Fans and analysts have been quick to declare recent draft pick Ke’Shawn Vaughn as the new third-down back for the Buccaneers in 2020. This may seem like the most likely scenario, but it excludes Dare Ogunbowale and the role that he played in 2019.
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As both the special teams captain and the lead third-down back last season, Ogunbowale delivered a mediocre performance in his first year in Bruce Arians’ system.
Year one may have fallen short of expectations, but Ogunbowale could see a massive step forward with Tom Brady lined up at quarterback. Brady relies heavily on running backs as pass catchers, and Ogunbowale could see his share of targets jump up.
Ogunbowale may not be the favorite to start at third-down back right now after the addition of Ke’Shawn Vaughn, but the abbreviated offseason could force the Bucs to keep Ogunbowale in his current role.
If the Buccaneers keep Ogunbowale as the go-to option in the passing game and use Vaughn as a dependable backup to Ronald Jones, Ogunbowale may have a chance to cement his role on the roster for the future due to the new offensive scheme and Brady’s increased use of check-down passes.