The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added depth at running back, perhaps picking up a short-yardage guy when they selected Allen Bradford in the 6th round. Bradford is a bruising back out of Southern Cal standing in a 5’11, 242 pounds. I have to admit, I needed to go back and do a little extra research on Bradford (and I know I’ll be looking up the sevens for the first time in all likelihood), but on paper he looks like an intriguing back even despite his lack of statistical production in college. Here’s the NFL.com scouting report:
Bradford has linebacker size at the running back position and could be an effective player between the tackles at the next level. He is a strong runner with very good balance that excels in short yardage situations, but he does not have the speed, agility, or receiving skills to be a featured back in the NFL. Also, he thinks he is a finesse back at times and tries to break big runs to the outside which usually result in losses. Overall, Bradford has the strength and vision to be a weapon on third and short and he should be a mid-to-late round pick.
With a 4.58-40 though, Bradford does at least have a better 40 than LeGarrette Blount, though I highly doubt he has better field-speed, which is much more important. Chances are Bradford comes in to be the short yardage back in the event Blount doesn’t develop that part of his game. It sounds as if the Bucs will have to work with Bradford as well on staying between the tackles, but the one knock on Blount from last year was he wasn’t staggeringly ineffective on short-yardage plays despite his impressive size (think goal-line in Atlanta). Personally, I’d have preferred to see the Bucs take a shot at Noel Devine here, but the short-yardage back makes sense too.