A Third-Round Back

January 20th, 2020

Scoping Lamical Perine.

You know the Bucs need to upgrade at running back. Joe knows the Bucs need to upgrade at running back.

But the important question is, do the Bucs know they need to upgrade at running back?

Words spoken by Bucs types during the season sure sounded like an organization pleased and content with one of the worst ground attacks in the NFL.

Was that just happy talk to make their players feel good while masking genuine concern? Time will only tell.

Joe can tell you one thing: The Bucs sure acted like they believed they had a running game. How many times did the Bucs try to go ground-and-pound in the second half to burn the clock and seal a win only to have to regularly punt the ball away and p!ss away a lead and a game?

Over at Buccaneers.com, Scott Smith received a fan question about drafting a running back. Smith brought up an interesting point. It seems as if the third round is the sweet spot for finding value at running back.

Arians’ best running back in Arizona was David Johnson, whom he found in the third round in 2015. In fact, the third round has been fruitful for running back-hunting teams in recent years. In just the last five years, all of these backs have been picked in the third round: Johnson, Devin Singletary, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, James Conner, Kenyan Drake, Tevin Coleman and Duke Johnson.

Yup, and the Bucs passed on every one of those running backs, in some cases multiple times (remember when Duke Johnson was being dangled by the Browns and Hunt could have been had at a deep discount?).

Well, two names on this list have Joe’s focus. Joe is all but convinced — no one at One Buc Palace has told Joe this — that the Bucs will pick up David Johnson after he is cut. Under a new regime in Arizona, Johnson was demoted and put on mothballs despite having a decent season in 2018.

If Bucco Bruce Arians was willing to give Andre Ellington a test drive, Joe is convinced he would absolutely try to revive Johnson’s career.

The second name is Hunt. No, Hunt didn’t put up numbers in Cleveland like he did in Kansas City. Joe thinks it is fair to suggest Freddie Kitchens isn’t exactly Andy Reid, and 1,500-yard rusher Nick Chubb rightfully was the Browns’ go-to back. Hunt is still young, injury-free and is as dangerous catching the ball out of the backfield as he is a runner.

Joe is confident Arians could revive Hunt if he chose to.

As for drafting a running back in the third round, would that be too early to grab Gators running back Lamical Perine?

57 Responses to “A Third-Round Back”

  1. mark2001 Says:

    Watch out for my ISU running back…James Robinson…a great fit in the mid rounds for our Bucs.

  2. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    It’s the OL…

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Raheem Mostert ran for 220 yards & 4 touchdowns……he was an UDFA cut from 5 teams……fumbled….and was given another chance.
    He is evidence that you don’t have to invest heavily on a RB…….perhaps a better run blocking Oline would help.

    If we are to go in the third round….I’d go with Najee Harris, Alabama……a big back who is very hard to bring down…..a good compliment to Rojo.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Granted that ‘Freddie Kitchens isn’t exactly Andy Reid’ but he IS a pretty close to a clone of Bruce Arians, just like Byron Leftwich is. I don’t see very much that’s similar in the Chief’s offensive attack & the Bucs’ offensive attack.

    Pass on David Johnson. He was a beast under Arians back in 2016 (20 TDs & over 2000 combined yards is pretty good IMO), but in the last 2 seasons he’s averaged only 3.65 yards per carry, and he was hurt all but 1 game in the season before those. Sounds eerily like Doug Martin to me.

    Johnson’s also quite similar to RoJo in many ways, and what we NEED to someone to COMPLEMENT RoJo, not duplicate what he brings to the table. I’d love to see us draft Bama’s Najee Harris (6’2″ & 230 lbs) to be that complement. He’s definitely a BIG BACK, but has good quickness & can ‘run downhill’ with decisiveness. BTW, he averaged 5.9 YPC in 2019 & had over 1500 combined yards (20 TDs). Walter Football has him going in Rounds 2-4, but I think he’ll be gone by Round 3. A number of teams will be looking to add that BIG BACK after seeing what Derrick Henry did this year IMO.

  5. martinii Says:

    I realize this is nothing more than preaching to the choir, but some times a simple example is worth a 1000 post. Last night in the NFC Championship game a back-up QB, an undrafted free agent and a hometown GM proved so many arguments that ignight Buc fans daily. On topic Raheem Mostert and undrafted free agent who has been cut 6 times in 18 months ran for over 200 yrds and 4 TD’s. Meanwhile a QB who backed up Tom Brady for several years threw 7 passes during the entire game. John Lynch in 3 drafts focused exclusively on the trenches. They are going to the SB after beating a perennial playoff participant, Aaron Rogers and the GB Packers. Jameis Who?

  6. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I’ve learned not to think the Bucs have to go a certain position in a certain round. Last year I thought for sure we’d go O-Line in the 2nd or 3rd. I’d like us to get a bigger back that gets the tough yards, someone like A.J. Dillon of Boston College. I’d be happy with any decent RB, though.

  7. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I think Najee Harris is staying at Alabama.

  8. Ndog Says:

    What some of your just cannot comprehend is that these games are just making the case for keeping Jameis even stronger. As they are proving it should not be on just one player to carry a team. Build a TEAM and play football the right way. Watching Aaron Rodgers was liking watching the Bucs during Jameis’s entire career. It was simple last night if Aaron Rodgers was perfect they had a chance and if he wasn’t they lose. That has been the way it is for Jameis basically his entire career. No person with a brain in their skull would take Jimmy G over Rodgers yet who won the game and turned the ball over? One was asked to play within a team environment the other asked to win the game by himself. I wonder who has been saying that has been the issue here all along?

  9. Bobby M. Says:

    Sign them both….that being said, the Chiefs and 49ers aren’t killing teams with household names at RB. They can literally plug anyone back there because their lines are superior and their QBs are top tier. We have neither of those going for us which goes back to what I’ve said for a very long time…..Licht has never had a vision for building this roster, particularly the offense for a QB that everyone knows has issues with consistency. We should have been investing in the o-line, run game and defense. Instead we went “weapons for Winston” and keep drafting kickers, WRs and TEs. Licht is literally throwing crap against the wall hoping anything will stick.

  10. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Did Rodgers throw 4 interceptions and a pick 6? No, he didn’t. If the Bucs have a running back that can run for 220 yards and 4 TD’s, then we definitely don’t need Mr Pick-6. We are missing pieces, but you’ll never justify 7 pick-6’s in one season to me. Especially that last one when so much was on the line for Mr Pick-6. Franchise Mr Pick-6 and add true competition for him to the team and for goodness sake, find a reliable running back. You can’t fix stupid and you can’t coach stubborn.

  11. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    “I’ve learned not to think the Bucs have to go a certain position in a certain round.”

    Predicting what the Gumpster Fire does on draft day is a frustrating proposition. He probably takes great pride in being unpredictable.

    He’ll probably load up on CB’s that were horrifically injured or lost in Division 4C schools again.

    Someone should tell him that the long shot player from a D4 school cost the same as say a MVP from a National Championship team. It’s the same 2nd round pick. They are paid the same money.

    You’re only a genius if you pick that player up in the 6th round and he plays like a 2nd rounder. If you select him in the 2nd round and he plays like a lost rookie, out of his league, then you look stupid.

  12. Ndog Says:

    Ace you still don’t get it brother. Ask yourself this did Rodgers turn the ball over 3 times and fumble 2 others cause he’s a TO machine and sucks or because he was their only hope of winning therefore the odds of things going wrong go up? Then ask yourself this, hasn’t this been the situation for the entire career of Jameis? Then ask is it him or is it the situations he’s been put in? Which BTW some of us have been saying over and over and over again.

  13. Bucsfanman Says:

    Rodgers was GBs “only hope” ?! Didn’t Aaron Jones have 19 rushing TDs?!
    GB turned the ball over and lost. It’s that simple!

    “Passing league”?! Pffffffft!

  14. jim Says:

    i don’t understand why when looking to the future draft people still bemoan the past draft selections of light.

    things have changed. power structure of organization has changed. power structure and talent of player talents have changed.

    you only have a sample of 1 draft and 1 free agent cycle to look at for the present organization.

    no other history indicates anything any more. get present.

    …. and there is always the disclaimer that past performance is no indicator of future performance (for what that is worth)

  15. Aceofaerospace Says:

    NDOG, if you’re going to compare Mr Pick-6 to Rodgers, then don’t just pick one game. Rodgers 26 TDS 4 int. Then you have Mr Pick-6, Mr 30-30. I believe Rodgers had virtually the same running backs all season as he did yesterday. Soooo, how come he didn’t throw 30 INTs and 7 pick-6’s? Let me answer for you. He’s a heck of a lot smarter than Mr Pick-6. I’ll take smarter with slightly less positive statistics all year long. Franchise Mr Pick-6, bring in true competition.

  16. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    jim Says:
    January 20th, 2020 at 10:28 am

    “i don’t understand why when looking to the future draft people still bemoan the past draft selections of Licht.”

    Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

    Einstein also said, ” Not only did the Gumpster Fire draft a guy with only one eye but he drafted another kicker!” (See the definition of insanity)

  17. T REX Says:

    ndog getting worked over and spanked with newspapers like the lil doggie he is…bad dog. LOL. No bark at all.

    Comparing Rodgers to Winston is an insult. Rodgers has 84 picks in 181 games.

    How about your boy? Tell us what his numbers are lil doggie.

    72 games and 88 picks.


  18. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Doug Martin had more good years than David Johnson. Pass.

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    T REX, may as well get used to Winston. He isn’t leaving.

  20. SB Says:

    I have watched every game Perine has played in. He has great hands and runs angry. I’d be ok with him but not until the Third.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bucsfanman, Rodgers carried that team all year. They were constantly self destructing.

  22. Ndog Says:

    Wow first of all you guys are really angry. Secondly I was talking about the game yesterday as I am well aware of the year Jones had and their defense to boot. But last night was what Jameis has had to deal with his entire career. Do you not agree that our defense has been a seive and our running game has pretty much been horrible? What I am saying is you have what happens to a QB considered the best fail in that situation and yet when our very own QB is put in this situation for pretty much 5 years he is too blame when the best cannot pull that off. Doesn’t that sound a little ridiculous when you actually realize it?

  23. Ndog Says:

    Trex bro you are a waste of time, you simply must not be able to comprehend pretty much anything so I am done trying to help you

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    Bonzai – the Pack was the strangest 13-3 team I’ve ever seen. Jones tied for league lead in TDs. I’d say Aaron got some help.

  25. Adrnagy Says:

    I’ll be shocked if we draft a RB. But everything can change upon who we sign.

    Winston will benefit for a consistent balance productive play calling.

    I see bucs carrying 4 TE next year. 4 RB. ROJo will be the feature back. What we do with 2,3 back will be key. 4th assuming is TJ Logan.

  26. Stanglassman Says:

    NDog- Here let me try.

    TRex- Team bad=Qb bad
    Team good=Qb good

  27. bucsfaninoregon Says:

    Ndog, YOU are a waste of time. Responding to your insistent pleas for jameis love is truly a waste of time. Sorry, Ndog, but INTs count. They are bad- -very bad. “Waiting for Jameis” is a good name for a play not an NFL team motto.

  28. Cgmaster27 Says:

    I think its funny how the only clowns in here insulting others is the anti Jameis crowd. Said it before clowns and ill say it again, jameis will be back and theres nothing you can do about it.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe in Michigan … Thanks for the info on Najee Harris. Everyone was so certain that he wouldn’t return for his senior year at Bama. He’s one of the few BIG BACKS that I really like. So many of the others are smaller but with roughly the same speed.

  30. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I’ve been hearing a lot on this board about Dillon…an interesting prospect that’s for sure.

    Anybody who watched the Rose Bowl has to be a fan of Perrine!! Ok I give special dispensation to the Noles here…but for the unbiased…this kid has talent.

    SF opened my eyes about multiple backs. I’ve certainly seen plenty of great duo’s including our own Thunder and Lightning. But three solid backs create not only depth but some neat play calling opportunities.

    Reportedly there is one generational OT in this draft..Thomas out of GA.
    He is almost certain to go in the top ten…Walter Football’s mock has him going 8th. But there are several other pro bowl potential tackles available which means we’ll probably get to select from at least two of them.

    In a draft replete with great OT prospects I believe that selection will impact our running game far more than which RB we select and it will do so for a decade to come long after the RB is retired.

    Then I’d like to get Dillon/Harris AND Perrine if we can muster the draft capital.

    Delpit is our projected pick by Walter Football. Great player..not sure I see safety as important to us as true stud OL and a bruising RB.

    Another plug for LUV. I trust his evaluations far more than Walter Football.

  31. Aubpierce Says:

    Henry was stopped cold because his offensive line did not block. Draft two offensive road graders in the first two rounds and draft a Mike Alstott type back in the third round. Keep all your defensive line men and if you have money left maybe sign Winston.

  32. AllhailJPP Says:

    I only come here to see the Ndog comments now. BY far..the dumbest Buc fan ever.

  33. catcard202 Says:

    Sorry Joe, the UF RB is not a 3rd rounder…More like Day 3 pick.

    Would make push for FSU’s Cam Akers or Utah’s Zack Moss (if his Medicals check out)…in the 4th Rd.

  34. Ndog Says:

    AllhailJPP Says:
    January 20th, 2020 at 11:29 am
    I only come here to see the Ndog comments now. BY far..the dumbest Buc fan ever.

    Another poster with zero substance. Thanks for joining so I can help educate you. Again does anyone notice no one ever proves anything I post wrong, you know why? It’s cause I’m right and there has not been one thing posted on this thread that has done anything to even come close to arguing my point about the game last night and how it relates to my football team. But again welcome AllhailJPP and you’re welcome in advance for the free football education.

  35. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Defense Rules: I was hoping that Najee Harris would be in the draft this year.

    Stpetebusfan: Dillon looks good on his highlight reel. Not sure if he’s a decent enough receiver/has had fumbling issues/etc.

  36. stpetebucsfan Says:

    oops…Perrine in the ORANGE not Rose.

  37. T REX Says:

    @ ndog – How about career interceptions between Rodgers and Winston? How about just this year? You made the comparison now own it. Sucka punk!

    Winston knob gobblers are literally the worst people on earth. They make excuse after excuse for loser Winston…why? No one knows but their bars are set so low. Sad people. They should want more out of life and the Bucs than 29 wins over 5 years.

  38. Craig Says:

    There will be some quality RBs later in the draft. There will also be some that are undrafted. I think the undrafted guys have more of a fire in their belly.

    I would love to see both James Robinson and Adrian Killins in camp. That could be a killer combo.

  39. jjbucfan Says:

    Anyone who watched that game last night could see that the defense for Green Bay did not show up to play. This is what JW has been dealing with for 5 years. Aaron Jones had a decent game until they fell too far behind and then was eliminated from the gameplay, sound familiar? Rodgers had to do something. After that last INT- he didn’t even react because he knew the only chance to come back was to take chances- stats be damned. It is amazing that one group of posters can’t have an actual discussion without hurling insults at someone that has a different view point. It is an interesting case study as a microcosm for the state of the world we live in today.

  40. Jeagan1999 Says:

    I like AJ Dillon, the big kid (6”0, 249lbs) out of B.C.

    I think Dobbins from OSU would be a great addition too, but we would have to snag him late in Round 1 or early in Round 2.

  41. Ndog Says:

    jjbucfan they can’t admit when they are wrong and have been wrong all along so they resort to name calling and insulting others cause they have substance to their “argument”. It really is that simple they have nothing so they spew. But it’s ok somebody has to be wrong and in this case it’s them.

  42. Kalind Says:

    Rofl. Don’t make me laugh Joe. We’re trying to get better, not throw away a third round pick.

    Cam Akers in the 3rd is AT LEAST 100x better in all phases. And I’m trying to be generous to Perine here. Probably closer to 200x in reality.

  43. Aceofaerospace Says:

    NDOG, I’m not angry at all. I want Mr Pick-6 to succeed, as a Buc. But I trust the coach who’s job is also on the line. If he signs him, I’m his fan, let him walk, I shed no tears. But for the love of all things football, bring in some real competition at QB.

  44. Josh Says:

    Kareem hunt

  45. QBKilla Says:

    Cam Akers if he’s still on the board. Perine is a fourth rounder.

  46. Anonymous Says:

    In dog is Flippin hilarious!!! Cherry picking as usual LOL OL so funny to compare Rogers worst game of the year to anything Jameis! LOL OL

  47. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I’d like to see the Bucs draft some O-Linemen as much as the next guy. Here’s the thing, we needed O-Linemen LAST draft and didn’t take any. The same guys will be making the decisions, and Bruce Arians is on record saying rookie O-Linemen take 3 years to develop (he was burned in Arizona when they took Jonathan Cooper and DJ Humphries in the 1st Round). Maybe if Thomas fell to us he’d change his mind. As I said last draft when many on here wanted Ed Oliver, I highly doubt we take Wirfs even if he’s still on the board when we pick.

  48. WestChap Says:

    Last night proved you run based on your blocking… NOT that a 30 pick QB will thrive with a better team around him.

    Since this is a passing league and we had no DBs in the cupboard (Davis was just ok as a rookie and VH3 was… well VH3) we had to do what we did in the draft. But thus year we have to draft multiple OL… and given BA’s philosophy pursue Trent Williams as much as possible. And, BTW, Williams is going to need to be paid with a new contract… yet another reason for Blameless to go ballin elsewhere (LAC?).

  49. Bucs Guy Says:

    Kareem Hunt as first option, Najee Harris as option 2 and Taylor (Memphis) as the third choice if you’re looking in the 3rd round. Bucs need a RB who can pound. I think Perine is too small.

  50. catcard202 Says:

    Josh…Brother, I hear you. But it won’t happen.

    I preached signing Hunt & putting him in cupboard for down the line, when he was free/easy money.. (Same with SF MLB Rueben Foster)….I’d role the dice on talent & drop the ax if other issues happened… (2nd Chances but not 3rd)….Could have had Hunt the second half of the 2019 season & incorporated into BA’s system w/ fresh legs down the stretch.

    However, the FO/Glazers balked…They are now too gun shy of scandal since JW3 popped-up as target of investigations/public scorn – to take any chance of something going south….The Bucs just aren’t going there, even when it makes sense.

  51. T REX Says:

    Please sign Cam akers!


    every fsu loser fan

  52. SB Says:

    IDK TRex. I like Akers. I haven’t seen him as much as Perine of course but I watch as much FSU football as I can being a Gator.
    Akers did some good things behind a bad OL. Admit I need to research him more but he looked good in the games I watched

  53. SB Says:

    I agree that if we can get Hunt from Cleveland then it is a no brainer. Dude was first round talent that dropped because of knucklehead flags. Surprise it happened again. Hurt his stock again. I think we can buy lower than his actual value for sure if he has decided to keep his head as a pro.

  54. 813bucboi Says:

    Perine would be great….nice hands…decent balance…he would be great value in the 3rd round


  55. 1sparkybuc Says:

    No QB can expect to win when his defense competes year after year to be the worst in league history. The Bucs won five out of the last eight when the defense stepped up. If they had Evans and Godwin they would have won seven out of the last eight.

  56. jjbucfan Says:

    SB- there is no talking to that D-Bag. Anything FSU is bad even if that player is a guy that can lead you to the playoffs with a little help. T-Rex is the type of Gator fan that never even sniffed going to UF which doesn’t allow Him/Her to have that mutual respect. Cam Akers is the better all around player, IMO, I would take Perine in a heartbeat. If you tell me that we passed on Akers in the 3rd to take another O-line guy (we better take O-line in the 1st) and then chose Perine in the 4th- I am completely on board. Our O-line at FSU was so bad as you stated and Akers still dominated.

  57. Seemore Bucs Says:

    Gators running back? No thanks. Seriously, hard pass. The goal is to win the Super Bowl not just be a jabroni and wash out of the league in three years or less.