Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2021 NFL Draft guidebook
By Rob Leeds
The Buccaneers can’t draft running backs on day one in the 2021 NFL Draft
Copy and paste this into every draft guide for the rest of history. Running backs should never go in the first round. During a different time in the league, sure, this made sense, but no level of talent at the position is worth wasting a first-round pick.
It seems like we need this explanation every year when the fans start to talk about running backs with priority picks, and here we are again explaining why that is a horrible idea for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, every running back in the NFL is replaceable. There is a reason why a team like the Jags can move on from a fourth overall pick for an undrafted free agent to substantially improved production. There is a reason why the Cowboys can’t win games behind a dramatically diminished run game when Ezekiel Elliott can’t hold on to the football.
Paying running backs and relying on running backs is the cardinal sin in the NFL right now. Look up all of the top-paid backs at the moment. With the exception of Derrick Henry, none of those players have the ability to help their team in the same way as a quarterback, offensive tackle, pass-rusher, or corner.
The best running backs come in the later rounds based on cheaper price tags and more space for the team to build a complete roster around them.
While it may seem that the Bucs have no real needs right now and a running back at 32 “isn’t that bad,” even taking a position of no need like corner or offensive line maximizes the value more than a back that will struggle to meet their expectations in the current offense.