Running Backs (4)- Ronald Jones II, Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims
Tampa Bay’s backfield looks pretty similar to how it did in 2017. The only name missing from last year is Doug Martin, who was released in the offseason. To replace him, the team drafted Ronald Jones II out of USC with the 38th overall pick. Heading into the season, it’s reasonable to think that the rookie will get every chance to take that starting job. In his three seasons with the Trojans, Jones ran for 3,619 yards and 39 touchdowns, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. The Bucs are hoping his big-play ability translates well.
The No. 2 in what will likely be a 1-2 combo will be Peyton Barber, who did more than enough to earn some carries at the end of last season. By the time 2017 was over, he had out-rushed everyone else on the roster, going for 423 yards and three scores on 108 carries. He earned a spot on the team going forward and there should be no doubt that he will slot in as the guy to pair with Jones at the top of the depth chart.
Once Martin returned from his suspension last year, Jacquizz Rodgers saw his touches disappear. However, he played pretty well on special teams and averaged 3.8 yards per carry when he did get the ball. On draft day, the Bucs announced that they had re-signed Charles Sims. Sims has been pretty unpopular in the last year or so because of his constant tip-toeing behind the line. Not only that, but his presence in the backfield on third downs almost always telegraphs that a screen pass was coming his way. His pass-catching ability is a plus, but his ineffectiveness as a runner has been frustrating. He will likely get one last year to prove his worth to the organization.