Burning Question

May 7th, 2020

Bucs RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn.

A lot of folks are talking playoffs and beyond for the Bucs this year.

Call Joe simple-minded, but Joe’s just worried about a damn ground game. It’s been years since the Bucs had one that lasted more than one season.

You might think to go back to Cadillac Williams’ days, but he was injury-prone so you have to hit the wayback button to when Mike Alstott was still trucking corners.

So when the Bucs drafted Ke’Shawn Vaughn in the third-round this year, let’s just say the jury is out. Joe has all too fresh memories of Bucs running backs putting up less than ideal numbers.

Marc Sessler of NFL.com asks, can Vaughn be the final piece to the puzzle for a talented Bucs team?

Have the Bucs unearthed a plug-and-play passing-down back?

Before the draft, coach Bruce Arians emphasized the need for a “wide receiver threat” in the backfield, presumably a runner in the mold of James White for Tom Brady to fling darts to in space.

… Vaughn is a strong candidate to steal work away from veteran Ronald Jones as a “downhill, north-south runner [who] doesn’t mess around very much with moving side to side,” per ESPN’s Louis Riddick. Showing growth in the passing game at Vanderbilt, Vaughn was labeled as an “every down” player by Arians, who went on to praise seventh-rounder Raymond Calais as “very smaller version but much faster version of David Johnson.”

Here’s where we remind you that White caught 159 passes from Brady over the past two regular seasons — with another 25 in the postseason. Arians isn’t afraid to lean on rookies. In a clipped offseason, though, it’s fair to wonder if the win-now Bucs could be tempted by a juicy veteran cut come summer.

The way Joe looks at it, if Vaughn really is “that guy,” this past draft will likely be grade an “A.”

Who didn’t like the selection of Tristan Wirfs? And so many, including Joe, think safety Antoine Winfield was a steal in the second round.

19 Responses to “Burning Question”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Rojo is the “go to” back that we didn’t “go to”….

    His 4.2 yards per carry projected at 15 carries per game would give him 1008 yards….

    Sure, we need extra backs….but Rojo was virtually unused.

    And….we can wonder, speculate, pontificate and debate….but it will be months before we know what we have in Vaughn.

  2. dmatt Says:

    I believe in Keshawn Vaughn just as I believe in RoJo. They’re different in their own way with their own style but will compliment each other. RoJo is a Smaller version of a Legarrette Blount but faster n Keshawn is a version of a Ray Rice/Mark Ingram type with a beast mode attitude on the field. One thing I admire about him is he’s more concerned about just playing the game n playing hard to the end versus playing for an elite power house with 4 n 5 star players. He gives 110% despite the score. The odds have been against Keshawn since coming out of high school n he proved everyone wrong each time. He had a monster game against LSU in 2019 n also against some of the top defenses in the SEC like Georgia, Florida, n Big 12 Baylor in the bowl game. Keyshawn will check in, check down n will not let us down n check out. We have a one two punch in RoJo n KV.

  3. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    I know nothing about Vaughn so to call him a bad pick would be ignorant. I look forward to seeing what the young man can do on the field. I wanted Dobbins but Winfield may be an important piece we needed in a secondary that has struggled for years.

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I won’t believe Arians will make much use of RBs until I see it. Then again, I suspect Tom will change plays quit a bit.

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

    =’s Earnest Graham

  6. K2 Says:

    I was watching a little tape. This so called slow guys runs away for defenders and was a track star???? He fumbled twice in 4 years? His best games were against the best competition. Sounds like a real problem???

  7. Destinjohnny Says:

    I feel that dobbins and Akers were unreal backs…
    I wouldn’t have passed on dobbins

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I don’t see how the Bucs could’ve done much more to boost the run game when they added Wirfs and Gronk , unless you’d rather have Dobbins or Akers instead of Winfield Jr.
    I’d rather have a good safety.

  9. LordCornelius Says:

    I think he may be the most polarizing RB in this class.

    I read on some other site that some teams called the Bucs saying he was their #3 back in this class. Others had him ranked super low.

    Some analysts say he is great in pass pro and catching.
    Some say he is not great in pass pro or catching lol.

    In general the primary pluses for me:

    1 – enough size / speed to be a 3 down back
    2 – 2 years of SEC production against elite competition while having a horrific O-line
    3 – alpha dog type mentality and very smart player

    This guy doesn’t sound like he’ll be a ROJO type who needs a year to learn a playbook. If he fails it’s because we missed on the talent evaluation and he doesn’t actually pass protect well / run routes and catch well.

  10. tbbucs3 Says:

    I just hope Winfield Jr becomes the next Earl Thomas….

    Just not off the field.

  11. Buc4evr Says:

    I think the ground game will be improved this year. I’m actually more worried about a kicker that can’t reliably make an extra point and pushes short FG’s. One of the biggest reasons for losing close games.

  12. TOM Says:

    Destinjohnny: I agree about Dobbins. The Bucs should not have passed on him or Akers for that matter. To me safety was not a high priority as RB. I do believe Dobbins will be better than Elliott. But time will tell.

  13. Tom S. Says:

    Vaughn shouldn’t take a year to adjust to the NFL like Rojo did, in part because he’s 3 months older than Rojo is despite being drafted less than two weeks ago.

    Vaughn’s film reminds me a bit of Charles Sims, a linear one cut/tight hipped runner who isn’t going to make too many people miss who maxed out his college eligibility after transferring schools with more of a nose for the inside run and less of a 3rd down receiving back than Sims was. A smooth runner who looks good when he gets a seam or a hole to run through but is going to be dropped if someone has a bead on him.

    Now why Jason Licht would like to repeat using a 3rd round pick on a player who oddly resembles his 3rd round pick from 2014 whom he drafted over far more productive players like Devonta Freeman and Pro Bowl Guard Trai Turner that’s for him to explain.

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    Better OL play, more balanced offensive attack, better decision-making, these should aid the run-game.
    I hope the young fella busts out. It’d be so fun to watch.

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    ^^^That goes for Rojo too!

  16. rrsrq Says:

    I am looking for a Jonathan Stewart and Deangelo Williams kind of tandem between ROJO and KeShAwn, it’s simple as that. Both will flourish with ROJO getting the bulk of the load, I would settle for that really good year with Martin and Sims

  17. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Did anybody see Calais self video of him catching passes? He made some very impressive down field catches one an over the shoulder bomb. That right there might be the secret weapon. He can quickly get behind the backers as fast as he is.

  18. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Ha ha on the mod squad!😛😜😛

  19. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    With so many of us (myself included) being so skeptical of Vaughn getting picked in round 3 watch this guy end up playing with a chip on his shoulder and be the biggest rookie contributor for the Bucs this season. I’d be more than happy to replace my earlier comments of Vaughn being a bit of a reach in round 3 with “A+ Jason! Vaughn was the biggest steal in the whole damned Bucs draft class!” I hope it plays out like that anyway. 🙂