Drafting A Running Back In Round 1?

March 25th, 2020

“Erin, I don’t give a $%*#@ &*^% about 2022.”

Joe thinks it’s fair to assume the Bucs have one simple and laser-focused goal this season: one that isn’t spin-coated fluff from a regime trying to con fans.

You sign 20-year veteran Tom Brady and you are shooting for nothing less than a Super Bowl. Period.

Sure, Team Glazer will make gobs of cash regardless, and Brady locked up for two seasons will preserve jobs on the coaching staff and in the front office. But the on-field goal truly is an all-in mentality, Joe believes.

And considering the Bucs didn’t trade for a quality running back or buy a No. 1 running back, and Bucco Bruce Arians thankfully discarded Peyton Barber from the hope train, Joe thinks the Bucs are very much considering going all-in on a running back in Round 1 of the draft.

After all, if you draft properly, a first-round running back should make an instant and profound impact.

Running back is one of the simplest positions for rookies. It’s proven year after year (though rarely in Tampa); the transition from college is easy compared to other positions.

Looking for Bucs examples? See Warrick Dunn in 1997. Cadillac Williams in 2005, LeGarrette Blount in 2010 and Doug Martin in 2012.

The first two running backs off the board last year: Josh Jacobs (Round 1) and Miles Sanders (Round 1) had fantastic rookie seasons.

Joe isn’t saying that Joe would go running back in Round 1, only that the Bucs might really be leaning that way, especially given the Coronavirus-stunted scouting season and the all-in move to Brady.

Arians knows scoring 30 points a game with a balanced attack and limited turnovers, combined with an average defense, is a one-way ticket to the playoffs and likely a division title.

Keep that in mind as you convince yourself the Bucs are drafting for the trenches in Round 1.

67 Responses to “Drafting A Running Back In Round 1?”

  1. Dewey Selmon Says:

    This is why I’m onboard for trading for Trent Williams. free us up to draft Taylor or D. Swift in rd 1.

  2. D-Rome Says:

    I would prefer the Bucs find a RB later in the draft. The team already missed on RoJo. What makes anyone think the ol’ Backstabber can get it right the third time?

  3. Jeffbuc Says:

    I think you have to get a right tackle or defensive lineman first. To have a good/great lineman on a rookie bargain deal. Since everyone else on the offense and defensive line are getting paid a lot. And then get the best running back available in round 2 then go safety and a receiving runningback 3rd down type in round 4. Then go best available per need last 3 picks

  4. Lamarcus Says:

    Have Tom Brady pick the pick and get the rest of clowns out of the way

  5. Sarasota Garey Says:

    Nope, not unless we trade down first to get additional picks, and those picks better be in the first 2 rounds.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Noticed that both Walterfootball writers have switched their Bucs 1st round draft predictions this week to D’Andre Swift from tackles.

  7. Doctor_Berto Says:

    Can’t do that unless you trade back

  8. Swampbuc Says:

    I’ll see you at Ira’s for lunch!

  9. Hammerhead Says:

    Noticed that both Walterfootball writers have switched their Bucs 1st round draft predictions this week to D’Andre Swift from tackles.

  10. PUGS&BUCS Says:

    So now we’re going to give Brady all the weapons Jameis literally begged for AFTER Jameis is gone. What a crock.

  11. SB Says:

    Trenches, Trenches, Trenches.

  12. Deminion Says:

    Not in the first we need trenches, I’d be ok with trading back into the bottom of the 2nd for cam Akers

  13. Ndog Says:

    God help us in 2022, we better walk away from the next two years with 3 trophies in the case or this was a massive failure.

  14. rrsrq Says:

    Washington would rather let Trent Williams wilt than trade or cut him, they likely want two first rounders. A trade for Trent says we are all in now, but the future, mmmm. If the top four tackles are gone, then trade back, pick up either the guy from Houston or USC in latter part of the first. Then you go in at RB in the second and since you have let all the WRs get scooped up, I guess you better get a WR, because there is no depth there.

  15. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    GOD NO we need some cheap youth on that offensive line. Drafting a running back in the first is drafting based off need over value immensely. The OT that will be there at 14 is the BPA to replace Dotson.

    There will be plenty of quality backs in this draft all through the second round worse comes to worse we draft Akers out of FSU in round 3.

  16. SkBucsFan Says:

    Ugggh. I hope not. But I wouldn’t put it last Licht to draft an RB in the first round. The Bucs only have strength to open holes on one side of the line…provided the opposing Defense doesn’t stack that side. Building a competitive team isn’t that difficult. Unless your name is Jason Licht.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Depends somewhat on whether or not we resign Suh…..if we don’t we’ll need some help on the Dline……and we definitely need help on the Oline…

    I’m thinking either DT, OT, RB, S, or OT, RB, S, DT……depending on Suh

  18. bucnole Says:

    Agree – the ONLY goal is a SUPER BOWL RING!!!
    That is as it should be for every team.

    DONT draft a RB first – just don’t do it.
    Here is where you lost me (and I hope the majority of your readers)

    “After all, if you draft properly, a first-round running back should make an instant and profound impact. Running back is one of the simplest positions for rookies. It’s proven year after year (though rarely in Tampa)”

    OL/DL in the 1st and 2nd. then you look for a RB

  19. Matt Says:

    Sarasota Garry- I would agree with that. If Jordan Love is still there when we pick we may be able to get a lot of picks in a trade down. As long as we get at least a 2nd this year and 1st next year I’m all for us trading back in the 1st and grabbing a RB. After the top 4 offensive tackles the talent is pretty even for the next 5-12 or so prospects. I expect some cap casualties here very soon and it could get interesting here soon because we’ll address positions of need and our direction in the draft will become clear.

    If Donovan Smith can play up to his contract we’ll be fine, and at only 27mln guaranteed that means after this year we can cut Smith loose if he doesn’t perform. With Brady in town I think he has his best year. 😊

    Man it’s great to see Buccaneers on ESPN every single day!!!!! Ahhhhhh!!! Let’s go baby!🦾🦾🦾

  20. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Dewey

    I also like Trent Williams- however it has been mentioned that he is looking for @ $20 million per season. We currently have less than $20 million on hand and still need to sign draft picks ($8 million) and several more free agents to fill in the roster.

    Perhaps we could get Jason Peters on a much cheaper one year deal then draft an OT in rounds 1 or 2.

  21. Marine Buc Says:

    More than likely we will use our #14 pick to draft a OT if one of the “big 4” are still available. If they are all gone and DT Kinlaw is there we will probably pick him.

    Then we will probably move back up into the later first round to take OT E. Cleveland, L. Niang or J. Johnson.

    If Cam Akers or Helaire is still available in the late second or early third we will probably draft one of them at that point.

    We could surprise everyone and take QB J. Love with our #14 pick. We need a backup and eventual replacement for TB12.

  22. Matt Says:

    Marine, we are kind of stuck with Donovan Smith’s remaining 13.5mln of guaranteed money. In case you missed it out Joe specifically asked Smith about playing RT and he explicitly said he would be terrible and there’s no way. So, unless Jason Peters can play RT (he’s played LT his entire career) we’ll probably go in another direction. I’m a big Peters or Trent Williams fan no doubt.

  23. Bob in Brandon Says:

    Jonathan Taylor

  24. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Matt

    I’m aware of LT Smith’s limitations. It’s true not every player can switch between left and right sides. Obviously if Peters can’t make the switch than we shouldn’t bother signing him.

    We will probably draft an OT early (day one or two) and re-sign D. Dotson (or another vet) if he can still pass a physical. Maybe signing Haeg was meant to fill this purpose? He can play both sides…

  25. gotbbucs Says:

    Rookie running backs are usually good at running and bad at blocking. You have to enter pass blocking/pass catching into your equation for any running back in an Arians/Brady offense.

    I could possibly see taking Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the 3rd round.

  26. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Matt nobody is giving up a 2nd this year and a first next year to move up 5-10 spots. Get real man.

  27. sincethebeginning Says:

    Running back is NOT one of the simplest positions for a rookie. Two examples do not a sample make. Many scouts and ex-players (including ex-RBs) would disagree with you.–Joe

    Pass protection and pass catching are massive stumbling blocks for young running backs, as is adjusting to NFL-level speed and hitting.

    We see this all the time. You are out of your gourd, Joe.

    We need OT and WR first two picks, then edge rusher on DL, then *maybe* the best available well-rounded RB after that — because the very well-rounded back is what grade he’s always had, not these pure rusher types.

    I’m actually more in favor of picking up a mid-to-late-career running back through trade (for a 2021 day 2 pick, not for a player on the current roster) or free agency at this point, leaning heavily on the skill set that Brady prefers to work with in his RB.

    An early round pick on a running back would be catastrophic imo.

    We need to make like the Patriots and trade picks from future years in order to move up and also add more picks to what we can get this year.

  28. martinii Says:

    Bravo! Finally someone is addressing the Running game. So important in a BA scheme and definitely will be advantage to Brady. Draft is full of big guys that can block. Additionally anyone who thinks the O-line is the backbone of the run game hasn’t watched many RD1 RB’s in action. A good back that can hit the line fast, pick up speed, and break tackles make mediocre O-Lines look good. IMO

  29. Billy_45 Says:

    I think this completely depends on what they do in Free Agency still.

    Do they get Trent Williams?
    Do they trade for Fournette?

    I would be elated with Swift or Taylor at #14 if they get Trent Williams, because we can still get a quality O Lineman in RD 2.

    Same with running backs in RD 2.

    BA DID say you don’t have to have an Ezekial Elliot to win it all and NE is the prime example.

    None of the teams with the BEST running backs win it all.

    Look at KC

  30. Matt Says:

    “ The Kansas City Chiefs selected Mahomes in the first round (10th overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Buffalo Bills traded the 10th overall pick to the Chiefs for their first round pick, third round pick, and the Chiefs’ first round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft”

  31. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    It would be ludicrous to draft a RB at #14, they would become laughing stocks of the NFL.

    They should use their “No Biscuit” philosophy and grab one of the top 3 WR’s at #14. Take a tackle at #45 like Isaiah Wilson from Georgia and draft that game changing RB in the 3rd like Cam Akers.

    One of those 3 WR’s will be there like Lamb, Jeudy or Ruggs.

    I would bet that Philly would love to give up their #21 and #53 to leap frog the Cowgirls and grab Ruggs. Then they could put Desean Jackson on waivers.

  32. catcard202 Says:

    OL / DL / WR or QB in Rd1….All depends on who’s there at #14.

    Could see FO go WR (Ruggs / Juedy) in a surprise move, if the Big4 OT’s & Big2 DT’s are off the board….Could also see the FO go QB, if Love or Herbert were to slide to them @ 14… But most likely scenarios end w/ a new OT or DT.

  33. Chesapeake Bucco Says:

    In his book and in interviews BA has always said that there is no reason to draft a RB in the first round, that there are always good ones available in rounds 3 and 4….just sayin

  34. Steve Munoz Says:

    Trade back in the first round and I’m with it. I really feel like there’s A LOT OF WORK for this team still to do. We have no depth at corner, safety and offensive line and who the hell is starting at DT of suh doesn’t come back?

  35. mike10 Says:

    Am I the only one that thinks QB should be a high priority in this draft?

    I want my QB for the next 20 years to spend his first 2 under 🐐

  36. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Here’s my realistic thought and expectation. It would be sorta reckless to spend the #14 pick on a RB when there is not one team gonna spend that much capital on a RB until at least the end of the first round or the start of the second. Even then it could go further and into the middle of the second round because of how deep the WR position group is. So the only way I see us taking a RB in the first round is we find a trade partner and move back. Like maybe swap our first rounder with #23 New England for an extra 2nd and 4th round pick. Or we find a way to trade back into the first round similar to what Licht did with Lavonte David. Personally I think we wait till the 3rd round to select RB.

    draft order, unless we make trades, will be OT, QB, RB, DL, S

  37. Matt Says:

    I would actually like to see us groom another late round pick in Nate Stanley and pass the torch to him.

    I’m not going to be surprised at all if we get a WR in the first and double up on linemen and grab a RB after that. Jeudy, Ruggs or Claypool as our 3rd?! Jordan Love is over hyped only because of resembling Mahomes. If Mahomes didn’t exist Love is a 3rd rounder. I’m not an Eason or Fromme fan either. Trenches or trade back. 💪

  38. Billy_45 Says:


    I agree but can we afford to not give Brady the tools he needs in year 1?

    I’m thinking Hurts or Fromm would be great later on, or just wait till next year.

  39. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Jonathan Taylor, 6,000 yards Big 10 – more than Elliott and Barkley
    There will be several quality OT’s available in 2nd round.

  40. VegasBuc Says:

    Go get Trent Williams. Remember BA has said before in the likes of….that drafting OL in the 1st is a fast way to get yourself looking for a job in the offseason. I think we’re going QB or DL in 1st. We can get quality RB in the 3rd/4th(Anthony McFarland Jr., Zach Moss)

  41. SOFIERCE Says:

    The Future is now! I’m thinking trenches… better let Brady choose.

  42. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Matt, don’t you think guys that get paid for a living would be clamoring to draft the Stanley guy if they thought he had the ability to be a quality NFL QB. Outside of one miracle by the name of Brady, guys with any shot of being good don’t get drafted on day 3.

  43. 813bucboi Says:

    this draft should be all about the future….

    we need to draft:

    bradys replacement
    SUhs replacement
    JPPs replacement
    Dotsons replacement
    andrew adams replacement
    barbers replacement

    get peters or williams for a 4th round pick….sign carlos hyde….

    if we do that, then all of our draft picks will have a year or 2 to learn and develop….that’ll create competition and depth…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  44. 813bucboi Says:

    Ndog Says:
    March 25th, 2020 at 10:30 am
    God help us in 2022, we better walk away from the next two years with 3 trophies in the case or this was a massive failure.


    lil pup you from 2020 being SB or BUST and now its 3 SBs or BUST….LOL….


    JW IS A BUST!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  45. geno711 Says:

    Brady has never won a Super Bowl with a rookie running back.

    I would agree with @sincethebeginning

    Pass protection and pass catching are massive stumbling blocks for young running backs, as is adjusting to NFL-level speed and hitting.

    Brady will value that more than a rookie running back right now.

  46. Defense Rules Says:

    Too many quality RBs this year to spend our ONLY 1st Rnd pick on a RB. Fix the OLine first, THEN draft a RB in the 2nd.

  47. David Says:

    Take cam Akers in rd2

  48. Mike Johnson Says:

    I would not take a RB in the 1st. Brady is gonna need all the protection he can get. Go O lineman straight out of the gate. There are some good ones in the 1st rd. I’d wait until maybe the 3rd to go for a RB. Brady is pretty fragile guys. Although tough and ready, he can only take so many hits. Protect the guy.

  49. stpetebucsfan Says:

    As usual agree with D.R. A lot of “good” RB’s but no Saquons in this group…no generational guys…lots of talent though….so no talent worth a 1st with lots of talent for the later rounds.

    Given our extra 4th rounder I wouldn’t mind if they found a way to grab two RB’s…Dillon…very complementary for ROJO and our first versatile 250lb back since Mike.

    And if we picked up Cam Akers or Edwards-Helaire to complete a versatile group of RB’s.

  50. Cobraboy Says:

    If they sign Suh and find a decent RT in a trade, I’d be OK with a RB at #1.

  51. JimmyJack Says:

    Something tells me they want to get Bowles another piece for his defense with one of their top 2 picks. And it smells like a Safety.

    My guess is S/RT or RT/S.

    Drafting a RB #14 would be exciting. Agreed with Joe that RB gives you the impact required to make them your top choice.

    But looking at Bruce’s track score he does not put big investments into that position. Doubt Brady would ask for that top pick to be RB…..Just look at who he had toting the rock in NE.

  52. JimmyJack Says:

    St Pete…..What about Swift? Lot of people have a 1st round grade on him. I never saw him so I don’t know.

  53. Buc4evr Says:

    OT or OG in the first round assuming we can get Suh back. RB in a later round.

  54. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Number one way to improve the running game is your Offensive line. Draft a good RT in the first round followed by a couple guards in the middle rounds.

  55. BucEmUp Says:

    They won’t win the Super Bowl…they won’t even go to the superbowl. Wont happen this season. Officials and the league won’t have it. Maybe next season though. Still should be fun to watch

  56. BucEmUp Says:

    This would be so stupid to waste a first round pick on a rb

  57. QUE589 Says:

    Round 1 – OT
    Round 2 – RB
    Round 2 – WR (trade back into 2nd rd)
    Round 4 – G
    Round 5 – DT

    Free agent – Suh, Dotson or Peters, Jefferson or Randall, Hyde

  58. WestChap Says:

    Haven’t heard anyone say there’s a RB worthy of #14… trade back for more picks? I would think misguided to do anything but OL/QB with first 2 picks but if you can create more by trading back I guess a high conviction RB would be ok.

  59. Bucs Guy Says:

    Good thing the Bucs cancelled the draft party, because there would be a lot “boos” if the Bucs took a RB in the 1st rd. Get Dion Lewis in FA and AJ Dillon in the 4th. RB problem solved.

  60. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    If we do not solve the need at RT by the draft, then we had better take one in the first round, even if we have to reach. Because the guy we reach for will not be there for our second pick.

    Unless Tua falls to us. Then we take Tua and get a RT in round 2.

    I could care less about RB before that.

  61. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    BucEmUp Says
    “They won’t win the Super Bowl…they won’t even go to the superbowl.”

    Bet you change that tune after the season starts…

  62. ManzielMadness Says:

    Ndog Says:
    March 25th, 2020 at 10:30 am
    God help us in 2022, we better walk away from the next two years with 3 trophies in the case or this was a massive failure.

    Lol 3 SB’s in two years???? Where’d you take math classes??? FSU??

  63. Jim Says:

    Get Clyde Edwards-H, and leave the doggie alone; he’s not well…

  64. lambchop Says:

    Brady himself has said he wants a pass-catching RB. He didn’t even mention the OL.

    Get a pass-catching RB who can run and pick up a block or two.

  65. buc15 Says:

    Can Akers in the 2nd

  66. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Agree Swift may be a great player but he’s no Saquon. Barkly is a rare back that would have enjoyed drafting…we had other needs and drafted too low.

    I thought Dalvin might have been worth a first round pick…I just don’t see many RB’s I want in the first round.

  67. Buczilla Says:

    My favorite running back in this draft is Jonathan Taylor from Wisconsin and he is a monster. I won’t cry if we take him at 14. Old Man Brady is a sloth in the pocket compared to Winston, so a strong running game will help.