How Much Do The Bucs Want To Improve Their Run Game?

April 9th, 2024

So what are the driving forces for Buccaneers Ring of Honor general manager Jason Licht and his staff entering the 2024 NFL Draft?

It’s a deeper mystery than usual because the Bucs have a new offensive coordinator, a new special teams coach and it’s unclear whether Bucs officials (when it’s quiet and they’re in a Team Glazer safe room) consider themselves a Super Bowl contender.

And then there’s the matter of the Bucs’ running game.

Tampa Bay ranked last in the NFL the past two seasons in yards per carry. No team had done that in consecutive years since the 2006 Cardinals.

Man, Joe really, really wants to know how badly the Bucs desire to improve their rushing attack. That answer probably holds a key to figuring out the 2024 Bucs draft.

If the Bucs think they need a dangerous and consistent run game to be exceptional, then they’ll go draft an interior lineman and a running back with two of the first three picks this month. Simple as that.

Throw in an edge rusher with the other pick and most Bucs fans will be able to sleep in May. But things are rarely that simple.

Perhaps the Bucs see their 6-2 record in their final eight games, which corresponded with modest rushing improvement, and think Baker Mayfield and the offense will be just fine as is?

Maybe the powers that be think the team can get much more dangerous drafting a receiver and/or a tight end with one of their first three picks?

Everything Joe has heard points to the Bucs deeply desiring to improve the run game, and the football gods surely know Todd Bowles wants to pound the rock successfully.

It’ll be interesting to see just how much the Bucs are willing to invest in that rushing attack.

54 Responses to “How Much Do The Bucs Want To Improve Their Run Game?”

  1. Lord Cornelius Says:

    IMO we should add all 3 (interior OL / RB / WR) by end of R4, which leaves 2 picks still for DE and whatever else.

    Only 2 more weeks basically woot!

  2. Beeej Says:

    From what I can see, they mostly intend to do it via upgrading the O-line

  3. Simeon4HOF Says:


  4. The Daily Coroner Says:

    Jackson Powers Johnson
    Blake Corum

  5. ModHairKen Says:


  6. sweti_yeti Says:

    Of course they strongly desire to improve the run game. Very strongly. How could they not, as bad as they’ve been. Even if you want to be a passing team, you can’t accept the crap they’ve dropped in the run game the last few years. Coen apparently enjoys a powerful running game. It’s gonna happen. We’re going to draft O linemen and a RB. There is no excuse for this junk anymore.

  7. Yar Says:

    Jason Licht is so good picking OL in the later rounds that I don’t see them taking an OL in the first round, edge or CB maybe that TE.

  8. Boss Says:

    the bucs running game should improve dramatically provided they do 2 things

    beef up the OL

    don’t call the obvious up the gut ALL the damn time! fake that $hit….teams will bite like no tomorrow…..and don’t wait for mike to get 30 yards up the damn field…throw it over the middle (you know the space the blitzers just opened up to attack the run??)

    hello…MCFLY, MCFLY

    for the record, I do not expect the new offense to look much different from canales whos looked just like leftys except with more throws behind the LOS

  9. Buc4evr Says:

    Powers Johnson, Barton or Frazier, or maybe van pran. Make it happen Jason…

  10. Shane Callahan Says:

    JPJ if we can get him. I like Barton if we can’t…

  11. Bucben61 Says:

    Center -running back….repeat

  12. A Bucs Fan Says:

    The biggest investment will be investing in oline and maybe a TE. Liking that Sinnot kid in the mid rounds if they go that route!

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    At this point, in a binary draft, I would rather jack the running game than add an unproven edge.

  14. Bucs Guy Says:

    I don’t expect any of the top 3 Edge or JPJ/Barton to be there at #26, so trade back to pick up an extra 3rd round pick.

    2nd and 2nd – Edge (Isaac, Braswell or Kneeland) and C (Frazier or Van Pran) in any order
    3rd – WR (Polk), G (Mahogony) and ILB (Trotter) in any order
    4th – RB (Estime, Davis or Allen)
    6th – CB
    7th – TE

    That will take care of the running game and other areas of need.

  15. Hearty Dikerson Says:

    @Yar – what late round OL picks has Licht been so good at drafting? The only successful OL drafted after the 2nd round has been Alex Cappa in the 3rd. Benenoch? Complete whiff. Hainsey? The worst starting center in the league?

  16. LouisFriend Says:

    To EVERYONE who follows the Bucs please understand one simple thing – It would take a miracle, hell itself freezing over for Jason Licht to spend a 1st round pick on a center.

    It’s not happening. Period. If you know anything about Licht, it’s that unless the Bucs have judged an OL to be elite like Tristan Wirfs, they’re drafting them in the 2nd round and later. And no one is calling either Barton or Powers-Johnson elite.

    Call Licht a lot of things, but don’t predict he’s dumb enough to blow a 1st rounder on a center just because they need one.

  17. Buc1987 Says:

    LouisFriend …so it’s a center at 26…

  18. LouisFriend Says:

    Buc1987 – Not a chance.

  19. Yar Says:

    Later than the 1st round.

  20. kaimaru Says:

    I say we get an athletic RT and move him for the first time ever to LG. Let’s do this the Licht way

  21. Marine Buc Says:

    “How bad do the Bucs want to improve their running game?”


    Well – the Buc are the worst team in the NFL at running the football…

    Hainsey sucks and Cody Mauch was really bad last season. Our left guard was so bad he got replaced by Stinnie.

    Nowhere to go but up with this group.

    Hainsey should be a back-up. Much should move to Center and the Bucs need to draft an OG in the 3rd round to compete with Bredson and Opeta.

  22. Tucker Says:

    They already did that now he is back at right tackle lol

  23. LouisFriend Says:

    Kaimaru – They could just draft a LG.

    Cooper Beebe out of Kansas State would do very well in this offense. Pick him up in the 2nd round and draft another G/C with one of their picks in the 3rd or 4th.

  24. Woodenman Says:

    We don’t even need. a scouting department just come to this blog they all can tell you who need to pick and who we are not going to pick

  25. Bucben61 Says:

    I know I’m not but if I was calling the shots I’d be looking to trade back out of the first for at least one more premium pick

    We have multiple needs and it’s a deep draft

    Grab a edge rusher and a center in the 2nd round

    Best big back in the 3rd along with a wr or corner back or te any order

  26. LouisFriend Says:

    For the sake of fun – one of the Joe’s should open a poll for all of us geniuses to pick the position they should draft in the first round. It’d be interesting to see the results.

    C, G, Edge, CB or ILB – or whatever.

  27. Bucben61 Says:


  28. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Playoffs two years in a row with the worst run game lol. Imagine if we were just average at running the ball.

  29. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Ah…… OK, I see who the Deport Hainsey Mob that Joe is always referring to and it is MASSIVE.
    Hearty Dickerson and that dastardly Marine Buc!
    You guys take it easy with all that “foot stomping” ya hear?

    Sorry I doubted you Joe, I didn’t realize it was an army of two.

  30. Rod Munch Says:

    If the Bucs were serious about fixing the run game they’d trade for Zack Moss. Sure, they could have just signed him – but since they screwed that up, it’s time to move a pick to get the man who will fix the running game.

  31. Tony marks Says:

    LouisFriend Says:
    Licht a lot of things, but don’t predict he’s dumb enough to blow a 1st rounder on a center just because they need one.


    This is just repeating the nonsense of the Joes and makes ZERO sense. For that to be true then no competent GM in the league would have ever drafted a Center in the 1st round. Ooops. Ony in sports ( and for some reason particularly the NFL) are people so dumb as to make dogmatic claims when the evidence actually is clear they are wrong.

    Hard to figure out when you people are going to use some of your noggin. There are only two edges worth a lick of a first round pick and by almost all account they are going to be gone when we pick

    If licht goes for an edge just because he is an edge out of those two then he is a bad GM. IN fact any Gm that says I will never pick a player in the first round no matter what the talent level because of this position ( outside of kicker – and only because of limitations to the human leg ) IS a GM that shoud be shown the front door.

    Besides spare us the nonsense you know whats in Licht’s mind and could never happen. You are guessing like all the rest of us. Putting “Period” in your sentences only underlines a lack of smarts to actually know when guessing is involved

  32. Bobby M. Says:

    Stud TE would be a real game changer for this offense. It’s easy to see why Brady loved Gronk so much. Gronk was the ultimate chess piece, he could block in the run game, which helped with play action. Not sure who the top TE might be but hoping we hit on one.

  33. SenileSenior Says:

    Center, Edge, Running Back, Wide Receiver and Corner are my priorities. In that order. These are my priorities. We shall see.

    Vita Vea was the last time JL chose my guy first.

    Go Bucs!!!

  34. LouisFriend Says:

    Tony marks says:

    Hard to figure out when you people are going to use some of your noggin. There are only two edges worth a lick of a first round pick and by almost all account they are going to be gone when we pick.


    Tony, when guys like you stop overvaluing players just because they’re in a so-called ‘need’ position like center, while claiming other people want to draft an edge using the same logic – then I’ll believe people like you will start using your noggin. Period.

    If the best guy on their board is a CB, Edge, OG, ILB – whichever – draft him. But it won’t be a center. Because the Bucs now, and historically have never graded them as 1st round worthy. And if you love Powers-Johnson, good for you. Enjoy watching him play for someone else next season.

  35. SlyPiratr Says:

    Yar Says:
    Jason Licht is so good picking OL in the later rounds


    Yar pays attention. Actually, Licht drafts most of his OL in the 2nd. I could see a C and G with our two 3rds. We’ll go CB, WR in rounds 1-2. Joe is drunk if he thinks the Bucs draft a RB in the first 3 rounds. We’re grabbing UK’s RB in 5-6.

  36. SB Says:

    Verse in the First Rd.
    Pearsall in the Second Rd.
    And Ray Davis in the Third Rd.

    You can take it from there JL.

  37. Marine Buc Says:

    @ dooosh

    LOL my friend.

    I’m just simply stating the facts.

    Hainsey, Mauch and Stinnie were all pretty awful last season – Everyone else except our two beloved Joes seem to be able to grasp that reality…

  38. HC Grover Says:

    Not much.

  39. Defense Rules Says:

    With our 4 Top 3 Rnd picks, picking BPA first in each group of 2 …

    Rnd 1: Center – Edge
    Rnd 2: Edge – Center
    Rnd 3: ILB – RB
    Rnd 3: RB – ILB

    Rnd 4-7 … Guard – TE – CB – DT, picking BPA in each round.

  40. Pickgrin Says:

    Draft an actual Center and draft a Guard with 2 of the 4 picks in rds 1>3

    White is not the problem.

    Fix the interior OLine and White gains 1800+ total yards in 2024.

  41. Rod Munch Says:

    Short of Barry Sanders, there wasn’t anyone that was going to get you 5-yards per carry in this offense behind this line.

    Again, I’ll point this out, Licht built this line to pass block – and they do that quite well. Remember all the stories midway through the year about how Mayfield had been sacked like the least number of times?

    Also, improvements in the run game will mainly come from Cody being a lot stronger, and possibly Hainsey getting more comfortable at center (college tackle, played his rookie year at guard), and getting a new LG, likely in the draft. We’ll see if Licht goes away from his tendencies and gets a college guard so they’ll have a better chance of being good early – but still, Licht’s record on offensive lineman is very impressive. Remember this time last year when every dope in the comments was complaining about how bad Luke was and how the Bucs HAD to spend their top pick on a new tackle?

    But here’s the big thing – Bowles could just simply be more flexible and use his players in a way that takes advantage of their skills instead of just trying to take make them fit his outdated ideas of an offense.

  42. Tony marks Says:

    LouisFriend Says:
    April 9th, 2024 at 7:15 pm

    Tony, when guys like you stop overvaluing players just because they’re in a so-called ‘need’ position like center,

    EPIC fail

    I asumed you had a noggin to use but that answer tells me you don’t

    Since thats not even close to my position. I’d be on board with a TE a WR etc . You missed on Powers too. My first pick for line updates would be Barton if he were avaialble. So you are just all miss and all talk.

    Centers have been drafted in the NFL in the first round with good results. That destroys your beg and the fairytale world you are in pretending you are doing anything else but what we all do at this time of the year –


    drafting based on history or averags is just plain dumb and FINALLY a post by the joes in regard to Polian illustrates why – not all drafts have the same talent level or talent level at the same positions. Its like by averages a US family has 2.5 children. In real life no one has half a child

    Learn what averages and history can be used for and what it can’t be used for or you will be making many more similar dufus mistakes in your life.

  43. Tony marks Says:

    Rod Munch Says:
    April 9th, 2024 at 9:41 pm
    and they do that quite well. Remember all the stories midway through the year about how Mayfield had been sacked like the least number of times?

    Bull. IF you put in all the houdini escapes Baker had to the numbers for the line and it would be average or worse and we all saw games epecially toward the end where the line was awful at pass protection.

  44. Dave Pear Says:

    Todd believes in doing the same thing at the same time over and over and over again without correcting defects, just do it harder. A few players keep his team from the bottom dumpster by their sheer talent, experience and will. His schemes suck on offense and his defense has gotten soft, predictable, and has declined the last three seasons.

    Hopefully the trend suddenly reverses and Todd wins 10 games. But it would sure be interesting to see who Jason would pick as the next head coach if the chance comes.

  45. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    1st pick has to be defensive player hopefully a stud DE

  46. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Rod Munch Says:
    April 9th, 2024 at 9:41 pm
    Remember this time last year when every dope in the comments was complaining about how bad Luke was and how the Bucs HAD to spend their top pick on a new tackle?
    I’m sure you predicted this, along with ALL of your other stellar predictions.

  47. jimini100 Says:

    In my humble opinion we need an edge rusher so the other QBs don”t have five seconds to find a receiver to throw a pass tp, then beef uo the OL.

  48. Capt Ahab Says:

    To improve the run game the Bucs need to improve the interior of the offensive line. The Bucs center and left guard are at best journey men. Improvement here is imperative.

  49. Capt Ahab Says:

    Journeyman left guard is of course gone. Applications open.

  50. BucU Says:

    I really thought Sean Tucker was going to be an excellent contributor at RB.
    If we take a RB in the first 4 rds of the draft that tells me he’s not long for this team.

  51. Dave Pear Says:

    Sean Tucker is history.

    On the draft, Jason knows best but probably executes the formula Defense Rules laid out.

  52. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Just turn Baker into Lamar Jackson and let him run RPOs all day long. He’s got moxie and great team spirit and is super tough and can will the team to a perfect season and a Superbowl title. Teams wouldn’t know what to do or what to expect

  53. BillyBucco Says:

    From 2011-2018, only four centers were drafted and then went on to the Pro Bowl in their first five years. Only one of them was taken outside the first round (Jason Kelce), and the other three were all 1st-round picks.

    That’s outdated but shows 2 things.
    1. Quality NFL Centers are a crapshoot
    2. You have a better chance taking one in the first round.

    @Tony Marks and Louis Friend
    You are both correct and wrong.

    Point is Center is NOT now and has NEVER BEEN worth a 1st round pick overall.
    You are actually more likely to get a pro bowl QB than center.
    And we know how that works.
    Either way, as bad as people claim our O Line was, we went to the playoffs and won a game Big. We have signed guys for competition and Hainsey won’t be gifted anything, he will have to earn it. There are 4-5 other picks outside round 1 that will give Hainsey that competition so why do it in round 1. Now call be brainwashed or stoopid or any other deranged name you can think of, but an elite RT is more likely and more abundant than JPJ or Barton and Licht has already said he still thinks Goedeke would make an excellent G. This is a way more logical choice and still upgrades the O Line.

  54. BillyBucco Says:

    I’ll also add this.
    If Centers aren’t making the pro bowl in their first 5 years, who is?
    That’s 8 years of at least 2 a year.
    That means nearly 80% of pro bowl centers earn it in year 6 or beyond.
    And people are giving up on Hainsey after 2.