Stats Vs. Bucs History

April 20th, 2018

Wrongheaded RB approach.

We have a war of information. And Joe is banking on history.

Up until very recently, the common belief/myth/urban legend was that teams could wait until Day 3 of the draft to land the running back of their desires. Stats seem to suggest NFL general managers believe this.

But oh, there is the documented history.

First, Joe will start with last year.

In the 2017 draft, 30 running backs or fullbacks were drafted in the fourth round or later. None made any significant impact rushing for their teams. Of the running backs drafted in the fourth round or later, Samaje Perine of the Redskins ran for 604 yards. Is that what one calls a game-changing running back, a foundation running back, a bellcow?

(And yes, Joe knows who Tarik Cohen is.)

So that right there demonstrates waiting until the third day to draft a running back is pretty much a lost cause. So now, let’s turn our eyes to the Bucs.

This decade, the Bucs drafted seven running backs. Only one ever had a consistent impact on the offense, and that was only for two years. His name was Doug Martin and he was drafted in the first round. He had but two good seasons.

The rest of the stiffs were drafted no earlier than the third round. Below are the running backs/fullbacks the Bucs drafted this decade. Joe is confident you forgot one or two of these names.

Allen Bradford, sixth round.

Doug Martin, first round
Michael Smith, seventh round

Mike James, sixth round

Charles Sims, third round

Joey Iosefa, seventh round

Danny Vitale, sixth round

SnoopDog McPlaybook, fifth round

Sorry, despite the narrative the statheads might push, history suggests waiting to draft a running back on the third day of the draft is akin to investing in real estate in Pinellas County right now.

Sure, you can invest, but don’t expect much of a return with land property so expensive.

Instead of the Bucs f@rting around hoping a guy on the third day of the draft turns into some gem and beats the odds, how about just getting a damn decent running back in the first two rounds if the draft shakes out in the proper way.

53 Responses to “Stats Vs. Bucs History”

  1. Joeypoppems Says:

    Day 3 is waiting too long. Day 2 is the sweet spot to draft a RB.

  2. Easy Says:

    Get a running back early.

  3. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    Guard first, running back second, cornerback third.

  4. Joeypoppems Says:

    “In the 2017 draft, there were 30 running backs or fullbacks drafted in the fourth round or later. None made any significant impact for their teams.”

    There were a few that played key roles or became starting RBs tho.

    Chris Carson won the starting job in Seattle and was having a good start to the season before suffering a season ending injury.

    Corey Clement became a key part in the Eagles committee after going undrafted.

    Aaron Jones flashed a ton when given the opportunity with the Packers and he might end up being the starter this year.

  5. Joeypoppems Says:

    Just because it hasn’t worked for the Bucs doesn’t mean the logic is flawed. It means the Bucs suck at drafting RBs.

    Thats why they need one Day 2 instead of waiting til Day 3.

  6. Bnomo Says:

    If one of top three avail at 7, take, if not trade down. Take a corner, an RB, another corner then the o line. Still need good coaches to bring out talents and develop.

  7. Casual Observer Says:

    What Bucball said.

  8. USFBUC Says:

    I agree with Joey up there, we would need deeper stats (more than a year) to really know if this logic is flawed. We can all certainly agree though that if you want a real difference maker your odds are far higher of finding that higher in the draft.

  9. donuts Says:

    How does this 5 win team get the 4th hardest schedule in the NFL? NFL execs in NY do not want a TB market in the SB/playoffs. NE has 22nd and Titans 30th? The fix is in.

  10. ComeOnJoe Says:

    Almost no 3rd day picks have a significant impact regardless of position and there are more 3rd day picks than any other round.

  11. Bird Says:

    Taking Cornerback 3rd means with their 4th round pick. We can’t draft another Ryan smith. We are a Brent grimes injury away from having Ryan smith start on one side and Vernon Hargreaves starting on the other side.

    Now that scares me.

  12. mdsbuc Says:

    SnoopDog McPlaybook, fifth round”


  13. JonBuc Says:


    It’s a fair point about the schedule…a lot of the difficulty lies within the division. Six games vs the stacked NFC South while New England gets the Jets/Dolphins/Bills twice every year and the Titans get Indy/Texans and admittedly the upstart Jags. Sucks being in the NFC South currently…

  14. lambchop Says:

    Tick tick, tick tick – this draft can’t come around any slower. Grrrr.

  15. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Donuts, there is no “fix”. We play the other divisions on a rotation and you can look online and find who we play in future years, except for the two games each year that we play against the teams in our conference that finish in the same place as we do that’s not in the division we’re already playing.

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    We need to stop being afraid to pull the trigger on legit talent. Bottom line is that the Bucs cannot afford to miss in the draft this year.
    It’s over for Koetter and company if they don’t get it right.

  17. ncbucfanhere Says:

    Exactly Bird!! We need DB’s more than ANY position. Point blank, Period!! Both lines and a RB are needs also, but we lose games because of our secondary! We act like the QB’s in our division are average. Denzel Ward can flat out cover. Trade down gor picks and draft Jaire Alexander. Take Carlton Davis in the 2nd rd, but we need a CB and a Safety, which is deep at the Ss for this draft. We start the year with Brees, Wentz and Big Ben….or Michael Thomas, Alshon Jeffrey, and Antonio Brown. However you viee it, we will certainly be 0-3 to start the year if we dont get some major talent upgrades in our secondary. Our pass rush should improve, but we still need depth there as well.

  18. Issic Haggins Says:

    When given the ball in a game Mike James was a more effective runner than Martin but I concur on the article.

    However ,signing Anderson gives you a backfield you can win with !!

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Just like our CB coaches….Buc coaches simply can’t develop a young RB… need to draft one (sarcasm)

    As far as the draft……we absolutely need to pick a RB in the first 2 rounds…..I like both Guice & Sony.

  20. JabooBuc Says:

    Snoopdog McPlaybook is by far your best use of a nickname. Well done Joe.

  21. Radman Says:

    This puzzle is missing too many pieces. I would love to see one of the big 3 in a Bucs uniform, but a trade back and additional early picks would serve them better.

  22. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Glad to see you coming around Joe.

    It really depends on how important you think a great running back is to your offense. If you don’t believe in getting a truly great RB then hang around.

    I certainly concede that a Nelson/Guice draft would improve our running game.
    Great guard with a good running back.

    But if you want a Marshall Faulk, Barry Sanders, Ladainlian Tomlinson you gotta pick high…as in the top five picks for all three of those guys.

    There is only ONE freak in this class and the most amazing physical talent to come out in a long long time. There just aren’t that many guys walking around who are 230 lbs and can run a 4.4 and bench press 225 for 29 reps.

    When you compare his stats to other backs it’s amazing…his vertical leap is 10″ or 25% better than Zeke.

    Now before you waste time trying to google first round busts at RB don’t waste your time. You are simply illustrating the 40% in the draft who fail at ALL positions not just running back…EVERY position has busts and after the first round that 40% number climbs.

    This is the ultimate in negative thinking. It’s not about the 40% who fail…we get that…it’s about finding the real stars in that 60%. The REAL stars come in the top five picks…if we get lucky enough to get Barkley at 7 it’s because of the plethora of QB candidates.

    And don’t come at me with some good running back taken late in the draft or in the 2nd or 3rd round. Again meaningless examples. All rules have exceptions but those exceptions do not negate the rule. If you want a GREAT RB not just a good one you have to pick early.

    Some here think they can build the offense around a good RB and don’t need a great one. I can accept that view. But for me Barkley would bring some amazing talent to go with Jameis and all those passing targets.

    BTW…I love Guice and we don’t really NEED our RB to be a good receiver…we don’t need him to have blazing speed but wouldn’t that be nice? Barkley caught almost twice as many passes last year as Guice TOTALED his entire three years.

  23. Mikadeemas Says:

    Our schedule is hard because of our division! And we don’t play US!! GO BUCS!!!

  24. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:


    It’s so refreshing to see someone (else) put so much clear thought and efforted wise ambition into SAQUON. Albeit most of the good analysis is lost on the spotted hyena lot out here on JBF (for the most part), but why would anyone want a Jerry Rice when they could have an AJ Green? It’s certainly not worth a future 2nd/3rd round pick to go get Jerry Rice or Todd Gurley…neah.

    It’s not like the 2018 schedule isn’t going to require all the assembled top talent available the Bucs could imagine or anything…

    Now…SPBF, this will still be lost on the spotted hyena’s, but hey, you wrote a nice piece ^^^^^^

    Go Bucs! Go Bold! Go Barkley! Go Primetime!

  25. ChanEpic Says:

    LOL @ “SnoopDog McPlaybook” – Well done sir *golf clap*

  26. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    @SPBF…as I was saying about Elway and the #5 pick….see below.

    Go Bucs! Go Bold! Go Barkley! Go Primetime!

  27. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    3rd round or earlier. Git all the opportunities.
    Doug Martin
    Charles Sims

    5th Round and later. Never given a chance to even compete for a starting role.
    Allen Bradford
    Michael Smith
    Mike James
    Joey Iosefa
    Danny Vitale
    SnoopDog McPlaybook

    These are horrible examples, Joe. Because of Martin and Sims, none of the others even got opportunities to compete for a starting role, and most of them never even made it out of camp.

    Regardless, if you discount Martin (started) and Sims (contributed), none of the others were picked before the 5th round. So that means waiting until 4th round could still play out well.

  28. MarineBucsFan Says:

    I agree with Day two being the sweet spot for RBs. But I think teams will position themselves for a few of these guys. Someone will trade up for Guice and Michel, these two are special.

    Hopefully the Bucs. Nelson pick 7 then trade up for one of these guys and our offense will be top 3 out the gate!!!

  29. MarineBucsFan Says:

    Our offense is too close to ignore RB early.

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I know Joe has been wanting a running back for years, so I hope he gets one…but I personally think that a draft that is deep with quality RBs means you can wait longer to draft one.

    None of the above examples were taken in the 4th round.

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    St Pete
    “the most amazing physical talent to come out in a long long time”

    That has been said every year about at least one RB. Last year it was three of them: Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook.

    Anyone know what Jay Berwanger, Ron Dayne, Cedric Benson, Curtis Enis, Ki-Jana Carter, and Lawrence Phillips have in common?

    All were RBs. All were taken in the first round.

    All were busts.

  32. passthebuc Says:

    Build the trenches

  33. 813bucboi Says:

    However ,signing Anderson gives you a backfield you can win with !!


    hopefully after the draft…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!!

  34. Pickgrin Says:

    SPBF – why is it “meaningless examples” to point out that Kareem Hunt and Alvin Kamara – both 3rd round picks – were every bit (if not more) effective and dynamic than Fournette and McCaffrey who were both top 10 picks?

    We’re not talking 5-10 years ago or ancient history – this is from last year’s draft. A draft that was deep with RB prospects – just like this year’s draft.

    Dude – its all about “value” when a top 10 pick is your spot. Top 10 picks – top 5 especially – are sooooo valuable.

    Let me put it to you this way…

    Last year the Jacksonville Jaguars spent more draft equity on one RB – Leonard Fournette (whose college tape was amazing and whom a # of draftniks were calling a generational talent btw) – than the value of ALL 7 picks made by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Which team got better results – better value for the use of those 1800 draft value points that Jax 1st rd pick was worth?

    Jags grabbing Fournette at #4?

    Or the Bucs winding up with OJ Howard, Justin Evans, Chris Godwin and Kendell Beckwith with their 1st 4 picks ?(1540 value points for picks, 1,2 3 and late 3)

    Serious Question above that deserves real consideration if a team is pondering drafting a RB in the 1st rd – especially in the top 10.

    Top 10 picks are ridiculously valuable in regards to draft equity. To spend such a pick on a RB is pretty hard to swallow in my book. Especially when Guice and Michel will likely be available in the 20s, Nick Chubb in the 30-40 range and Rashaad Penny in the 40-55 range. All talented Backs that the Buccaneers like.

    If Barkley is on the board and a good trade down offer is on the table – are we better off just drafting Barkley at 7 – or trading down and getting Hernandez, Jaire Alexander and Rashaad Penny (for example) at roughly the same “value” as what we would spend on Barkley at #7?

    These are important thoughts that need pondering and questions that Jason Licht damn well better be asking himself…

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    Appears to me that the Bucs have a conundrum on their hands. To have a competitive STARTING lineup (forget key rotational players AND depth), we still need a RB, G, CB & SS as a minimum (that’s assuming Dotson gets cleared to play & that the Bucs decide UFA Barber really isn’t a bell-cow). Right now we have #7 and #38 picks in our pocket on the 1st 2 days of the draft (unless another team picks our pocket). That’s it. FOUR STARTING NEEDS minimum with 2 picks. Doesn’t say a word about our NEEDs for DT, DE & better depth across several position groups.

    Some insist we need to go priority offense (RB & G) and count on out-scoring the competition (after all, it’s worked out so well for us in the past). Then count on ‘fixing the defense’ with Rnd 4-7 draft picks, because after all, we’ve ONLY got a couple holes now on defense. Besides, what are the odds we could have the worst defense in the NFL 2 years running? Yup, great strategy … UNTIL September when offensive powerhouses like the Saints, Eagles & Steelers start licking their lips. If we hang tough though with our present Secondary, good chance we can beat Chicago. Probably. Uhhh, maybe.

  36. Cobraboy Says:

    I’m confuzzled.

    Seems last year the mantra was “you can find a good RB in the later rounds.”

    What has changed?

  37. Joe Says:

    LOL @ “SnoopDog McPlaybook” – Well done sir *golf clap*


  38. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:


    This is all so tiring.

    First, NO ONE ever suggested that McCaffrey was anywhere justified in going in the Top 10. No one on JBF has said that. He was graded in the 22-32 range for round #1, and that’s where he should have gone. Second, Fournette is no where close to the athlete, the football IQ, the passing game and pass pro overall talent that SAQUON, is, NOT even close. Jax needed him, took him, and they made a 9 win improvement the next year in their W/L record. A well spent pick then.

    Also, there are NO guarantees whatsoever…in fact quite improbable, that when people on JBF allege that certain players will ALL be available and mostly guaranteed to be acquired in total by the Bucs (like in your Hernandez/Alexander/Penny suggestion), those type of narrow-minded falsehoods for a GM to make when pulling the trigger on a supposed trade-down offer, it just isn’t at all realistic that all will be likely acquired TOGETHER for the Bucs, there are WAY TOO many subsequent variables by the other 31 teams, aside from acquiring the picks in the trade down! Those are two entirely separate things.

    This is rhetorical here….ask yourself, does Will Hernandez and Rashad Penny, or Will Hernandez and Sony Michel…either combined unit….DO WHAT SAQUON DOES in his impact in year one for the Bucs, every time he touches the ball, every 4th down and 1, every red zone opportunity?!? Think about that. IF you think it does, which I gather you do, (nevermind for one minute that SAQUON had NO quality blocking or linmen at PSU)….IS EXACTLY WHY this JBF site has the dichotomy it does on this subject. 2 drafted people do not have the same equivalent value IN THE SUCCESS OF THE RUNNING GAME AND EFFECT ON THE OFFENSE (nevermind the supposed CB also acquired in the trade down cause that CB doesn’t matter when SAQUON is running the ball or this supposed Penny is running the ball). More…for the sake of MORE, does NOT equivocate… to BETTER. BETTER…equivocates to BETTER.

    Also, nevermind, that Licht can still use our 2018 2nd round pick on a O Lineman after he trades up for Barkley at #5 if needed.

    I realize this will fall on deaf ears. Yes I do.

    Me and I guess @SPBF or others…wanted to yet again, explain why we’re…smarter LOL. A funny ha-ha.

    Go Bucs!

  39. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    @BBB Thanks. Looks like it’s just us two. LOL

    @Pickgrin Again some people believe you don’t really need a great RB to win. I get that. But there really is no comparison between the RB’s in this draft and Barkley. I’m not saying we have to have him to win…I’m simply saying he gives us our best chance to make an instant difference. Kamara doesn’t blow me away..he’s obviously good but I do not see greatness in him. Fournette is closer but I think Guice may be Fournette 2.0.

    @Bonzai…..I NEVER heard the same kind of talk about last year’s backs as I hear about Barkley. And the numbers from their combines are not even close. The numbers from their overall production in college…running AND receiving are not even close. That wasn’t the case last year.

    BTW In all the draft stuff I’ve been reading I only read about two who are possible “generational” talents…Barkley and Nelson at Guard. I haven’t read anybody who thinks Chubb is a generational talent at DE but we’re so desperate for DE I understand drafting him if he’s available.

  40. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    Umm…I believe @Joe talked on his podcast last week, and may have even wrote about it in a couple different threads with conviction a couple weeks ago, about the Colts…”staying” at #6, and @Joe told Ira that the Colts “would not be trading down (I assume on the premise that they had already traded down from #3 to #6). Welll…..see below.

    And THIS…is again another example of why Licht undoubtedly knows that he has to GO UP and get SAQUON, because Washington would love nothing more (see Dan Snyder’s DNA and Bruce Allen’s history on and on), than to jump the Bucs at #7 for SAQUON. It fits their M.O. perfectly. Or a backup of Miami at #11. Or another surprise team lurking. Everyone knows the Bucs need SAQUON.

    Gotta go up and get him. #5 and #6 are BOTH looking to trade down for the right offer.

    Go Bucs!

  41. Alanbucsfan Says:

    If Bucs go after Barkley, they should use him on 3rd down only on offense and
    convert him to cornerback/ with Bucs ave offensive line, he won’t last long as every down back unless upgrades are coming- and if more draft picks are spent on OL after Barkley, what about the secondary if you don’t convert Barkley?

  42. Jjones Says:

    I will not be crying in my beer if we get Barkley but his hype is just too much imo when saying he’s the clear leader at RB in this draft.

    There’s a guy named Nick Chubb that was slower than Barkley in the 40, that’s if you think a 4.52 is slow, Chubb also is about 230lbs (He’s 228lbs and an inch shorter), only jumped 2-1/2inches less in the vertical(Barkley 41″, Chubb 38.5″), was 2nd in the broad jump at 128″(Barkley didn’t participate), matched Barkleys 29 reps of 225lbs and had a better 20yrd shuttle of 4.20secs (Barkley 4.25secs). If people are going to go nuts over Barkleys combine stats well they should be doing the same for Chubb.

    Chubb is rated lower because of his ACL…that happened over 2 years ago and it’s clearly not an issue. He also didn’t put up the receiving #’s Barkley did so that also is taken into account but we’re really splitting hairs on the rest of the measurables. Chubb was still a viable receiver but GA is a power run team with less focus on screens.

    Barkley put up very impressive #’s at Penn State but he was their bell cow. He never split time with a Sony Michel type RB and he never faced the kind of competition Chubb faced his entire career. If Chubb were the lone back at GA and never been injured his #’s would have been off the charts. Before his ACL tear at Tennessee he ran for an 120 yards or more in 5 games totaling 745yrds while Michel was only getting 2nd hand reps, for which Michel still averaged at least 50yrds a game. Plus I’d rather have a back that got shut down by a competitive team like Auburn instead of being shut down by RUTGERS like Barkley did(I only mention the shutout comparison because I’m sure someone might want to say “Chubbs been shutout”, well what RB hasn’t?).

    Chubb I believe is our best bet.

  43. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Combine stars don’t necessarily transfer to game day difference makers…

    Fix the Trenches, then get your running back

  44. unbelievable Says:

    Joeypoppems Says:
    April 20th, 2018 at 5:23 am
    Just because it hasn’t worked for the Bucs doesn’t mean the logic is flawed. It means the Bucs suck at drafting RBs.


  45. unbelievable Says:

    ^ Alan has the right idea!


  46. Jjones Says:

    I agree Alan that’s why posted his stats compared to Barkley but Chubbs body of work and where he played imo speaks volumes about which RB we should take. If Nelson were at 7 and we take him fine, we still have a shot at Chubb in the 2nd. If we have a trade down scenario we could grab Wynn or Hernandez and still grab Chubb (which is what I’m leaning towards).

  47. Pickgrin Says:

    I would take a combo pkg of Guice/Michel/N. Chubb and a great OG prospect like Hernandez/Wynn – over 1 “special” RB in Barkley – all day – every day. It wouldn’t even be a consideration.

    There’s a reasonable and historically evidenced chance that Saquon Barkley will not even have the best overall NFL career out of all the RBs in this fairly talented draft class.

    For every LT or AP or Marshall Faulk or Barry Sanders you can name over the last 30 years – there are another half dozen players that were all considered “can’t miss RBs” that were drafted Top 10 and did not wind up being worth the high draft pick spent on them. Many of them them were NO WHERE NEAR worth drafting that high.

    Sh!t happens. Bad decisions, injuries. Its a position that takes a lot of abuse as well. Statistically RBs have the shortest length of career for any position on the field. NFL careers can get derailed in a hurry – regardless of how highly drafted or how much “talent” a player had coming out of college. Ask Cadillac Williams who the Buccaneers spent a #5 overall pick on 13 years ago …

  48. Reality_43 Says:

    Agreed Pickgrin.

    Ronnie Brown went 2nd overall. Can’t miss and only had 1 year over 1,000 yards.

  49. Jjones Says:

    Yup, Ronnie Brown too at #2 overall, never panned out.

  50. Brandon Says:

    donuts Says:
    April 20th, 2018 at 6:43 am
    How does this 5 win team get the 4th hardest schedule in the NFL? NFL execs in NY do not want a TB market in the SB/playoffs. NE has 22nd and Titans 30th? The fix is in.


    Wow… just wow…. definite conspiracy. Seems the NFL put the Bucs in a division with three teams that won 10 games or more last season… that’s six games against 10+ win teams… then their mandatory AFC games (which is the exact same games as the other NFC South teams…. who BTW, don’t have to play three 10+ win teams from their division because the Bucs won 5 games)… and then their NFC games…. the schedule was determined on the LAST DAY of the regular season of 2017! What a MAROON!

  51. Joe Says:


    How does this 5 win team get the 4th hardest schedule in the NFL? NFL execs in NY do not want a TB market in the SB/playoffs. NE has 22nd and Titans 30th? The fix is in.

    The NFL sets opponents years in advance (with the exception of one game). Every year, teams play division rivals twice a year. Teams play other divisions on a rotating basis. For example, you can see who the Bucs are playing in 2020 right now (Bucs at Las Vegas, baby).

    To suggest the fix is in, that would mean that the NFL three years ago knew Saints, Dixie Chicks and Stinking Panthers would all be in the playoffs. That would mean the NFL would know that the Eagles would win the Super Bowl. Joe could go on.

    To suggest the NFL knew all of this three years ago, well, the WWE isn’t that rigged.

  52. BringBucsBack Says:

    Barkley and Chubb are my two favorite RB’s, since everyone was dying to know!

    All draft picks can be justified (except a soccer player in the second round of an NFL draft) so, everyone is correct regarding RB’s.

    Great ones have come in all rounds and many were UFA. However if you believe you are getting a generational talent, like many believe Saquan is, you take him, right? SOMEONE had to draft Adrian Peterson, Eric Dickerson and Barry sanders; why not us. Those Teams don’t regret it and Dallas would not trade Zeke for any two players from that draft. Saquan is a game changer!

  53. Belligerentbuc Says:

    Best schedule for frustrated Bucs fans….By week 4 we will know whether we are contenders or pretenders.

    We can effectively move on from the Dirk experiment and begin to look for another coach.

    To be the best you have to beat the best. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing our schedule to others. It’s loser talk!

    Hopefully we will all be celebrating holding on to Dirk and company for one more year…Go Bucs!