What RB To Get

March 20th, 2020

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

[UPDATE: 9:05 a.m.] Joe has been harping on this for years. Sooner or later, doesn’t someone over at One Buc Palace have to sit in a meeting and say, “You know, perhaps we could use a running back?”

Unfortunately, the Bucs have only seriously attempted to draft one running back in recent years (don’t get Joe started on Snoop Dawg McPlaybook). And that is Ronald Jones.

Jones is a meh player. His ceiling is just OK. He’s had many chances to break out and prove he can put a team on his shoulders.

Only once has Jones run for more than 80 yards in a game. Once! And that was the final game of the 2019 season, his lone 100-yard game in two seasons.


Others believe the Bucs need a running back as well. Take NFL insider Josina Anderson of BSPN.

But who is out there for the taking? Arthritis-ridden Todd Gurley? Three-down back Melvin Gordon? Devonta Freeman?

Personally, Joe may take Freeman, though his yards-per-carry really dropped off after he got paid. His 2018 season was a virtual wash as he lasted only two games.

Joe doesn’t know if there is an answer in free agency. But let’s say if you add Cam Akers (who has proven he can produce behind a truly horrendous offensive line) and Freeman together with Jones, perhaps the Bucs will be set at running back for 2020?

[UPDATE: 9:05 a.m.] Todd Gurley signed with the Dixie Chicks (Falcons) this morning.

70 Responses to “What RB To Get”

  1. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Draft RB in deep class. Defensive line needs to be addressed and right tackle. Much more important issues….

  2. Matt Says:

    Jones had many good runs called back, he’s poised for a huge breakout season with Tom Brady’s hurry-up offense and him always checking to a running play when he has 2 high safeties. If we can come away with one of the top 3 tackles and grab one more flexible/swing lineman for depth we will have a historically good playaction game. Freeman sounds great bc can run great routes. This offense will be so prolific you can go ahead and start looking for a replacement for Leftwich because he’s about to get way too much credit for what’s about to happen.

  3. Pewter power Says:

    Give me a break Freeman is straight trash and might as well draft than to pay big money for players teams are just figuring out what we already know

    This is a pass first offense the cap space is needed for other things. Wanting Freeman based on 2017 is a joke dude was injured then rojo went and had a better season last year gtfoh.

  4. Buc_You-2 Says:

    Agreed we need to upgrade the o-line first.

  5. '79 Defense Says:

    This has been gone over a thousand times, and I know Winston didn’t help himself in many ways, but what incredibly bad support/bad freaking luck he had with:

    1)defense blowing leads
    2)kickers (purposefully backing up Gay for the kick against the Giants is still one of my all time favorite Bucs “you can’t make this stuff up” moments
    3)zero run game
    4)Having to wear that uniform his whole time here

  6. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Yeah, whoever calls Jones’ ceiling “meh” is crazy. Jones’ problem is he’s TOO good of an athlete, for what he can figure out to do with it. I’ve almost never seen a more explosive “clumsy” player, almost like a champion racehorse who was just born. Weirdly enough, OJ falls in this category as well.

  7. ModHairKen Says:

    First, fix O Line. Need RT. Then, Taylor or Akers. And get Jalen Hurts in 2nd or 3rd round.

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    Gurley and Freeman were released. That says quite a bit, IMO. Salary? Sure, but make no mistake, if either were highly productive they’d still be with their respective teams. I wouldn’t bet the bank on either, not when there’s good RB talent in the draft.
    A better scenario would be to sign a 3rd down receiving back like a Dion Lewis and draft JK Dobbins.

  9. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    PS, the ironic thing is considering our needs, I swear Jones would be a better safety.

  10. ModHairKen Says:

    Also, this Offense is no longer whatever it was. It is now Brady’s Offense. It will be molded to him. Leftwich ain’t calling plays.

  11. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    Akers in the third round. Go Bucs!

  12. BucEmUp Says:

    I wouldnt mind Melvin Gordon on a cost friendly two year but rojo can do the job if he is goven a bell cow workload.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Forget free agent RBs; too expensive & most have been beaten up anyways. Deep draft & I’d love to see us take TWO RBs this year. Use our 2nd Rnd pick on Dobbins, Taylor, Moss or Akers. Use one of our 4th Rnd picks on AJ Dillon (hopefully he’s still there in the 4th). Those 2 rookies, paired with RoJo plus TJ Logan as a return man should give us a pretty well-rounded stable of RBs at minimal cost. Combine that with drafting a Tackle in Rnd 1 & Bucs should be able to improve our running game significantly this year.

    The fly in the ointment could well be our QB situation now. IF we end up drafting a QB in Rnd 1, everything else slides. Then it’d hopefully be Tackle in Rnd 2 & RB in Rnd 3. And BOTH of them would need to be starters. That’s a big ask.

  14. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Forget free agency. Just draft one in the middle rounds.

  15. Bird Says:

    Did anyone watch the bucs vs rams replay game last night on NFL network

    Rojo had a dang good game
    He will be better

    Also, i think a lot of teams stacked the box against bucs (to stop the run) to make the bucs one dimensional …Make jameis beat you…

    Teams cannot do that against brady …he will slice and dice you…even if its not throwing the ball as far down field as people keep saying on here…his play action has been really effective for years …this will open running game …


    Based on running backs out there …melvin gordon is only running back worth a dang. He held out so got late start which showed up on field … Get dobbins in second round or may favorite may be the RB from LSU. He runs like a bowling ball.

    Gurley has arthritic knees. Stay away from him unless he is dirt cheap

  16. NOLES Says:

    I like Akers but don’t think he will make it back to us in 3rd rd. Most mocks I have seen have him ahead of Jonathan Taylor ( his # of carries in college scares GM’s).

    Freeman was great before his last injury and he appears to have lost a step or two hence his release & same w Gurley.

    Draft a RB and sign a 3rd back like Chris Thompson to pair w Bradys screen game..

    Is there a RG available in FA still that is worth signing. Then we can draft a RT and have Cappa back up the RT.

    This would give us some flexibility in the draft with our 2nd & 3rd picks. If Cam Akers slides to us in 3rd they should pounce on him. Lol..

  17. Bird Says:

    And this whole fear over brady not signing yet ?


    There is basically no air travel over US right now. They had to agree on some dr in new york where he lives .

    New york is basically stay in your houses

    I think someone already posted but physical has been performed.

  18. Bird Says:

    Defense rules

    Yah…your plan makes sense…i do not disagree

  19. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Ahhhh here we go again with FSU fans advocating for more FSU players

  20. Buczilla Says:

    We got Brady which proves that miracles can happen. Maybe lighting will strike twice and we land a running back that is an actual threat to defenses?

  21. Old Sombrero Kid Says:

    Go get Kareem hunt for the second round pick. Already proven

  22. SkBucsFan Says:

    Maybe draft one with one of the 4th round picks. RB’s are a dime a dozen. Even studs are good for a year or two then they decline. Wouldn’t it be easier to design some plays around Jones’ skills as opposed to wasting a high draft pick again?

  23. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Gordon would probably be the safest pick out of the three but even then I think we’d do better drafting one, maybe two. More value for the cost.

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Swift, Taylor, Dobbins or Akers…….

    Rojo will have a breakout year…

    No need to pay big money for a FA RB…..now, if we can get one on the cheap….OK.

  25. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    ROJO was 2nd in the league in 20+ yard runs per attempt , but you need an actual commitment to the running game to accrue major yardage , BA has no such commitment. ROJO is getting better and will blossom mightily this year , so do not see RB as a big area of need. RT is a HUGE area of need and should be addressed by signing All Pro Jack Conklin or proven starter Germain Ifedi. Licht could have signed Brandon Shell for about 5 million a year , but it is too late for that now. Quit jacking around and sitting on your laurels for signing Brady(Oh Sorry Brady has NOT signed yet) , and sign a proven RT.

  26. Alanbucsfan Says:

    If Bucs don’t draft Jonathan Taylor, Joe will be writing about it for years

  27. SkBucsFan Says:

    You are right BucsFanSince1976. BA has a history of not caring for the running game. The O-Line upgrade would have a far bigger impact than a running back. Unfortunate I have little faith in Lichts ability to recognize this as the best solution.

  28. Stevebobucsfan Says:

    As I have said several times on this site, I see Arians going RB or OL at 14. Which every one has the highest value on the Bucs draft board. Then the other in the second round. I am pretty sure Arians will go QB in the 3rd that will sit behind Brady for 2 years. The other rounds I think Arians stack up depth players, OL, DL and safety

  29. SmoothBayRider Says:

    Of course this Joe would draft the FSU guy . This Joe only sees through garnet and gold colored lenses .

  30. Robert Says:

    none, we have a solid RB roster. stop living in the past.

  31. Bucnjim5656 Says:

    Teams will not be able to stack the box with Brady because of his accuracy. This will immediately open up lanes for whoever is our starting RB. Last year the opposing defenses camped out at the line of scrimmage forcing us to win throwing the ball.

  32. THETRUTH Says:

    Joe you smart enough you know you can’t count first season of Jones based on 23 carries , that’s your attempt to make his numbers look bad. Than you mention freeman who has more games played and less yards in 2 years. JW is a nah players at best.

    Deft Akers I like that idea , we don’t need to add Injured or worn down backs

  33. TOM Says:

    Bucsfanman: I agree 100%. I would also add Akers. Bucs need to use the money on more of there FA’s

  34. SmoothBayRider Says:

    So saying Joe sees the world through garnet and gold lenses gets your comment deleted . What a joke .

  35. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Lol Bucsfan’76 Conklin was signed several days ago by the Browns. Not sure how you missed that.

  36. Jonzey Says:

    OT I the 1st, QB in the 2nd behind Brady, RB in he 3rd pairing up with RoJo, WR & DL in the 4th. We can also move down with Miami in the first for their 2nd rd pick. 1st OT, 2nd RB & QB, 3rd WR, 4th S & DT, OT

  37. Easy Says:

    Melvin Gordon is the only one I would take a chance on.

  38. Sappattack Says:

    Everyone be safe with the CV floating

  39. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    ‘Arthritis-ridden Todd Gurley’

    The man had one down year. One. I’d rather gamble on him than any of the other free agents.

    But in regard to Rojo, Joe, you’re not really being fair in counting his first year against him because he was barely on the field. Why? Because Koetter had a guy he was committed to and did not want to admit he was wrong.

    You may as well count year two as his rookie year.

    2019 he had 724 yards, with over 4 yards per carry average. He also had 309 yards receiving. That put him at 1033 TOTAL YARDS.

    That’s with an offensive line that couldn’t run block.

    It’s called development. Now that he has regained his confidence after Koetter destroyed it, the kid will get even better.

    But that’s okay. Truthfully, if you didn’t push for a running back I would think the world was ending. It’s an annual tradition at this point, lol.

  40. Hodad Says:

    Draft a RB in a deep class. Sign a FA RB for a one year prove it deal as your third back. Playing fantasy football you know you can’t have enough good backs. Jones, a rookie, and a back like Gurley on the cheap, away we go! Even if Todd can’t carry the load anymore, he could still give you great value in the redzone.

  41. Hodad Says:

    Just think of having Gurley as your back on just redzone plays. You’d keep him fresh all year that way. He can pass block, run it, catch it, he’d be a redzone nightmare opening up scoring opportunities for everyone else. That would be worth a few million on a one year deal.

  42. Jim Says:

    Draft Clyde, LSU…

  43. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Last I checked, Ronald Jones is still only 22 years old. Yes, you read that right, 22! His rookie year he barely got on the field, and when he did he was hit behind the line of scrimmage. Last year was essentially his rookie year, and he still played behind a poor run blocking like with poor run game playcalling. We don’t know his ceiling!!! He dominated at USC, and flashed last year. HE’S ONLY 22. I agree we need depth, but there’s no reason to believe he can’t have a breakout year. Draft an RB in the 3rd for depth (Akers, Perrine, Moss) and stop bitching.

  44. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Ok, have you guys watched film of the top 4 RBs in this draft? What you should do is watch all of them and then for comparison pull up Fournette’s LSU highlights. None of these RBs should be taken before the 3rd round. I mean Fournette was ELITE and it is immediately clear how much better a prospect he was than all these guys. I would like a solid RB group, but none of these guys are particularly special.

  45. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Hard pass on Gurley. He hasn’t been right since that shootout game with the Chiefs.

    And everybody knows it. Draft a young cheap RB, maybe two.

  46. rrsrq Says:

    Give ROjO a real opportunity and we will all say Run ROjO Run. Add either Dion Lewis or Chris Thompson (both third down back and good at pass protection and screens, then draft Clyde, Cam, Deejay or Dillon

  47. rrsrq Says:

    Gurley is signing with the dirty birds

  48. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    I wouldn’t count RoJo out so quickly. Some really good RB’s took a year or two to put it all together. Melvin Gordon didn’t do a lot in his rookie season and Derrick Henry took almost 3 seasons before finally being a consistent one man wrecking ball. Based on the year two progress he displayed I really think you’ll see this year being RoJo’s coming out party and be “the guy”. I certainly agree with the wisdom at adding a 3rd down/change of pace RB via FA or draft, but I hope the Bucs don’t invest too much cap or draft capital at the position when OL upgrades/depth are a more pressing need.

  49. Joe Says:

    Of course this Joe would draft the FSU guy . This Joe only sees through garnet and gold colored lenses .

    Do you really give a sh!t where a guy went to college if he can produce on an NFL level? Joe mentioned Akers for the very reason Joe cited the guy: He has shown he can produce despite playing on a team that had a truly horrible offensive line?

    Or do you prefer a guy who needs a 10-yard wide hole to gain four yards because he went to (fill in the blank) school?

  50. Joe Says:

    Did anyone watch the bucs vs rams replay game last night on NFL network


    Hope Jones is better. You know what Joe thinks of “hope.” 🙂

  51. Guzzie Says:

    Really like Antonio Gibson, 4.39 at 6 228, ridiculous athleticism, played both WR and RB, limited usage in college, but production was .massive, 19 yards per catch, 11 yards per carry, 30 yards per kickoff return, easily available late 3rd or early 4th, pair him with Rojo watch out

  52. Jeagan1999 Says:

    I love AJ Dillon out of Boston College. He is a Derrick Henry clone…6”1’, 245lbs with good speed and power! This kid is not just a straight up the gut runner, either, he has some wiggle, and despite his size, he is fast enough to bounce runs to the outside.

    I think he will be available early in the 3rd round and he would be a great addition to the team. Brady would love working with a “Lagarette Blount” type power back again.

  53. Guzzie Says:

    I’m good with Dobbins, Akers, Gibson, or Dillon, Taylor will be a late 1st no thanks, unless we trade back a couple of times

  54. SkBucsFan Says:

    Gurley is signing with the Falcons. Thank goodness we dodged a bullet there.

  55. Craig Says:

    Draft the best fit in the second round. That would be Dobbins or Taylor.

    RoJo seems to need someone to open a hole for him. That might work better this season if we get a corn fed run blocking RT.

    Akers is too much like RoJo, maybe a bit quicker, but not enough to matter.

    No need to get a FA RB who isn’t worth last year’s contract $

  56. D-Rome Says:

    Todd Gurley signed with the Dixie Chicks (Falcons)

    I find it funny that you had to put Falcons in parenthesis because of (presumably) all the new readers to your site.

    Congrats to you as well, Joe. Glad to see business is booming for you (as usual).

  57. geno711 Says:

    Mostly think we need to get a draft running back and supplement that with a lower price free agent.

    I have been harping on Deion Lewis for a week if we did get Brady. In his 2017 year in New England, he caught 32 of 35 targets from Tom Brady.

    Not a savior but a guy that will know Brady’s system and can help others with how Tom Brady does things.

  58. catcard202 Says:

    No FA RB, please…Too much $$ to put-out, when good ones will be available on Day2/3 @ rookie contract prices.

  59. VegasBuc Says:

    We just signed former Colts OL Joe Haeg. Bucs still at work

  60. lowercaseg Says:

    I think we trade our 2nd rd pick to trade back into the first for a RB

  61. 541BucsFan Says:

    The Josinah Anderson is commenting on the Bucs. You know we’ve made it big. The Josinah Anderson, wow.

  62. Bird Says:


    In regards to hope 😂
    I hope you cheer up a bit
    Join the party man !

    The GOAT is coming
    Tb to Tb
    And all his free agent friends

  63. Oneilbucs Says:

    Bucj55 teams have never stacked the box up on us . That was the hold problem with Jamies with this offense .

  64. Hethrew 30 Says:

    lowercaseg…did you mean trade third round and use 2nd to move into 1st?

    Me, never really think high pick for a RB is good use.

  65. Hethrew 30 Says:

    Joe should just use “TB12 GOAT” as the handle and leave it at that.

  66. BucHead588 Says:

    Joe is Sleeping on Rojo he should plenty of times that he can produce I mean for a kid who had what 47 yards his rookie year to come in his 2nd year have over 700 yards rush an over 300 yards Rec an Avg 4.2 YPC with 6 rushing TDs I only expect him to continue to improve I mean the kid was 20 when he was Drafted let the Kid develop an grow to many people are quick to call a player a bust an give up on them I mean calm down I remember back in the Day rookies didn’t even hit the Field much now it’s nothing to see a UDFA come in an get some starts let Jones Develop man he’s going to be a problem this year honestly the way Dirk let him ride the pine i didn’t even look at it like he was on the team I consider last year his rookie year

  67. cgmaster27 Says:

    I love all the triggered fans at the mere mention of Cam Akers. The guy is a beast , you sound like salty gaytor fans., Remember when Joe and FSU fans were saying how good Brian burns would be? Heard the same anti Nole chat from you all then too. Get over yourselves and your hate for Jameis. Cam Akers would be a beast here behind this line.

  68. BigStickBuc Says:

    What about Duke Johnson who could probably be had for the cheap since the Texans just got David Johnson, or Chris Thompson from WAS who I believe is a FA now.

  69. CalBucsFan Says:

    Not every need should be filled by free agency Joe, Bucs don’t have that much cap space!

    Besides, there are plenty of good RBs in the draft this year, so they should draft the best available OLman and RB with their first 2 picks, and don’t care which comes first.

  70. Matt B Says:

    So tired of the lack of Rojo love on this site. The run blocking has stunk for years. Tons of negative plays when guys have been hit in the backfield hurting yards per carry. Then there is the whole playing from behind thing limiting the carries necessary for 100-yard games.