There are many options to revive the Buccaneers running attack.
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The case for the Buccaneers to acquire a running back is easy to make. It’s well understood that most of the best offenses in the NFL have good running backs. Jameis Winston needs to have the ability to hand the ball off and trust that the playmaker behind him will help him out.
Teams will continue to double team Mike Evans and having someone in the backfield that can get a few yards on first down is important. Jameis especially, excels in the play action game. Last year Doug Martin barely played, with injuries that have plagued him his whole career, and now the suspension, his time in Tampa is in doubt to say the least.
I hope the Bucs give him one more shot (unpopular opinions for the win), but it’s well within reason that they move on from him. Assuming they do move on from Martin, his backup fared much better last year. When Jacquizz Rodgers got the start against the Panthers he was everything we had hoped for. Throughout the rest of the year, Jacquizz excelled when called upon. That being said, he’s definitely not the long-term answer at running back.
Other than Jacquizz, it’s obvious that Sims is not a between the tackles back as he struggled hitting the hole. He is best suited for his pass catching, third down back role. Peyton Barber also had a nice rookie season, but nothing we have seen from him indicates he ready to be the next bell cow back of the Bucs. All things considered, there are several options at running back in the draft.
FSU fans, let me talk at you for a second. We all know how it to have your allegiance to your college team, we all know how it feels knowing for a fact your college running back is a first ballot Hall of Famer before he sets gets his first touch as a pro, but keep in mind the Bucs are building. Building requires depth, it requires youth, The Bucs are trying to prepare to be the next dynasty, not a one hit wonder.
That being said, trading up for Dalvin Cook is probably out of the question. He’s a talented player and I’m sure multiple teams will fall in love with him, most likely teams before pick number 19. Mortgaging the future for one guy makes very little sense. A wise man once said “Leave your college allegiance at the door when it comes to your pro team”. Now that that’s taken care of, there are quite a few options at running back in this class.
Christian McCaffrey, Samaje Perine, Alvin Kamara and even Joe Mixon are potential options in the draft. Even setting that aside, many running backs have been found in later rounds that yielded excellent results. Devonta Freeman, Karlos Williams and Jordan Howard are just some of the running backs that have been discovered in late rounds.
We do need a running back, but the necessity of a running shouldn’t equate to a desperate ” Trade up or bust” scenario.