Ranking Bucs Running Backs

June 3rd, 2022


Looking at the Bucs’ running back group, Joe sees some unknown.

Sure, Playoff Lenny and part-time back Giovani Bernard are known commodities. But what about Ke’Shawn Vaughn? Can he continue to improve? And rookie third-round pick Rachaad White is unknown because he hasn’t worn pads yet.

It is mostly because of this unknown that the gang at Football Outsiders thinks the Bucs’ running backs group deserves a C+ grade.

“This is really how you feel about Lenny,” Mike Tanier said.

“Leonard Fournette is definitely better than what we remember him at the end of Jacksonville,” Derrik Klassen said. “He was not an NFL caliber player, basically. But he has been quietly pretty good in Tampa Bay. He learned how to catch passes which is a thing no one knew he could do.”

The fallacy continues that Playoff Lenny was one-dimensional running back in Jacksonville and had hands so bad Ronald Jones busted out laughing. That shows how off the radar the Jags were and are for this to continue. Playoff Lenny had 76 catches there in 2019, fourth-most in the league among running backs! Yet people still act as if Playoff Lenny couldn’t catch a cold.

Joe thinks “C+” is a fair grade given all the unknowns. If Vaughn develops and White really is all that, this could be a much better grade by the end of the season.

27 Responses to “Ranking Bucs Running Backs”

  1. August 1976 Buc Says:

    “He was not an NFL caliber player, basically.

    Either this person never actually watched Lenny at Jax or just had a preconceived notions about him. Because Fournette has always been a decent RB. It was Lennys attitude, not his ability that got in his way in Jax.

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  2. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Wow. Tannenbum is so far off on his Lenny assessment that you really have to wonder if he did any basic research. Was Jax really all Lennys fault? Jax is a hot mess and everyone knows it.

  3. Colonel Angus Says:

    He caught 76 balls his last season in Jax.

  4. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Klassen not Tannenbum.

  5. SufferingSince76 Says:

    After Lenny, the rest are mediocre, at best.

  6. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Was never a fan of Lenny but whether it was BA, Brady, Rojo, money or fear of loss, cudos to whatever lit the fire under his arse because he’s become one of the most consistent ballers on this team. SB Lenny!

  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    Lenny alone deserves a “B” at a minimum. All he does is make really important plays.

    Stupid assessment.

  8. Bird Says:

    August 1976 buc

    Well said. The man is stoked. He made it threw his attitude adjustment. Was an integral part of super bowl And just got the love (w new contract). The man knows he is in a good place. When he went to brady last year in games and said me or you need to win this game…. Thats pretty dang cool.

  9. William Walls Says:

    I wasn’t a big fan of his when he came out of college. I questioned his maturity, which I don’t think was totally off-base in hindsight. I did respect his talent and potential, though.

    So, with Licht & Co.’s recent record of success with signing free agents, when they want and get Lenny from Jax, I was very intrigued. Surely they had done the research that I’m nowhere near able to do and felt that he was worth throwing good money at to make this team better.

    I’ve been more than happy with the results. He’s become a high-character, team-first guy who helps the players around him become better, traits that I believe should be the hallmark of being a Buccaneer. And no matter what, he’ll always be Lombardi Lenny to me.

  10. Allbuccedup Says:

    B at least

  11. Dooley Says:

    More concerned with what steps Sneak Vaughn has taken this offseason and how his hands & pass pro are coming along. Also excited to hear how Raachad White responds to his first dosage of NFL contact. Only thing I’m concerned with in reagrds to Lenny & Gio is their health, we know what we’ve got in both of those guys. Also, another position we’ve got guys competing for their spot in the pecking order as backups. It’s a lot less stressful than wondering if we even have starter talent all over the roster like offseason in the past.

  12. Steven007 Says:

    Wow, that was a terrible assessment. Outsiders fits in this case. Lenny is easily a top 10 to 15 back. Gio is a well-regarded veteran. Even Vaughn has flashed. And then we have a rookie with potential. I doubt there’s that kind of depth on 10 other teams. Solid B I would think.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    All these pre-season grades including the draft grades are interesting but totally meaningless………absolute BS….

  14. Brandon Says:

    My big issue with Fournette is that his legs go dead at contact. He rarely breaks tackles. Yes, he falls forward but he is not a true power back, just a big guy that runs pretty hard.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Fitz retires……raked in $82 mil for his career……..bully for him!!!

  16. Mark A Swygert Says:

    Grades like these that aren’t based on actual testing or trial are just opinions. I think we all know what they say about opinions.

  17. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Brandon, not sure who you are watching, what I’ve seen I Lenny plowing over people especially in open field.

  18. Wild Bill Says:

    I for one would never want to meet Lenny head on in an open field tackle. Saying he is somehow soft is total BS.

  19. Thadeus Says:

    Should have got what they could for Godwin and got another back.

  20. patrickbucs Says:

    As CA stated, he had 76 receptions his last year at Jacksonville and 1,650 all-purpose yards in 13 games. His attitude was the main issue there and was here when he was benched. If he can that here we would be golden.

    I think he is a B to a B plus at least.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    It’s common that commentators and fans repeat prior narratives as if they are fact without independently assessing for themselves. The number one example of that is the way fans critique their teams draft picks often without ever seeing the players game film. They typically just repeat what Mel Kiper says. Example: was a guy like Ali Marpet really a steal, or only to those who never watched film, attended workouts, etc. Does the average fan (or commentator) definitively know Devonte Wyatt is better than Logan Hall, or do we just repeat the accepted narrative?

  22. Goatfarmer Says:

    Thadeus must be a cricket fan. Obviously knows squat about football. Get rid of Godwin. LOL.

  23. Ash Says:

    Fair assessment.

  24. Buczilla Says:

    As of today, I’d give em a C.

  25. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I see the trolls are in abundance this year Lol”

  26. steele Says:

    A straight C. Rachaad is an incomplete.

  27. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Lenny has always had the talent. His attitude was always the issue and at Jax perhaps everybody should have a ‘tude. But when it seemed to linger it seemed as if either BA or TB or both or perhaps BL got to Lenny and his head seems to be on straight ever since then.

    I think he’s going to have an excellent year! In fact the best of his career. He has only carried the ball 270 times the past two years combined…compared to Kamara’s 427 and Derrick Henry’s more than 600!!!