Time For A Running Back Who Makes Tacklers Miss

April 19th, 2024

Led nation in YAC average.

If only Rachaad White could make dudes miss when he’s carrying the ball…

When the Bucs running back gets past the line of scrimmage in the passing game, the man is a threat to house it any time he’s targeted. White is just beautiful in the passing game.

For whatever reason, White has no such luck in the run game. He simply cannot break tackles or make guys miss when he runs the ball. It frustrates Joe to no end.

White is No. 42 in yards after contact per run. That is awful for a No. 1 back. So with White going down too quickly too often, how about a running back that makes defenders miss?

USC running back Marshawn Lloyd may not be the most elite back in the nation. But last year he led college football with the most missed tackles per carry.

Now, whether you want to give/blame this on teams focused on teammate quarterback Caleb Williams, that’s a fair argument. Lauren Gray of the PFF tribe has the details on Lloyd.

Lloyd rushed for 793 yards at South Carolina from 2021 through 2022, averaging 3.4 yards after contact and forcing 0.28 missed tackles per attempt. He had his best season at USC in 2023, leading all draft-eligible rushers in forced missed tackle rate and averaging 4.0 yards after contact. Lloyd rushed for 1,609 yards in college, with 65% of his yards coming after contact.

If over half of your rushing yards came after contact, that’s damn good.

So Joe decided to see what Dane Brugler of The Athletic thought of Lloyd in his draft guide, “The Beast.”

SUMMARY: A one-year starter at USC, Lloyd was the top back on the depth chart in head coach Lincoln Riley’s RPO, spread (multiple-run) scheme. After three years at South Carolina, he transferred to the Trojans and had a productive 2023 season (led the team in rushing in 11 of 12 regular-season games), finishing as one of only five FBS running backs to average more than 7.0 yards per carry. With his vision and dynamic cutting skills, Lloyd is a shifty runner with the short-area explosion and lateral agility to leave defenders diving at air (20.87 percent of his carries resulted in a 10-plus-yard gain). He frequently springs free because of the creativity he shows with the ball in his hands, although he relies too much on his east-west options and needs to be more consistent finishing runs. Overall, Lloyd doesn’t have the profile of a high-volume back, but he can spark an NFL offense with his mix of patience, burst and promise as a pass catcher. His tape gives me flashbacks of a thicker version of Duke Johnson when he was coming out of Miami.

A change of pace back who is elusive and can catch. Sounds like a nice complement to White.

Imagine the Bucs having a running back who makes guys miss? Look, Joe has a lot to say about NFL warden Roger Goodell and few of those words would be nice. Goodell has banned a lot of things in his reign of terror over the NFL. But believe it or not, Goodell still allows running backs to run over people or make guys miss.

Either White is unaware of this or he can’t make guys miss (in the run game).

Apparently, Lloyd can. Joe wouldn’t be upset if the Bucs selected Lloyd on Day 3 of the draft.

22 Responses to “Time For A Running Back Who Makes Tacklers Miss”

  1. Bucs Guy Says:

    He’ll be gone by day 3. Bucs need a power RB. Estime, Davis or Allen. I like Estime best because he’s the most complete in running, receiving and picking up the blitz. He’ll be a late 3rd or early 4th pick. He could also shoulder the load if White were to get hurt.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs Guy … ‘He could also shoulder the load if White were to get hurt.’

    So many seem to forget that little detail, but guys really do get hurt during the course of a season. We lucked out last year in that Rachaad played in all 17 games & gave us 272 carries … 2nd most in the NFL behind Derrick Henry’s 280 carries. Waiting in the wings should White have been unable to go was Chase Edmonds (49 carries & 3.6 YPC), now-released KeShawn Vaughn (24 carries & 1.8 YPC), plus Sean Tucker (15 carries & 1.5 YPC). That’s not a very deep RB room.

    For sure the Bucs NEED someone to take part of the load off Rachaad game-to-game, fill in should he get dinged up, and most importantly IMO be able to convert short-yardage situations. We sucked at that last year, and White was a big part of the reason why.

    Bucs are picking near the tail-end of each round, and expecting a quality power back to be there in Rnd 4 is taking too much of a risk. I’d prefer to use one of our 2 Rnd 3 picks on either Braelon Allen (6’1″ & 235 lbs – 4.55 sec 40) or Audric Estime (5’11” & 227 lbs – 4.71 sec 40). Marshawn Lloyd (5’8″ & 220 lbs – 4.46 sec 40) is certainly a possibility though.

  3. heyjude Says:

    Agree with Bucs Guy – MarShawn will be gone by the 3rd round. He did have a grade 3 ACL tear during practice in 2020 and a deep thigh contusion in 2022. Grade 3 is severe. In 2023, he didn’t play a game, but I don’t think an injury was reported.

    In agreement with Running Backs Estime, Davis, or Allen too.

  4. Fred McNeil Says:

    He sounds interesting. Fast enough. Bowling ball build. Gets hurt a lot.

  5. Oddball Says:

    So his numbers improved when he left the SEC to play in the Big10. Interesting

  6. Kalind Says:

    What I noticed was in that last clip, Latu was in Williams face immediately. Lol

  7. RBUC Says:

    The pattern I’ve noticed lately is players seeking more playing time transferring to the PAC 12( known for bad tackling) production increases enough to get noticed and drafted! I hope Jason Licht is self aware enough to realize his record of picking players from the PAC 12 isn’t that good either so hopefully new coaching hires have a better eye for NFL running backs that Licht can lean on.

  8. SB~LV Says:

    Bingo !

  9. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    How is he at pass protection?

  10. BucsFan55 Says:


  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Talking about how great a RB prospect is and then suggesting we pick him on day 3 at the end of the 4th round is laughable. That’s the 125 pick.

  12. Todd Says:

    Yes please.

  13. Canabuc Says:

    Not impressed by the highlights. Most of those broken tacos were by guys who were nowhere close to tackling him diving at his feet and barely touching him. All of his runs seem to be ones that he bounced to the outside where in the zone runs scheme he had tons of room to run and build up ahead of steam making it harder for players in the secondary to tackle him. I didn’t really see any tough runs up the middle where he broke any real tackles.

  14. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Any good between the Tackles/Hammer type back would be the obvious complement to RW. Mike Evans will have another monster season.

  15. toad bowels Says:

    What about Ray Davis (who played for Liam Coen this year at Kentucky)?

    • Came to Kentucky in 2023 after two seasons at Vanderbilt (2021-22) and two at Temple (2019-20)
    • Ended his collegiate career with 746 rushing attempts for 3,626 rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns … Added 94 receptions for 762 receiving yards and 12 receiving touchdowns … Totaled 4,388 all-purpose yards with 41 total touchdowns and 246 career points
    • Second Team All-America and Second Team All-SEC (Coaches) Honorable Mention All-American (CFN) First Team All-SEC (AP, Phil Steele, USA Today)
    • His 126 points were a single-season school record

  16. catcard202 Says:

    At #125, sure….But still prefer Davis or Estime if on the board.

    But would have no qualms with the FO grabbing Benson in Rd2 or Wright in Rd3.
    (Not sold on Texas RB Brooks… or like idea of taking a RB coming off season ending ACL’s within 2 yrs of draft)

  17. SlyPirate Says:


    His highlights are against Arizona St, Nevada, Cal, and UCLA. Zero defense. I bet he was awesome against St Mary’s School of the Blind, too. USC sucks.

    Hard Pass.

  18. Shane Callahan Says:

    White seems like a great dude, but he needs some competition/ help from a stud like this guy.

  19. AnonymousBucsFan76 Says:

    If Bucs go RB it needs to be Trey Benson…

    We need someone who can pick up tough yards imho

  20. firethecannons Says:

    we need to hook up with Trey Benson

  21. Boss Says:

    This might be the shifty, thick legged dude we need!

  22. GhostofBrady Says:

    Just happy we did not reach by trading for Barkley at his market value. I still think Joe Mixon was a lost opportunity at his price tag $13M Guaranteed, $8M AAV. If we aren’t paying for top 5-10 RB, best to bet on high value motor at rookie rates. That will payoff in 2-3 years down the road for year before we trade him or let him go. Because no one gives a RB a second contract worth over $15M AAV and $50M Guaranteed. Very few of those work out for the teams. By year 5, the predominant data shows RBs production drop off. I like all these RBs as wishful thinking in in 2024 and potential contributors in 2025 and 2026. Any of them round 3 – 7 would work for me. Anything earlier is giving up long-term potential and production in edge, IOL or WR. I like they changed the special team rules so that teams are picking to fill-in special teams. Now we can gamble on two RBs late in the draft and not worry about their special teams ability.