After a busy offseason, Tampa Bay’s second-round pick out of USC was named the biggest offseason addition by NFL Mocks.
To say the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a busy offseason would be an understatement. General manager Jason Licht built a highly regarded draft class and was extremely active in free agency.
After the team disappointed in 2017 with a 5-11 record, Licht and the front office needed to respond to bring the team back into relevancy.
George Stockberger of NFL Mocks listed every NFL team’s biggest offseason addition and Ronald Jones was his pick for the Tampa Bay.
Here is Stockberger’s take:
"One of the most persistent problems on the Buccaneers offense is they’re too one-dimensional. They have a good quarterback in Jameis Winston with an array of talented targets in the passing game.The problem is defenses are able to key on them because they have no fear of the ground game.Tampa hasn’t been able to run the ball consistently at all. Ronald Jones represents their first legitimate attempt to fix this problem.He can take it between the tackles or turn it to the outside. He’s got acceleration and speed to go with size and good hands for catching passes.A great fit for their system."
Last season, the Buccaneers ground game was non-existent. Doug Martin failed to carry the load on the ground and forced the franchise to yet again search for an answer at running back.
Hopefully, Ronald Jones II can be the bell cow back Tampa has been searching for. Jones brings elusiveness and a big play ability which could open up the offense in 2018.
Jones’ impact, especially in the long-term probably outweighs any other offseason addition the Buccaneers made.
Licht’s additions on the defensive side of the ball will certainly help one of the league’s worst defenses but Jones can propel the Tampa offense to the next level.
If the ground game can become more of a focal point, Jameis Winston and his excess of receiving weapons will have even more room to work with. Like Stockberger said, the Buccaneers offense won’t be as one-dimensional as it was in 2017.
Odds are, Jones will be splitting work with Peyton Barber to start the season, Jones may be able to get the majority of the work with a strong training camp. Even if he plays more of a secondary role, he would still remain an important part of the Bucs offense.
Look at Alvin Kamara with the New Orleans Saints last season. He split time with Mark Ingram and still managed to take home the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
“RoJo” may have a long career ahead of him. With a team that is ready to win now, he could be one of the final pieces for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to fulfill their potential.