Shaun Wilson’s preseason debut is on the horizon. The undrafted free agent looks to be a perfect fit alongside the rest of Tampa Bay’s running backs.
As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers search for answers at running back, undrafted free agent, Shaun Wilson has made his push for a roster spot, even before his preseason debut.
The Duke product has created buzz during camp and is ready for his first NFL action against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.
The top of the Bucs running back depth chart is already locked up. Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones will be getting the bulk of the carries. There is room for just one or two more running backs on the roster and Wilson might be the answer.
The hype around Wilson started early on in training camp with his quick and explosive playstyle. At 5’9″, 185 he fits the bill as a scat back. Built in the mold of Danny Woodhead or Dion Lewis, Wilson could be a strong complement to bigger backs like Barber and Jones.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Neither of the Bucs top two backs are reliable receivers. While the coaching staff may expect Jones to become an all-purpose back soon, it doesn’t look like it will happen in 2018. Allowing Wilson to man the role this season could help spread the snaps around and create a productive committee of backs.
Allowing Wilson to supplement both Barber and Jones on passing downs should work in Tampa’s favor. It will give Barber some much-needed rest and give the quarterbacks some piece of mind with a solid pass blocker and check down option right next to them.
Plus, Tampa Bay knows what they have in Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers. When Sims is on the field defenses are geared for a pass play. While Rodgers has proven, he cannot lead the charge on the ground.
When it comes to Wilson, his floor as a player is becoming a third-down back. At the very worst he will play the same role as Sims. However, Wilson is only 22-years-old. He can grow with Jones and become the foundation of Tampa’s backfield.
During the joint practices with the Titans, Wilson showed promise on special teams as well. Wilson’s has even been in the mix as the kick and punt returner, expect him to be back deep on Saturday and the remainder of the preseason.
Wilson’s fit, potential and special teams impact separate him from the other veterans vying for a roster spot.
Early on, Wilson has become something of a training camp darling. After seeing Rodgers and Sims subpar performances over the last few seasons, new faces are more than welcome on the running back depth chart.
Sliding Wilson into the third running back spot creates a young running back trio with players who all have their unique abilities. While it may be a risk to have three backs without much experience leading the way, their combined skill set will create a dynamic rushing attack.