3 running backs for Buccaneers to watch in the 2022 NFL Draft

James Cook, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
James Cook, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers look like they are still in a position to draft a running back during the 2022 NFL Draft. 

Drafting a running back may not be the sexiest move for the Buccaneers this offseason, but it looks like it may happen either way.

The unit is in a good spot with Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard coming back. However, expecting things like this to perfectly carry over from the past season is a dangerous game to play.

Tampa always needs to focus on getting better on the offensive side of the ball, especially when Todd Bowles has made it clear that he will want to run the ball more during his tenure.

Assuming this is the case, the Buccaneers are a likely candidate to come away from the draft with at least one running back.

Here is who they should keep a close eye on:

James Cook, UGA

The Bucs do already have Bernard on the roster to serve as the third-down back if Fournette isn’t on the field for every down, but that still might not be enough.

Running backs need hands more than ever to succeed in the modern game, and Cook’s hands may be the best in the class.

Cook may lack the pure running ability of his brother Dalvin, but he has every tool to be successful in a supporting role to Fournette over the next few years. Assuming he is available in one of the middle rounds, it seems unlikely that the Bucs would pass.

Dameon Pierce, UF

Sticking in the SEC, Pierce would be like bringing in another Fournette. Good on passing downs or as a runner, he might lack the explosiveness of some of his peers with outright athleticism, but he has enough to get the job done.

If the Bucs really do want to make running the ball a part of their identity, Pierce is their guy.

Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M 

Spiller rounds out this list as a guy who has tumbled down draft boards after some poor athletic testing. The tape and production are there for a guy that can do everything well, but lacking in that department in the NFL can create some red flags.

Regardless, the Bucs aren’t known for having the most athletic guys at the position already, and taking advantage of Spiller’s draft position with a great college career in mind is far from a bad idea.

Trending. Buccaneers can’t be complacent with important offensive position. light

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