Draft Could Surprise

April 19th, 2021

Not a crazy pick.

Joe understands some readers get frustrated and angry when Joe suggests the Bucs should draft Clemson running back Travis Etienne with the 32nd pick of the draft next week — yes, next week!

They argue the Bucs are so deep at running back.

Well, yes, the Bucs are deep at running back, but not for long, Joe maintains. And one reason Joe is good with drafting Etienne — or even Javonte Williams of North Carolina — is spelled out in the devil of the details in a piece typed by Michael Baca of NFL.com.

Baca believes last week’s signing of Giovani Bernard and his mustache was thus far the best offseason signing by Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht.

Bernard’s recent signing fits this category by default, considering he’s the only new free-agent added by the Bucs so far. Bernard is a proven, do-it-all running back who can run, catch and pass protect. It’s no surprise the 29-year-old’s services were reportedly sought out by coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Tom Brady. Bernard joins a crowded RB room led by Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones, but he’s sure to find his role amid a rigorous 17-game schedule.

Forget the 17-game schedule for a moment, which is the new NFL norm, but the Bucs (not factoring in Bernard) easily could lose 78 percent of the carries from a Super Bowl-winning season, as Ronald Jones, Playoff Lenny and Bernard will have their contracts expire after the 2021 season.

It’s not a stretch at all that next April, the best running back on the roster could be Ke’Shawn Vaughn. And so far, he hasn’t shown Joe near enough to be trusted with the keys to the family car for 17 trips around town.

47 Responses to “Draft Could Surprise”

  1. Steven007 Says:

    If Etienne or Williams is the best player available when we pick I’m sure that will be the choice.

  2. Bucanero Says:

    Best free agent signing was Shaq hands down and the list goes on and on before Gio Bernard. Nice addition nevertheless.

    Does Joe wants Bucs to trade down and grab his crush in the 2nd or Joe can’t wait and wants the Bucs to pull the trigger at 32? I think there’s a good chance him or Williams will be available if we trade down.

  3. David Says:

    I love Travis E!
    If they are able to draft him by grading down a little and still getting DL, LB, OL and wide receiver/return man in the first 4 rounds…. especially DL where Suh & Gholston are up there in age, I’m all for it.

    If they don’t trade back to accomplish that, I just can’t see it happening.

    I think Lenny or Rojo will be re-signed but not both. It depends on who emerges as a more reliable blocker and receiver. I hope it’s Rojo, I think he is a much better runner (I would have never said that prior to last season. Rojo has improved greatly)

  4. TampaTown Says:

    Joe – you have to find a way to quit this guy. Please.

  5. BucsFanFromSaintsLand Says:

    Jesus Christ…..enough!!!!

  6. Joe Says:

    Does Joe wants Bucs to trade down and grab his crush in the 2nd or Joe can’t wait and wants the Bucs to pull the trigger at 32?

    Actually expect Licht to trade back.

  7. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    We got Fournette off the street last year. We snagged Gio this year. It’s not hard to find RBs. No need to draft one this year. We can see what Vaughn can do, and sign and draft RB next year. Easy Peazy.

  8. SKBucsFan Says:

    True. The Bucs will lose an RB or 2 next year. But 2 of the 3 were free agent signings. There will be plenty more where they came from. Don’t waste a high pick on an RB. Almost as bad as drafting a kicker.

  9. SOEbuc Says:


    Sounds like you already got RoJo and Fournette and Bernard in the lockbox to be dumped next year. If Bernard turns out to be the talented pass catching RB they scouted, there will be less. You can’t trust Vaughn, who will have more touches this year. I wouldn’t count on it Joe but I’ve seen crazier sh!t in the draft, especially through the decade of depression.

    They’ve had multiple meetings with UCLA RB/WR Demetric Felton. He is depth at both positions. Dynamic and versatile. Potential threat in the return game. Round five.

  10. Joe Says:

    We got Fournette off the street last year.

    Sure. And how often do teams throw away a top-five pick in September?

    So you hope — there’s that vile four-letter word again — another team is as stupid as the Jags and throws a top-five pick to the curb? Not sure the Giants are going to toss Saquon Barkley overboard next fall.

  11. Joe Says:

    Jesus Christ…..enough!!!!

    Buckle up buttercup. This won’t be the last time Joe mentions drafting a running back between now and next Thursday night.

  12. SOEbuc Says:

    C Creed Humphrey is the BPA for the Bucs at 32 or maybe the early second. A year under Brady and Jensen and I guarantee another lights out young olineman. OL coaching is too good to not be building the trenches right now.

  13. JGhotier Says:

    Anyone like Michael Carter better than Williams?

  14. JGhotier Says:

    Anyone else like Michael Carter better than Williams anyways?

  15. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I wish I had a little more say-so in the Bucs picks, the Bucs wouldn’t have drafted VH3 or MJ Stewart before the 4th Round. Hahaha, just kidding. Whoever the Bucs pick, at whatever position, I’ll sleep well knowing they know more about the draft picks than I do.

  16. Hawk Says:

    If Vaughn ” hasn’t shown Joe near enough to be trusted”, what makes you think Etienne/Williams will be able to, when they are playing behind RoJo, Lenny, and Bernard? Of course, maybe he’ll look good in those preseason games that Joe loves. lol

  17. Bruce Blahak Says:

    4 backs and add another? Its win now, not 2022. Guaranteed Licht passes on backs. Like the humphrey call on #1 pick. Fortify the lines and back 7.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Running back is next year’s problem, if then. Right now we could use more DLine depth or even LB depth. Or even DB depth. Or QB depth.

    Almost every mock draft I open lately has the Bucs selecting DT Christian Barmore from Bama with our #32 pick. Personally wish he’d returned to Bama for 1 more year because he’s still raw IMO, but I got a hunch that Suh & McLendon could help him mature real fast as a Buc. Could end up being a nice complement to Vea after this year.

    I don’t see any 3-4 DEs in this year’s draft class worthy of a 1st Rnd pick, but there are several 3-4 OLBs who could be. Guys like Kwity Paye (6’4″ & 277 lbs) from Michigan, Jaelan Phillips (6’5″ & 266 lbs) from Miami, Gregory Rousseau (6’6″ & 260 lbs) from Miami, Zaven Collins (6’4″ & 256 lbs) from Tulsa, and Jayson Oweh (6’4″ & 257 lbs) from Penn State all seem to be bonafide 1st Rnd candidates. One or two of them may very well still be available at #32.

  19. Lakelandsteve Says:

    Joe looks like I might be one of the few who agree this might happen. I would prefer we took another position with the first pick but I can see you working here. First off if you can get a top running back with pick 32 you have him for five years if you pick up his fifth year option. Secondly, and maybe more importantly probably RoJo and Fournette are gone next year and possibly Bernard is one and done. Here is the shocker, do not be surprised if the Bucs do draft a back in the first round and RoJo gets traded for a draft pick. Either 3’rd or 4’th this year or they could possibly scoop a 2’nd round pick from a running back needy team in 2022 draft. RoJo is relatively cheap compared to Fournette this year and he almost had 1000 yards rushing last year. A lot of people would be furious but this could end up being a brilliant move by Licht. A lot of people were furious when we drafted Vita Vea and we all know how that turned out. So Joe I don’t think you may be far off base here.

  20. Bucsfanman Says:

    There’s a good reason people keep bringing this up. Two words: “IMPACT PLAYER.”
    I guess I’m confused as to why we wouldn’t want Etienne. Are we to draft solely for depth then?
    There are few players that would have more impact, #1. #2 why not improve the position regardless? It’s not like we can’t move on from Rojo or Fournette.
    I guess it’s the uniqueness of being able to draft BPA that has a lot of folks guessing. Me included.

  21. Capt.Tim Says:

    Why waste a pick on a RB?
    We found Fournette and Bernard walking the street.
    Backs arent hard to find. At all.
    Whats hard to find is pass rushers.
    Or Offensive linemen.
    Or DTs.

    Draft what you CANT find in free agency.

  22. Durango 95 Says:

    For my money the more Joe mentions Etienne the better. Watching the same cast of characters go into meltdown mode over and over is more entertaining than a barrel full of monkeys. Heck it’s getting to the point where they can just copy and paste the same reaction over and over. Lol.

    Seriously, there are no absolutes. Not drafting a RB in the first round generally does make good sense however there are exceptions to the rule. The Bucs situation could very easily be one of them. Also, some of you should be well served to remember that there is more than one pick in the draft. Each team does have multiple picks to fill their needs. Right?

  23. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Etienne is Joe’s new version of Johnny Football…….Travis Football…

  24. Leighroy Says:

    I mean I get the why, I just don’t agree with the how. Etienne / Harris / Williams / Carter better be the top player on the board to make that pick at 32. And whoever it is, your 1st round pick will start training camp 4th on the depth chart and likely not see touches unless 2 of the top 3 falter or go down – not anything any of us want to see.

    Are the Bucs keeping 5rbs this year just to have 2 rostered for 2022? How many of them play special teams? Are there no RBs available via draft or FA next year or some RB embargo we are yet unaware of?

    Feels like a 2022 problem being jammed into 2021 because no one can identify a glaring need.

  25. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Our Bucs certainly have an enviable position-to create more depth at key position groups. That being said , football games are won and lost in the trenches , I hope we can all agree on that. Edge rusher has arguably become one of the most important and most expensive needs a team has to fill. It is with this in mind that the Bucs will draft Greg Rousseau out of Miami with their first selection , whenever that may be.
    One caveat is the looming free agency of our center Jensen. Fortunately , the Center class is very top heavy this year with some real quality snappers that will be available to the Bucs. Licht did a masterful job of resigning all his talent this offseason , however resigning players like JPP and Jensen will not always be possible , so beginning to retool both lines certainly makes sense.

  26. Georger Says:

    Joe, how many RB’s did the Bucs have on the roster last year? I think 4. No room for another RB.

  27. Bobby M. Says:

    I think with the veteran depth we have, a guy in rds 2-4 that can be developed and can play special teams makes more sense. I think we see a big jump from Vaughn this year….that’s 4 backs that are capable to plug and play on every down.

  28. 1sparkybuc Says:

    ILB could very quickly become an area of need if either White or David were lost to injury. We don’t have a glaring need at any single position. It would make the most sense to go BPA while taking into account lack of depth. I trust the Bucs to make the right choice. I’m glad it’s not my responsibility. Too many options that make sense.

  29. #1bucsfan Says:

    Unless there’s a Derrick Henry on the board you don’t take a RB in the 1st.

  30. The Red Mirage Says:

    Take the best player available at the pick if it’s a RB then so be it.

  31. Kalind Says:

    This is nuts. A 5TH!!!!!!! Running back? None of which we’ve heard will do kicks or punts or gun or make tackles???

    There’s basically a 0% chance this happens, letting aside the idea that we could just draft one next year with fresher legs. I thought Joe wanted impact now? You wanna talk about buried? The 5th! Running back….my word

  32. The Daily Coroner Says:

    H@ll yes, Joe!
    Take Travis Etienne! We aren’t likely to keep both RoJo and Playoff Lenny next year. Etienne has a great skill set and as a first rounder you have him at least 4 and your option for 5 years.

  33. Erick Says:

    I think it’s time for Joe to put Etienne in the Rachel Watson-Johnny Manziel fantasy zone. It’s not gonna happen.

  34. SB~LV Says:

    We need Explosive players on offense @ RB and WR .. where and when they come from I don’t know, but I do know we DON’T have either.
    Etienne fits that and so does Elijah Moore @ 32
    Trade up for a edge if that guy slips within reach and a deal can be made..
    Does not happen much anymore but a player traded on draft day could happen this year.
    I am all for excitement, especially if it is a great addition
    Is what we need with the 1st pick

  35. SB~LV Says:

    All the carries Etienne has had worry me a bit, Frank Gore’s is the exception

  36. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    A little OCD, huh Joe? Man, you are every bit as bad as us where you make fun of Buc fans for chasing a “name” (when they are past there prime). What happened to you “erect!on for sacks” for DEs? JPP is about to turn 80 and he is a FA next year. We have no depth there at all.

    The Bucs have 26 FAs in 2022. What about our Oline? Jenson and Cappa are both FAs. Godwin? Carlton Davis, our best CB? Suh and Gholston are also both FAs and old as Harry is – that is bad, if you don’t know. And since we don’t have ONE backup QB, maybe that might be a good idea, huh?🤔

    But no, lets spend a super valuable high draft pick on one of the currently deepest positions on the roster. I certainly get the logic there (sarcasm)🙄

  37. Ne+ bucs fan Says:

    Joe,if you really want him mb we can trade our whole draft for him,aka Ricky Williams,, LMAO

  38. PSL Bob Says:

    Ke’Shawn Vaughn hasn’t shown Joe enough to be handed the keys to the RB position. Perhaps if he had more opportunities to showcase his skills, Joe’s mind might be changed. It’s always the bright shiny object you don’t have that get’s people’s attention.

  39. Buc92’ Says:

    Rojo will resign without costing a fortune, Lenny will walk as it would be best for both sides .. He can go pout somewhere else because he’ll never be a better runner than Rojo # GoBucs

  40. Joe Says:

    It’s always the bright shiny object you don’t have that get’s people’s attention.

    Would that shiny object you mention also be called “production?” Or more importantly “wins?”

    Imagine being Ali Marpet or Donovan Smith. It’s a typical 90 degree Sunday afternoon at the Licht House. The Bucs, incredibly, are losing by three scores. You are getting your balls beat in every snap and the offense, thanks to a dismal running attack, is going nowhere.

    After another punt, you walk up to Byron Leftwich and say, “Why are you feeding Ke’Shawn so much? What about getting the ball to Mike Evans?”

    “Well Ali, we need to get Ke’Shawn reps even though he’s not getting anywhere on the ground.”

    “What we need, Byron, are points. And a win! We’re trying to get in the playoffs. Is Ke’Shawn going to be any good?”

    “I dunno Ali. He flashes. But we need to give him reps.”

    In the NFL, the pros, unless you are playing for the draft, you play to win the game. To do that you need production. In the immortal words of Dirk Koetter, it’s a production league. Produce or goodbye.

    Joe isn’t writing off Ke’Shawn Vaughn, but sorry, one play doesn’t make Joe think Vaughn is the next Barry Sanders. He has to produce — when he does get the opportunity.

    You gotta think Bucco Bruce is disappointed in someone at running back if he has Licht spending cash they have little of on a running back.

  41. BucEmUp Says:

    Rbs are a dume a dozen.Spending a late first round pick on a rb is not a good move. What is harder to replace, one of our rbs when they leave, or a guy like carlton davis or a lineman? Or how about a lavonte david replacement.

    Bu hard pass of this pick

  42. geno711 Says:

    JGhotier Says:
    April 19th, 2021 at 2:35 am
    Anyone else like Michael Carter better than Williams anyways?

    Maybe I do!
    But if I can get Carter later in the draft then yes for sure.

  43. JGhotier Says:


    I don’t want RB in 1st round either. Joe had just mentioned he’d like Etienne or Williams specifically….but I think Michael Carter is the better back out of the 2!

  44. Buc1987 Says:

    I don’t see this happening …but whatever if it does.

  45. Brett Says:

    I think Fournette will continue to evolve as a pass catcher and he can be had for a reasonable price. Need D-line help. Vita Vea has been injured a lot, and so has JPP. Suh is up there and is talking retirement. Need two or three picks here.

  46. bojim Says:

    ‘Giovani Bernard and his mustache.’ Love it. He does have a great moustache.

  47. 813bucboi Says:

    will the bucs keep 5Rbs on the roster?…rojo, lenny,bernard,vaughn and a rookie?

    i hope we trade down and grab c.baremore and q.meinerz both in the 2nd round…

    add 2DBs, LB,OLB…we still have nelson and cam gil played pretty good…

    GO BUCS!!!