Tampa Bay Buccaneers should wait to address running back until draft

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01: D'Andre Swift #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs scores an 11-yard receiving touchdown in the second quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01: D'Andre Swift #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs scores an 11-yard receiving touchdown in the second quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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While running back remains a potential need for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they should wait and add a high caliber playmaker in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected running back Ronald Jones out of the University of Southern California with the 38th overall pick in the draft. He did not live up to the hype as a rookie, rushing for less than 50 yards and for less than two yards per carry.

While he looks primed for a big second season, adding 13 pounds of muscle, Jones has a ton to prove this year. If he fails to do so, then he could see the exit out of Tampa Bay after just two years. Behind him is veteran Peyton Barber who led the team in rushing in 2018, nearing 1,000 yards on the season.

He too averaged less than four yards per carry last year and is in need of proving he can be more efficient in 2019. Barber re-signed with the Buccaneers on a one-year deal this year for right around the league minimum, so he could also walk at the end of the season should the Buccaneers seek an upgrade.

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Many have speculated the Buccaneers should continue to seek upgrades, naming them as potential fits for Los Angeles Chargers’ running back Melvin Gordon and for Cleveland BrownsDuke Johnson who are both potentially on the trade block. Instead, Tampa Bay should stand pat, ride out Barber and Jones, and look to address the position in an extremely deep draft class in 2020.

When it is said that this is a deep class of running backs, it is an understatement as there are a handful of backs who could go in the first round and others who could go on day-two as well. While this writer has only watched a handful of backs to this point, one has already been given a top ten grade, another a first round grade, and a third back a second round grade to this point.

Georgia’s D’Andre Swift has the potential to be a back with the caliber of Ezekiel Elliot and Saquon Barkley as standout prospects who warrant a top five pick. He has the incredible ability to make cuts as if he were running in a straight line as he loses no velocity; Swift is also a natural pass catcher and deceptively strong for his 5-9 and 215 pound frame.

Here is a small thread as I watched Swift last night:

The other two running backs watched include Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Arizona State’s Eno Benjamin. Both display explosiveness and ability to shed wimpy tacklers. Names to keep an eye on that have not been scouted yet to this point are Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor and Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins among others.

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Needless to say the Buccaneers can pick any of the following names in next year’s draft and come out a winner. If Jameis Winston pans out and Tampa Bay does not need to address the quarterback position early in the draft and find themselves picking in the teens of the 2020 NFL Draft, they may even find themselves in position to grab Swift or Etienne.