Jeremy McNichols’ Value

May 2nd, 2017

Bows to honor the statgeeks.

The weekend was painful for Joe.

As each and every pick was made in the NFL draft over the weekend, the pain grew larger, sort of like a very slow motion version of a dentist working on your grill without Novocain.

Drip… drip… drip… went the running backs off the board and the Bucs seemingly ignored the obvious, choosing instead to stare at a Charles Sims Fathead with dreamy eyes.

Then finally — finally! — Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht snapped out of fantasizing of America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, rifling 30-yard seam passes over the middle to O.J. Howard in a playoff game — just in time to grab a running back in the fifth round, Jeremy McNichols.

The torture didn’t seem as if it would end.

Now Joe is not here to say a fifth-round running back is the answer to the prayers of the Bucs’ running attack, though it has been done before. Licht stated McNichols was much higher up Licht’s draft board than where he was picked. And Football Outsiders suggests Licht is onto something.

Last week, Joe brought word from Football Outsiders that Dalvin Cook was projected not only as the second-best back in the draft, but as one of the highest graded running backs in years, per a formula the thinktank uses to project.

McNichols was the 17th running back picked in the draft, but using this same formula, Football Outsiders graded McNichols the eighth-best running back in the draft, ahead of Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt and D’Onta Foreman, all three of which were selected in order in the third round.

So Joe is crossing his fingers that Football Outsiders is on the same scent Licht is, and that history repeats itself from last year, when a rookie fifth-round running back ran for over 1,300 yards.

61 Responses to “Jeremy McNichols’ Value”

  1. Joeypoppems Says:

    1,300 yards is a steep expectation lol

  2. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Why? With all the TE and Wrs 1300 should be obtained even if it’s all purpose yards…

  3. Joeypoppems Says:

    Not if he doesnt beat out the other RBs lol

  4. HFXBUX Says:

    I hear has an opening for a writer, if you want to follow your beloved Dalvin to the pros? I know several dirty people with beards so I can put in a good word if you’re interested.

  5. SteveK Says:

    I have a feeling that this kid is going to be a good player for the Bucs!

    His pass blocking, huge mits, receiving background, and 43 combined touchdowns in the past two years has my attention.

    How great would it be if this kid emerges as our lead back, ala Jordan Howard for the 🐻s?

  6. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I would have passed on the SLB, who might not play much this year, and who is a part time player as it is, and drafted a RB in the 3rd rd. Licht likes to throw one out there every year, Sims (we needed OL), ASJ then Aguayo

  7. KingBuc17 Says:

    I like the pick and hope we add a bruiser short yardage between the tackles RB. Blount?????

    However, if he really can block I say we use two back sets with JQuiz and JMcNic spread and let defenses deal with ME13, DJax, OJ, Brate , Hump, GodWIN

  8. ATrain Says:

    I hear all the timr on here about being a true bucs fan

    This is a Bucs player can we at least back the kid to start

    Man Joe you fall hard in love with some players

  9. Kevinthepainterimagine Says:

    With the firepower they now have, the running game will be twice as good as last season with the same players.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    In a recent interview, Jason Licht stated “We’re not necessarily taking guys to come in and play and contribute, and be an impact their first year.” When I look at who the Bucs drafted in light of that statement, Licht’s selections make perfect sense I think.

    McNichols may not get a chance to contribute all that much this year. Hard to tell at this point how long he’ll take to heal up from his shoulder surgery for one thing. Ideally he’ll be ready for training camp, but missing rookie minicamp & OTAs could hurt. Apparently he’s an excellent blocker in pass protection (which to me is a huge plus) but again he’d better be fully healed up before he starts mixing it up with some of the DLine monsters. All-in-all, kid’s got all kinds of potential, but if the Bucs keep Martin, plus having Rodgers, Barber & Sims available, he may end up being red-shirted (PUP) early, then potentially being brought back later in the season if RB injuries or ineffectiveness dictate.

  11. tdtb2015 Says:

    Man Joe you fall hard in love with some players


    Joe does! I know he STILL has nightmares with Johnny Football playing at the stadium for the Bucs and throwing 5 int’s every night. This is why after the Bucs went 4-4 at home he still calls it THE DEN OF DEPRESSION!!!! lol smh

    For Joe’s peace of mind maybe some day Manziel will be our backup QB.

  12. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Well….uuummm Joe, if you had not with purpose, with malice, with a mean spirit, continually try to curtail the career of a certain young, pass catching, big body, touted as the best running back (by some football geeks) in the 2017 NFL DRAFT….wait no you don’t get to carry that BIG OF A STICK……knowing the need we had and still have at RB, instead of saying DAMN WHAT THE PEOPLE SAY our GM decides to FOLLOW THE LEADER and not take @Bradon THE MITIGATING FACTOR JOE MIXON!

  13. Tom Edrington Says:


    Bravo sir!

  14. Phil Says:

    I was disappointed that we didn’t make a move in the second round to get Dalvin Cook. I think he is going to turn out to be one of the best players out of this draft.

  15. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    This part …
    “I want to be a player that knows how to play without the ball,” McNichols said. “I just don’t ever want [anybody] to touch the quarterback, you know?”

    That’s an interesting response for a player who went 24 straight games scoring a touchdown, which happens to be the longest streak by an FBS player since 2005.

  16. Rrsrq Says:

    I do believe BigHog and I could be wrong, had Mixon fell to the Bucs in Round 2 he would be a Buc, but you know they couldn’t trade up for him, that would’ve not been a PR move

  17. Jeremy Says:

    You are pretty excited about an injured 5th round pick. 1,300 yards…let’s see if he even makes the team first dude

  18. Tampa Tony Says:

    That’s the problem with falling for one player when your team doesn’t draft him you are always playing the what if game

    Licht didn’t pick up Martin’s option a few years ago and he blew up
    Last year he didn’t address the WRs and I bet he regrets it

    Hopefully his RB gamble works out

  19. BucTrooper Says:

    This feels an awful lot like last year when Licht overestimated his WRs. Only difference is none of his receivers were drug addicts which makes this situation exponentially worse.

    If this running game underachieves in the slightest, this is completely on Licht. Remember when Lovie made a huge deal of standing by Kyle Brindza after blowing the Texans game? “He’s our guy! We stand by him! Yadda yadda.” That’s fine. Now when he screws up again it’s on you. Same thing with the running game this year. “Trust us. Doug looks good.” Okay, when he doesn’t I’ll have your cardboard box ready. Don’t steal any scotch tape.

  20. The Other Side of the Coin Says:

    In another universe Licht picked McNichols in the third round and Joe and many others are elated. In that same universe Beckwith fell to the fifth round where the Bucs got a steal in a SLB.

  21. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    I say relax, wait and see what happens. We all wanted this guy or that guy, it’s not fantasy football. I am not, and have been on record with folks like the Commish, Joe, and Gil saying do NOT put your eggs in the Doug Martin basket. That scares the HELL out of me. On the other hand, look at what this team has become, and the weapons they have added. Let’s at least give this the pre-season before we yell and scream please?

  22. BuccoDav Says:

    KingBuc17 Says:
    May 2nd, 2017 at 6:13 am
    However, if he really can block I say we use two back sets with JQuiz and JMcNic spread and let defenses deal with ME13, DJax, OJ, Brate , Hump, GodWIN.

    King, I know Joe likes the O-line but I don’t think we should only use 2 O linemen…

  23. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    Is RB depth really that thin in Tampa? Martin has been up and down, but now we have some insight as to perhaps why. Big thing for me was he owned up to it and got help…unlike a certain “franchise QB” that handled things very differently and flamed out. ‘Quizz looked damned good on Koetter’s offense, Sims seems better in situational rotation than carrying the rock every down but he’s good in space, and Barber like a led like a solid development/depth guy. I think Licht was wise to address other more pressing needs first and (hopefully)found a guy that in a couple years could work his way up to being the Buc’s lead back. WR depth last season, nowvtgar was paper thin.

  24. Fsuking Says:

    McNichols only shoot at playing time is to beat out Chuck Sims. Good luck with that! Despite being a horrible runner, Chuck has managed to find the admiration of the Bucs staff.

  25. Fsuking Says:


  26. Mike Says:

    There is a reason the Bucs are getting better. It’s because they don’t listen or do what all of you wanna be GM’s think they should do. Licht has shown enough that we should trust him. Can’t believe everyone is bent out of shape because we didn’t get the RB THEY thought would put us over the top. What are you homers going to say when we make the playoffs this year or this kid rushes for over 1,000 yards? I was disappointed they didn’t grab one of the known backs, but they did their homework and got the one they thought would be the best fit.

  27. Joeypoppems Says:

    “There is a reason the Bucs are getting better. It’s because they don’t listen or do what all of you wanna be GM’s think they should do.”

    Yes because all the GMs in the past listened to fans on the internet….

  28. BigHogHaynes Says:

    @Mike : I’m done with all the yak yak yak, time for mini-camp, we going to roll with “Jr. Hamster”!! Go BUCS!

  29. martinii Says:

    I can understand having favorite players in a draft, especially when many analyst suggest that they are by far the best available. Several of my favorites are gong to play for other teams in 2017. Unfortunately I am not the HC, GM, nor Owners who have volumes of research available and a plan that they collectively belief will improve their team. I don’t have the knowledge or the investment to challenge their decisions. I am only a fan, so I must trust in Management whether I agree or not. The drafts over, it is what it is and I hope that translates to wins and playoffs.

  30. martinii Says:

    I can understand having favorite players in a draft, especially when many analyst suggest that they are by far the best available. Several of my favorites are gong to play for other teams in 2017. Unfortunately I am not the HC, GM, nor Owners who have volumes of research available and a plan that they collectively belief will improve their team. I don’t have the knowledge or the investment to challenge their decisions. I am only a fan, so I must trust in Management whether I agree or not. The drafts over, it is what it is and I hope that translates to wins and playoffs.

  31. SCBucsFan Says:

    Face it Joe, the Bucs braintrust believes in Martin. Either get on board or keep banging your head against the wall but either way week 4 he is our starting RB.

  32. Lamarcus Says:

    Martin is proven aND why we are banging this Mcnichols hype? He is unproven just like the rest of every person drafted. Licht is not going to let martin get away. Nope sorry Joe I’m no gm either but if I was one for the bucs, I’ll be dealing gmc for future picks before Martin. That’s just my opinion

  33. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    It not hard to imagine this kid as the chairman of a committee of RB’s we play this year. It seems that Koetter is not necessarily thinking Bell Cow RB. No problemo.

    McNichols ends up with most of the carries…gets 1000 all purpose yards…Quizz chips in with 500 rushing,…Sims gets another 250-400 all purpose.

    One of the limitations to any of these guys posting huge individual numbers is there is only ONE football…and it’s going to be flying downfield a LOT. You don’t build the best passing team in football to become a running team.

    When taken in total perspective…we have a chance to be a good running team that supplements a frightening passing attack.

  34. tmaxcon Says:



  35. Joeypoppems Says:


    I dont know if that’s true. Lets say that McNichols earns the starting job while Martin is suspended and in weeks 1-3 the offense is preforming well with him in there. Would Koetter just hand Martin the starting job back?

    Koetter and Licht said multiple times that they dont care how much anybody is paid or how high they were drafted. They want the best players on the field.

    If McNichols of any of the other RBs ball out in the first 3 weeks and the offense is successful it makes Doug Martin even more expendable.

  36. Joeypoppems Says:

    *or any of the other RBs

  37. Tampa Tony Says:

    Tmax- Did Kwon also have no problem screwing over his teammates?

  38. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Again for the Martin lovers….it’s not just OUR desires in this equation.

    Doug will have a LOT to say. Since it’s a virtual certainty that Licht will not pay the final year of Martin’s contract, voiding it because of the Molly…Doug is essentially a free agent.

    Now even assuming the Martin lovers are 100% correct and we should come through with as good an offer as is “reasonable” that doesn’t mean it will be the best offer for Doug.

    So Licht makes an offer but Doug weighs the rest of the league. If McNichols is clearly capable of doing the job then Martin sees the writing on the wall for sure! If Koetter cannot cobble together a sufficient running game without Martin then the picture changes because Doug will see OPPORTUNITY with the Bucs. If McNichols is good that ship has sailed.

    And so what else could happen really great for Doug. New England continues without Blount or any dominant RB and they take a flyer on Doug. That would seem to me to be a golden opportunity…he would get the touches he needs…and be playing on a SB team. And btw I do not have any personal dislike for Doug even with the Molly….he just never thrilled me as a runner even in his two good years. On a personal level I wish him the best…and it seems that N.E. is certainly one team that could use him properly….by the end of the preseason and certainly by the end of week 3 there will be openings for a decent RB.

  39. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Stpete- Good points ‘IF’ they void his contract.
    I still see a lot of people butt-hurt over the Bucs not drafting a “top-tier” RB. The Bucs organization felt they didn’t need to draft one. Which means that they are comfortable with any combination of 5 different backs, FIVE. So, if Doug isn’t the guy, that leaves 4: Sims, Rodgers, Barber, McNicholls. Of those, someone or some combination of those will fill the void just fine.
    Get over it and move on. Whether we like it or not, Doug Martin may very well be the starting RB for this team. If you’re still casting stones because of his “issues” I hope you’re not living in a glass house.
    I guess we’ve all forgotten the 4 game suspension of Kwon Alexander!

  40. Pick6 Says:

    Whoever is toting the rock, RBs will find themselves with way more space to operate than they had vs the ever-present “triple cover mike evans and let everyone else stay within 5 yards of the LOS” defensive scheme teams ran against us

  41. NFLNut Says:

    I expect the Bucs to void Martin’s contract and then offer him a new one or two year cheap deal … and for the Patriots to also immediately come calling with the same type of offer … the question is, will Martin sign with the Bucs knowing he could go get an easy ring with Brady and the crew? I don’t know …

  42. NFLNut Says:

    I was hoping the Bucs would have signed De’Veon Smith after the draft … but the Dolphins snapped him up …

    How about one of the following free agent RB’s as our next short-yardage bruiser … at least for 3 games until Doug comes back:

    Darren McFadden
    Rashard Jennings
    Matt Asiata

  43. Brandon Says:

    Watched all five game films of McNichols yesterday and came away very impressed. He reminds me of Barber…. three parts Tiki and one part Marion. He has that tight area elusiveness like Tiki that allows him to avoid big hits and also has the ability to walk out of tacklers and almost always fall forward. His receiving and quickness are also very similar to Tiki Barber. He is also a little like Marion Barber, aka the human crab. When McNichols ducks his head and gets his legs churning he pushes the pile, wiggles out of gang tackles, and sometimes flat out refuses to go down (see 45 yard run vs Wyoming from his own 1 where he ran with one hand down on the ground for nearly 10 yards until he regained balance and then took off).

    I believe he has what it takes to someday be a three down RB in the NFL. He is not a perfect RB but he does everything fairly well and some things he does exceptionally well. I feel like McNichols very well could’ve gone late 2nd round . Licht did an exceptional job on the offensive side of this draft… defensively…. ouch…not so much.

  44. Joeypoppems Says:

    Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings are the exact opposite of a “short-yardage bruiser” and I watched a ton of the Vikings last year. Matt Asiata was awful on the goal line.

  45. Rich Says:

    Cracks me up, everyone is so excited cause he can block. Hahaha, like we needed a rb who is best known for his blocking? I mean it’s important, but we need half the offense to actually exist. You can be all one sided, I don’t care how good or how much we could throw the ball.

  46. TeddyTB Says:

    I wanted Mixon bad but I’m not worried about the running game if the oline playoffs better this year. Martin is in a treatment program and knows he just lost some money. If he’s overspent any money combined with having to stay straight because all eyes are on him, he’ll probably be super motivated to have a great year. Then add in the fact our overall offense SHOULD be WAY better now it seems like our committee of rbs could be one of the best in the nfl.

  47. TeddyTB Says:

    I think Simms is gone this year. Jeremy is gonna look to come in and be a difference on 3rd downs so that’s why every body is bringing up his blocking and pass catching @Rich

  48. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Jeremy McNichols was my favorite RB in this draft. And I believe that he will be a good fit in Dirk Koetter Vertical Offense. I love his passion for game, I love his attitude, his determination. He was rated as one of the best blocking RB in the draft. He was rated as one the best receiving RB in this draft. He has the skill set, he has the work habits, he has love for the game. He will succeed in the NFL, I have no doubt about it.

  49. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Jeremy McNichols past 2 seasons at Boise State…53 Total TDS, 43 Rushing, 10 Receiving, 3,046 Yards Rushing, 103 Catches, 107 Targets, Averaged 5.5 YPC, Averaged 10.9 Yards a reception. This is the profile of a Multi-Dimensional player. He’s far from a ‘One Trick Pony’.

  50. RustyRhinos Says:

    Hey BucTrooper, is a TE not a receiver, Is alcohol not a type of drug? So did we not have to cut our receiving TE during the season because of a drug? And stupidity. Yes we did need additional receiving help last season even with our former TE. Let us both hope we do not have this happen again. We brought in several nice WR’s and some TE’s who can catch and block this offseason. Going forward we look to have several nice new components in our offense.

    I get that Mr. Martin had a issue with something, what that something was is not yet on the record. At least not that I have heard of it. He failed his wee test for the NFL is what I know. Knowing this he is still on our team and we will have him around until last game of preseason. Then back after his suspension on our fourth game of the year. We have a good group of backs still in house, are they world renown, not yet. With our fresh draft pick RB being very good at getting into the end zone nearly every game his entire college career. I think we will be okay going forward with what we have in house. Fingers crossed.
    Go Bucs!

  51. RustyRhinos Says:

    Hey Tampa Tony easy Brother, “Tmax- Did Kwon also have no problem screwing over his teammates?”
    You will get him all riled up and flustered. I think Tmax has a list of “his” players and it is full no need to add more players to it.

  52. PRBucFan Says:

    more dalvin drivel lol

  53. Eric Says:

    Every pick is always “someone we had rated higher”. Yet, he didn’t pick him higher.

  54. Josh collins Says:

    Off topic Joe, I love your columns. Kissed same to add a little something about Kendall bechwith. Lsu recruited him same year as kwon Alexander. Both were top lbs in each state. Louisiana and kwon Alabama. He’s very talented and better than most think. Does the dirty work. He lined up at left end alot while kwon was rolb until kwon left early. Then as you may know , Lsu is thick at lineman. So his speed allowed him to transition to Lb. Gonna be a steal for bucs. Not great but good consistent player For years

  55. CarolinaBucFan Says:

    Somebody seems butt hurt over not drafting Cook. Must be from when he rammed it in there real deep like

  56. Capt.Tim Says:

    Tmaxipad- you are spot on about Doug Martin. Posters here never think about the Human factor.
    This team knows that Martin was all about Martin. Only played hard when it put money in his pockets. Layed down on them- when they were trying to make playoffs.
    Thats why no players spoke up for him ,when he got suspended for. . . Peds
    Hes quit on them repeatedly- and they got nothing for him. And they shouldnt!

    Again, everyone over values the Running back position.
    McNichols can step right in to our Running back rotation- and play well.
    We are a passing team. The fact that he can passblock , and catch out of the backfield is what really matters.

    I doubt the team is gonna except Martin
    McNichols will make you forget Martin, and his lousy attitude, anyway.
    You cant trust Martin. So we dont need him

  57. Capt.Tim Says:

    Umm”accept Martin”

  58. Owlykat Says:

    Right on Buc Trooper. And Joe is right. We needed an excellent bigger back that can take it to the house–and Licht should have grabbed Cook (who would have really been motivated reunited with his Buddy Winston). We got out GMed by the Saints, Charlotte, and the Falcons. And don’t forget that we let Shepard get away without resigning him and he is every bit as fast and can do everything our new WR we got in the draft, but if Licht had kept Shepherd, he could have used Godwin’s pick to land another DE which Licht failed to get for us this year, just like he failed to draft a good WR last year while wasting extra picks to take a college kicker in the second round. You Polyanas apparently did not see the Pewter Report Poll on thumbs up or thumbs down on this year’s draft. It was overwhelmingly thumbs down! This should be Licht’s last shot at getting us to the playoffs! Strike Three and you are OUT.

  59. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Capt. Tim- I’m sorry, but that is such a dumb statement. He “layed down on them”? Really?! I guess you forgot about his injuries over that span. His 2 healthy years, he was a 1000+ back.
    You want to talk about the “human factor”?! How about showing some humanity?! You don’t know a single thing about what the locker room thinks. I hope you don’t have any skeletons in your closet.
    You probably forgot about Kwon too, eh! Hypocrite.

  60. Tom S. Says: had Jordan Howard as their 3rd highest rated back in 2016 at 6.1 with a comparison to Arian Foster (4.4 career ypc). By comparison it had Jeremy McNichols as the 8th best back in 2017 rated at 5.6 with a comparison to Devontae Booker(3.5 career ypc).

    As far as is concerned, the only thing McNichols and Howard have in common is the round they were drafted in.

  61. Owlykat Says:

    For all you who loved the Justin pick and thought he should start. Remember when I said that was a bad reach and he is a bad tackler. Here is what Mel Kiper has since had to say about him: “Justin Evans was picked about 50 spots too high from my board, especially with Josh Jones and Obi Melifonwu still on the board. As a Junior College transfer he was mostly a center fielder.”