RB Evaluation Back In The Spotlight

August 3rd, 2020

It’s somewhat ironic how Round 5 of the 2017 NFL Draft played out.

The Bucs got their running back at No. 162 overall. The next RB off the board, 17 picks later, went to Bruce Arians in Arizona, before the Packers stepped up to draft a standout stud back.

The latter was Aaron Jones, the Packers’ do-it-all, 1,000-yard rusher. Arians’ guy is current Bucs backup T.J. Logan. Jason Licht’s guy, well, he’s had seven NFL teams and four career yards.

The Bucs’ struggles evaluating running backs have been well documented.

Last year, Andre Ellington was Arians’ veteran running back of choice to stabilize his young backfield and be a third-down presence for Jameis Winston. He didn’t make the team — or any other team.

Now the Bucs have added third- and seventh-round picks to bolster the run game, and 32-year-old LeSean McCoy.

Joe’s got a load of optimism for those moves, but the Arians-Licht tandem doesn’t exactly inspire confidence when it comes to running backs. Arians struck gold with David Johnson in Arizona but never developed anything behind him. In 2017, without Johnson, the Cardinals ranked 30th in rushing and Arians retired.

The streak of backfield woes has to end this season for the Bucs. They certainly don’t need to be spectacular, but they’ll need to be at least decent to get where they want to go.

If the Bucs run game is a drag-you-down area again, why would Team Glazer trust these guys to get it right next year?

16 Responses to “RB Evaluation Back In The Spotlight”

  1. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    The running game will be fine. Rojo is another year older, McCoy still has some tread left and Vaughn excelled against SEC defenses. Also – TB12 makes average RB’s better.

  2. CrackerBall Says:

    Hey now, don’t sell us short… we struggle at most player evaluations. Especially egregious in the 2nd Round for some reason.

  3. Buc4evr Says:

    Look at the bright side, at least we didn’t draft a kicker in the second round this year….

  4. PSL Bob Says:

    Agree, I think we’ll be fine. With Brady at the helm, we’re going to see a lot more check downs this year than usual. So, whatever backs are in, they need to sharpen their receiving skills. To be effective a good RB needs to be both a good runner and good receiver.

  5. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    RB position for rookies is the easiest to learn and to excel. In the past few years we have seen RBs drafted from the 2nd – 5th round do well – better than any other offensive position drafted. If Rojo and McCoy does not pan out, both Vaughn or Calais may be a home run draft pick. Not too worried – more concerned with depth at both lines.

  6. gp Says:

    With a field general in charge who can read a defense and know when to check in to or out of a play…
    I think there’s less to be concerned with at individual positions offensively, because they will be put into better position to succeed each and every play

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Hey man!!!

    If Rojo had just 15 carries per game he would have gained 1008 yards….

    And….I think the Coaches evaluated Ellington perfectly….they brought him in because of his past performances…….gave him a shot….evaluated him & dumped him…..

  8. SteelStudBuc Says:

    ROJO is getting better. He should be improved this year.

  9. Marc J Parker Says:

    Call me crazy, but I think Dare could be a sneaky good back for Brady.

  10. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I share all the luv for ROJO. He’s got something else going for him. Vaughn if he gets healthy in time should push him for playing time. In a dream world these guys would both push each other into stardom. There has always been room for a talented RB by committee.

  11. Stanglassman Says:

    It’s well documented that Arians had RB Ameer Abdullah on the phone congratulating him as a cardinal when Detroit was still on the board and got him. David Johnson was the backup plan. Got me thinking maybe BA should always go with his 2nd choice at Rb.

  12. BucEmUp Says:

    Teams with good running backs are teams that are not predictable and teams who give the majority of the work to the more talented backs.

    The Bucs gave the majority of work to their 3rd string rb. This isn’t some crazy puzzle, its simple.

    Stop running it up the middle on first down more than any team in the league, and give your most talented back the ball more than any other back.


  13. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Brady’s innate abilities will improve our running game. We no longer have Jay Miss to poop the bed! Now he’ll poop the bed, and never see the field, in NOLA.

  14. dave Says:

    The presence of Brady with these TEs and WRs renders the RB not quite as important. Just having Brady there makes the run game better.
    I think the rookie and McCoy push ROJO as well.

    Like Joe said, they don’t need a 1500 yd stud, they just need the threat there and, most importantly, backs that can block, release, and catch

  15. gp Says:

    **Like Joe said, they don’t need a 1500 yd stud, they just need the threat there and, most importantly, backs that can block, release, and catch**

    I’m thinking, between three backs, they’ll have about 3000 all purpose yards.
    Enough of a threat for you?

  16. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    “The Bucs’ struggles evaluating running backs have been well documented”

    It is hard to imagine, but the Bucs ability to evaluate DEs for the draft is worse