a clone of Blount with the fifth overall pick ” – what are you smoking? Did your girlfriend write this article? Swing and miss.

  9. bucfanjeff Says:

    Not article…but sentence.

  10. bucfanjeff Says:

    The Browns have not addressed RB and let Hillis get away in FA. It would not surprise me if they take Richardson. Though they sorely could use Blackmon.

  11. 941Buc Says:

    I’m starting to think about jumping on the Richardson bandwagon. Here is my reasoning. We had an opportunity to take AP and did not because we had Caddy and instead drafted the late Gaines Adams. As we all know that did not turn out well. If Richarson is the next AP we have to take him.

  12. Lovethepewter Says:

    Well since Richardson is a clone of Blount, and Richardson is the best running back propspect since AP…well jeez, we have Adrian Peterson on our team!!!! No need to address the running back position now! /facepalm

  13. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Bucs did nothing to address the running back position in free agency which shows they are looking at somebody in the draft.

  14. rdbucfan Says:


    Are you seriously calling Trent Richardson a clone of Blount?

    I’ve never seen Trent Richardson tiptoe throught the tulips I mean the line of scrimmage on 3rd and short. The guys is a bulldozer on short yardage, Blount on the other hand reminds me more of Lambert the sheepish lion when it comes to short yardage.

    Do you remember that most short yardage situations, we have to run a QB sneak because Blount was horrible in short yardage? I personally think it should be your running back taking the rock on short yardage not our QB who should not be taking the shots delivered in short yardage situations.

    If you compare College stats, Blount has a better ypc than Richardson but that’s where the comparison ends. Richardson out performed him in every other category against much better competition than Blount who got to play against Pac 10 defenses and Boise State each year at Oregon. Boy those defenses in the Pac 10 sure were stellar specially when compared to the SEC defenses Richardson played against week in and week out.

  15. Dave D. Says:

    If Richardson averages 4.6 yards a carry like Blount, we’d all be celebrating Richardson as the Messiah. He’s not a speed back. Blount ran a 4.5 at his Pro Day. That’s not elite speed.

    In the grand scheme Richardson is a Blount clone.

  16. Capt. Tim Says:

    Joe- like talking to Rocks, some of these guys!!
    Rdbucfan- you haven’t see Richardson do anything. He has not had one carry in the Pros- unlike Blount!
    Funny thing about college power backs. They may look like a man among boys in college- but too frequently look like a boy among men in the pros.

  17. kaput Says:

    Richardson would have a much larger impact on Freeman and his success, which is what the Bucs really need to be worrying about right now. The defense was terrible last season, but it was also injured and very young – they’ll get better. And besides, this is a multi-year project, we don’t need to win the Super Bowl next season for any of these picks to be justified.

    If Richardson is Adrian Peterson Part II, then we’d be much better off than drafting a good defensive back (a position that can be addressed later in the draft or through free agency).

    Blount isn’t a power runner, he dances and looks for big plays. We need a guy to stick his helmet in the sternums of linebackers and drive for two hard fought yards on third and one, and Blount will never do that.

    And didn’t we pass on Adrian Peterson by drafting Gaines Adams? How did that work out for us?

    At this point, it’s everything about Freeman – we can deal with the defense later.

  18. passthebuc Says:

    There is a Graham type out there and here is the skinny.
    Isaiah Pead. 40 time, 4.41
    Pead runs with good vision and balance as
    a good back for third down as he is a willing blocker and quality receiver.
    An aspect of Pead’s game that will appeal to talent evaluators is his blitz pickup in pass protection. He shows an astute ability to identify blitzers, and get enough contact to provide time for the passer.

  19. raphael Says:

    Blount has been lobbying for the Bucs to get James, since they were teamates at one time.Lamar will be good to alot like frank gore.

  20. Justafan Says:



    This off-season, we need to solidify and dominate in at least ONE phase of the game. The offense obviously has a huge boost coming with Nicks and Jackson, and as much as folks want to try and hype him, Blount is NOT anything but a situational running back.

    If he could really carry the load, don’t you think Raheem would have been force feeding him carries ala Gruden w/ Caddy in his rookie year?

    The defense will be improved with the coaching staff. It can certainly use more talent, and we’ll get a few contributors off of the draft class, but we need to put every weapon possible around Freeman. Next season we can reassess, and will likely lean the other way with talent acquisition/drafting in order to plug the remaining holes.

    Having a rock solid OL is a great move. Grabbing a lethal target in Vincent Jackson is a great move. Relying on a undrafted RB with a history of discipline issues and a knack for unimpressing his coaching staff in two different franchises is NOT a great move. It’s a huge mistake, and a recipe for wrecking the potential we have in Freeman.

    I’m not going to be as single-minded as the many mouth-breathers around here belching their mantra that “CLAIBORNE HAS TO BE THE PICK”. Richardson doesn’t HAVE to be the pick. But whoever the RB brought in is, it’s got to be a move to replace Blount as the primary back.

    Blount is a good option when you have the lead in the second half — but he’s a serious liability in pass pro, and he’s mediocre at best as a checkdown. These are not the attributes of a RB you need when you want your QB to succeed.

  21. mister V Says:

    A clone…….(snickering) of BLOUNT, c’mon man,are you kidding me, blounts not even a distant 2nd. So some people want MC, we got that,but Charlie Casserly Says”be true to your draft board”, don’t reach for a perceived need(wr dexter jackson,booker reese,geno hayes,steve spurrier,I know taken from 49’ers in expansion draft, etc,etc.etc.)draft the best player available even if it’s not a “perceived need”, but the best part of this all is everyone get to express their own opinion. clone,Hmmm(still snickering)

  22. Bobby Says:

    Pass on Richardson. Get Claiborne and then go after Doug Martin. Do NOT get LaMichael James. In the event Blount goes down we need someone who can take over the load of being an every down back. Martin fills that role and James does not.

  23. Bobby Says:

    Mister V….Claiborne is the BPA, just on the defensive side of the ball and not the offensive but I would bet he would rank above Richardson as BPA regardless.

  24. bucoooobruceAlstott Says:

    Blount is only good when there is a big hole and can pick up speed otherwise he tip toes and gets knock down with a light breeze of wind.I mean he stands upright on third and short and doesent even make it to the line of scrimage.We need a RB that can make somthing out of nothing lower his shoulders and hit the hole hard to get the 1 yard we need to get the first down.
    Dont get me wrong I love blount but as a compliment back.

  25. mister V Says:

    We’ve heard for years this O- line was built to run. Well,now it’s put up or…. well you know the rest. If you only want 2nd tier rb’s then settle for blount and his complement,but winners like dominate player not 2nd tier player ,who are never going to dominate. Oh, Blount will have his days or day on bhsn, he’ll hurdle a few AINTS,but at the in of the day,when crunch time cometh, he won’t make that all important 4th & 1 to keep the chains moving. I know he has not done this in the pass(ATL),but this year will be different,right? rrrrright,NOT!!!!!

  26. mister V Says:

    @ Bobby

  27. bucfanjeff Says:

    If Richardson is at #5, I still think we take him…that is my original thought from long ago and I’m sticking with it.

  28. mister V Says:

    sorry ’bout that, you make a good point,Bobby,but we’re talking about the BPA,period regardless where or what part of the team he’s on. Now we all know this is just a fun little guessing game here,but the national talking head(Mayock, Casserly) are leaning more and more toward T-Rich,funny huh? While the local talking heads ( …’er Joe,commish,pp and a few other) are singing the Claiborne song,hmmm. I’m going with the national guys for some reason I think they may have a little more information available to them than the local yocal and I was hoping the bucs could some how land richardson his sophmore year even though he wasn’t available then, I thought he was ‘bama’s best back then,better Ingram,who is better than blount,in my opinion. National football post shows their draft board,take a look and they have their rating system and how they rate player,remember though this is still just fun little guessing game many football fans like to play every year . nothing is for certain anywhere,right?

  29. rdbucfan Says:


    Trent has not played in the NFL so you can only compare college stats and Trent is the better of the 2 coming out of college. I’ve been a fan of the RB position all of my life, my favorite players of all time both college and pro have all been RB’s. Blount is the cowardly line when it comes to short yardage and hitting the hole. Richardson is a battering ram. I’ll take the battering ram over Lambert any day.

    I’ve watched your hero Morris Claiborne for 3 years and I’ve seen him do his best impression of a matador when T Rich comes a calling. I’ve also seen him take very bad angles when attempting to give run support and then be outrun to the endzone by T Rich. I believe I’ve heard Coach Schiano actually call out DB’s that are scared to tackle. Claiborne is one of them.

    Stephon Gilmore, Alfonso Dennard, Janoris Jenkins and Brandon Boykin all have similar statistics in College with the exception of int’s and tackles. Where everyone in the group is more likely to make a tackle than Morris some of them have twice and three times the tackles as Claiborne. Actually Boykin is better in the return game than Claiborne also.

    Do you remember what round Donnie Abraham, Ronde Barber and Brian Kelly some of the best CB’s in Buc history were drafted. Here’s a hint, not one in the 1st round and the highest was the 2nd. Do you know which one that was?

    Aqib Talib was drafted in the 1st round and how has that turned out? I didn’t want to draft him then and I want him off the Bucs now.

  30. kaput Says:

    Again, the franchise needs to think “Josh Freeman.”

    And if they do that, they draft Richardson. Period. Full Stop.

  31. rdbucfan Says:


    A good pass rush makes up for lack of talent in the defensive back field. We need LB’s that can stop the run more than we need a shut down corner if Claiborne is that. I’ll be happy with whomever the Bucs pick because I’m a fan.

  32. Travis Says:

    “Rather than get a clone of Blount with the fifth overall pick”

    Joe you typically have good analysis, but statements like this remind me this is just a blog and your opinion is very uneducated on this matter.

    Do you watch Trent Richardson? Maybe you are too hammered when you watch Blount run? I mean I like Blount and think hes a good back, but hes nothing Special. Richardson is SPECIAL.

  33. Bobby Says:

    It’s all about shelf life and a CB has about double the shelf life of a RB. There have just been too many good RB’s that have either been late draft picks or undrafted FA’s for us to take a RB at #5. I won’t cry if we do get Richardson but I think the pick will be Claiborne if he’s there. I believe the Browns will take Richardson before he gets to us anyway.

  34. Oahubuc Says:

    If TR is off the board when we pick, I will breathe a sigh if relief ; if we pick him I will be stoked.

  35. texasbucfan Says:

    Blount is an interesting player, but its obvious the guy is not a starting caliber running back in the NFL. He obviously cannot pickup protections which is the most important thing for a 3rd down back. Cadillac was unbelievable in this area, and I believe letting him go really hurt Freeman. Richardson looks like a complete back. If we don’t get him and land James in the 2nd round, he likely starts week one.

  36. BucFan20 Says:

    @ Capt. Tim

    Bingo! This was my point on a previous post. Where are all these players he was so great against in college going to be drafted?? Most will not.

    Also good article from Stroud today. Dom is open to trading the #5 pick.

  37. BucFan20 Says:

    My mistake. It was a story from Stephen Holder. Tampa Bay Times.

  38. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Bingo! This was my point on a previous post. Where are all these players he was so great against in college going to be drafted?? Most will not.”


    Not sure if you know this, but Richardson played in the SEC. You know, the conference that has the best defense and has the most pros taken from it. And besides, how many INT’s does Claiborne have in the NFL? It’s really a stupid argument to make, because the exact same argument can be made for every single possible draft pick.

  39. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Obviously Joe has never watched Richardson play by calling him a clone. What exactly does he do that qualifies him as a clone? He catches the ball (something Blount has not done in college or in the pros), he pass protects, he has home-run speed, he has no character issues whatsoever, and he doesn’t fumble. What a ridiculous comment.

  40. dom Says:

    i prefer the bucs to take richardson, not cause i believe blount isnt a good running (he is) but because, i remember the last time we passed on a RB to draft a position of a bigger need.. thats passing on AD and draft gaines adams. didnt work out very well, the RB we had at that point isnt even on the team and is a back up in st louis. i say draft richardson and take a CB or LB in the 2nd round. i wouldnt be un happy with taking claiborne and taking a RB in the 2nd round either, but i prefer the scenario where we take richardson over claiborne.

  41. Capt. Tim Says:

    Yeah man! Richardson is almost as highly touted as Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram!!
    Man- that kid made a huge impact! Saints never woulda win the Super bowl this year without him!!

    Lmao at some of you guys!!

  42. Capt. Tim Says:

    Meybe we can draft a great Running back- and Dominate the NFL!
    After all, every great team is based on a strong running game!!
    Like the patriots! Well, not them
    But the Giants – for sure. No. Not really them either
    Packers? Saints? Chargers? Steelers?

    No. No. No.

    You guys need to wake up, look around, and discover this ain’t 1980!
    Cause you obviously ain’t noticed yet.
    Franco Harris, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders don’t rule the league!
    Quarterbacks reign supreme.
    It’s a passing league. Running backs are pretty much after thoughts.
    What spot did Ingram get drafted at??

  43. Capt. Tim Says:

    TexasBucfan- caddy said it took him 4 years to understand NFL blocking schemes for his posistion. He wasn’t on the field for 3rd down his first three years.
    Dom is “under the table ” trying to make Blount seem to be at fault.

    He’s not. Not at all. Kid still hasn’t had an off season at one Buc

    There is only one idiot to blame for not having a 3rd down back on the roster last year.

    The same idiot who cut our 3rd down back/ team captain

    And that idiot is Mark Dominick!

    And if you blame Blount- then he’s added you to his list!

  44. BucFan20 Says:

    @ Hawaiian Buc.

    Ya I know where he is from. And thanks for helping me make my case. The so called stupid argument makes more sense than a dumb question of how mant INT’s does Claiborne have in the NFL. The point of the matter is None of these players are a lock to be starters that will be any better than the other just from watching them in college! It is a Crap Shoot! I would much rather try a shot at a CB that we know we need to help on defense. Only I am not going to act like some do and think a player will be the instant cure from college. Look how well Freeman, GMC etc have worked.
    Remember them. Instant upgrade and fix.
    I know. Go ahead and start making excuses for them too.

  45. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    By comparing TR to Ingram, that just proves you’ve never actually seem I’m play. That’s completely ignorant. Get a clue on that one. You also mention all those teams, but you are wrong. The Giants lost 6 in a row until the running game got going. Both Steelers SB’s came in seasons where they had a great running game. So that’s false facts. Youve said it was a major mistake to get rid of Caddy (which it was), which contradicts your point that a running game isn’t important.

    As for my point about Claiborne not having any NFL INT’s, that was in reference to Captain Tim saying TR had no NFL carries. Obviously nobody knows for sure who will be and won’t be a star. I happen to believe in TR, you think otherwise. I respect your opinion, but don’t throw out BS and then make as if I’m some idiot, especially when most experts agree with me.

  46. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Lots of typos, on my phone.

  47. texasbucfan Says:

    Captain Tim- I agree Dominik played a huge role in the teams demise last year. Not bringing back Cadillac was the biggest mistake, and not replacing him was number two. Your right about this being a QB league. Why do you make his job tougher on the most critical downs? The lack of depth on defense speaks for itself. That doesn’t make Blount anymore capable. I believe he is a low IQ player who regularly refuses to run the play that’s called. Even on 1st, and 2nd down having Blount on the field cuts your playbook in half. There are reasons the guy wasn’t drafted. Comparing him to Richardson is laughable. If Dominik called every GM in the league offering Blount for their first round pick he would be laughed at. Start with a 4th and they don’t hang up the phone.

  48. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    ^^^What he said.