The Buccaneers need to consider a new running back for the 2021 campaign.
The run game has been terrible for the Buccaneers in 2021. The inability for Tampa to set up any semblance of consistency on this front hasn’t slowed the offense down too much, but the lack of any rushing attack will hurt in the playoffs.
Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette have some massive holes in their games, from vision to catching, and Tampa is inching closer to starting over at the position in the 2022 NFL Draft.
While the Bucs could look towards free agents or trade options to fix their biggest offensive issue, there is another solution that may seem strange at first.
Chris Godwin is likely the best-suited running back on the roster from a talent standpoint. Should he run between the tackles 20 times a game? Probably not. But there is a case to make that Godwin should line up in the backfield more.
Godwin excels in every area Jones and Fournette struggle. He already showed off his vision on a touchdown run last week against the Rams, his hands are infinitely better than either of his potential counterparts, and as one of the best-blocking receivers in the NFL, there is a case to make that Godwin would also be the best blocker on the team at the position.
Tampa also has a wealth of wide receivers that wouldn’t make Godwin lining up in the backfield a negative. Even with Scotty Miller out with an injury, the Buccaneers have a deep stable of wide receivers to lean on if Godwin is lined up at running back.
At 209 pounds, Godwin is far from a small running back, and his speed as a ball carrier and history as a YAC player indicate he can succeed with five to ten carries in a change of pace role.
It may scare some fans to take one of their best players at receiver and move him to running back, but Chris Godwin could essentially play the same role and more at running back, and he could still line up on the outside to keep defenses consistent.
This move would end up saving the Bucs money, draft picks, and would immediately improve their offense in a time where a significant change is needed. If the run game still struggles against the Patriots, Byron Leftwich and Bruce Arians should at least consider the move.
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