Running back: Ronald Jones
After a rookie season of averaging less than three yards per carry, less than 50 yards rushing, and one touchdown, Ronald Jones is on the road to redemption this season. He is still currently listed as the second running back behind Peyton Barber still, but Jones seems to be playing himself into more of a split role than a backup.
Jones has had a strong start to training camp, and for a while we were getting at least one video per day of him breaking off a long run. He has added 13 pounds of muscle this offseason and looks leaner and more explosive than he did as a rookie.
Pittsburgh will be a great test as their linebacking core and defensive front are no joke, anchored by Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, T.J. Watt, and first round pick Devin Bush. If Jones can show out against this front-seven in live action, then it will be time to take his comeback hype seriously.
For now, Barber is still in the driver’s seat to be the lead dog in Tampa Bay’s backfield, but Jones is closing that gap. The former 38th overall pick is out to prove that he can live up to the hype of a second round pick.