Buccaneers rising star primed to make massive jump in 2024

The Buccaneers have a lot to love in the growth of Rachaad White.
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

There are a lot of young players to fall in love with on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jason Licht and company have helped create one of the best young teams in the league due to their ability to find and then cultivate talent, and the Bucs get more out of their young guys on rookie deals than most of their opponents throughout the NFL.

These young guys have done a lot to carry the team during its most recent window of success, and one name worth keeping an extra close eye on is running back Rachaad White.

White's first season was a little quiet due to a struggling offense and a spot behind an established starter for most of the year, but his growth in Year 2 indicates a very bright future is ahead.

Rachaad White is about to make a major splash with the Buccaneers

As mentioned, the shift over his first two seasons was dramatic for White. He nearly doubled his yards on the ground and through the air, found the end zone six more times, and kept problems like fumbles and drops to a minimum.

The end result for White in Year 2 was over 1,500 total yards, nine touchdowns, consistent blocking, and one of the most effective seasons for a running back pass-catcher in the league. This is not the ceiling.

While White was still able to find ways to grow in Year 2 and almost ended Tampa's curse with the 1,000-rushing yard mark, there was still plenty of room to improve for the player and the scheme on the ground as a whole. Experience is going to make a huge difference.

Rachaad White has now been a starting rusher on a playoff contender for over a year now. Tampa's run blocking and rushing scheme have been far from consistent (or good), but that hasn't stopped him. Now that White is used to playing well when other pieces on his own team are working against him and has grown accustomed to the speed and visuals of the NFL game, his ceiling will only keep going up.

Given the fact that the Bucs aren't showing any signs of dramatically changing their running back room, White looks like he is going to get a lion's share of the touches again, and the hope is that the new offensive coaching staff will look for more ways to use White where he proves the most dangerous.

While the rushing numbers probably don't skyrocket due to Tampa's likely continued reliance on the pass first, White could get far more schemed touches in the passing game. Anyone that watched White play for 15 minutes last year could tell you that 70 targets in the passing game felt low. Screens, drags, and shallow routes get White the ball in prime position more often than not, and those opportunities should present themselves plenty in the new offense.

The NFL world as a whole started to catch on to the hype of Rachaad White towards the end of the season. Bucs fans know more than most that White was snubbed on some personal accolades due to his recent arrival in the NFL, especially when he outperformed many of his peers (8th overall in total yards and 4th overall amongst running backs in total yards). Those snubs are about to end.

Assuming White takes any steps forward in 2024, which is absolutely the way this is trending, 1,800 total yards is certainly on the table, and that would put White in extremely rare company in franchise history. Don't rule it out.

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