It would be hard to find a worse rookie season in the NFL last season than the one that Ronald Jones had after being selected as the 38th overall pick in the draft by the Buccaneers a year ago. Less than 50 yards rushing, just one touchdown, and less than three yards per carry is not an ideal way to start a career.
However, this offseason the Buccaneers opted not to draft another running back, instilling confidence in both Jones and running mate Peyton Barber. Thus far, Barber and Jones have not betrayed that confidence of the Buccaneers and look poised to make a major leap this season.
Adding 13 pounds of muscle this offseason, Jones has looked more explosive through the hole, showing immense burst and breakaway speed. While Barber is going to fight hard to remain the lead dog in the Buccaneers’ backfield, Jones has stepped up to the challenge and is vying for more carries.
Again, live action football will be more of an indicator of progress made, but Jones looks like he had made some major improvements this offseason. Establishing a run game will take the Buccaneers’ offense to a whole new level, so the success of Jones and Barber will be vital for Tampa Bay.