Running backs the Buccaneers could target on Day 2 of the NFL Draft

If the Bucs want to add some talent next to Rachaad White, then Day 2 of the NFL Draft could be a perfect time to do it.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

One of the key areas the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to improve in next year is the run game.

For two straight seasons, there has been a lot to be desired when it comes to backfield production, even with the rise of Rachaad White as one of the league's best backs. The Bucs finished second-to-last in rushing yards per game last season, which was one spot up from finishing dead last in 2022.

A lot of that could be due to poor offensive line play, but it's a puzzle that two different coordinators couldn't figure out. Granted, both Byron Leftwich and Dave Canales were fatally committed to the run game and trying to get it going, and they failed to do that in separate years.

Earlier this offseason Todd Bowles said he'd like the team to add at least one more running back, which it seems the Bucs could do in the NFL Draft. Free agency wasn't that fruitful and bringing back Chase Edmonds was the only move the team made. There's a pretty deep class of running back talent coming out, though, and Tampa Bay would be wise to dip its toe in.

NFL Draft 2024: Running backs targets for Buccaneers on Day 2

PFF's Dalton Wasserman broke down some Day 2 fits for each team and thinks the Bucs could use some of their last few premium picks on a running back. This wouldn't be to replace Rachaad White -- which is a ridiculous thing to imagine -- rather fortify the room around him.

Wasserman specifically mentions Kentucky's Ray Davis, who has ties to new offensive coordinator Liam Coen, but he's not the only potential target.

"Rachaad White has played reasonably well during his first two years in Tampa Bay, but he profiles as more of a committee option," Wasserman wrote. "New offensive coordinator Liam Coen could lobby for the team to draft Kentucky’s Ray Davis, whom Coen coached during his time there. Davis was one of the best backs in the country despite running behind a subpar offensive line. The contrast between White and Davis would be a nice pairing in the Buccaneers’ backfield."

Davis makes sense given how Coen is already familiar with him and he might be a natural fit in the new offense. There are other potential options the Bucs can consider, though, that could make just as much sense.



Projected Round

Jonathan Brooks


Late Round 2

Jaylen Wright


Early Round 3

Blake Corum


Early Round 3

Trey Benson

Florida State

Mid Round 3

Marshawn Lloyd


Late Round 3

Brooks is the biggest gamble, but also potentially the highest upside player in the running back class this year. He's the top ranked back, but is coming off a torn ACL that cut his final year at Texas short. He could be a perfect draft-and-stash with the idea that he can come around midseason and truly start factoring in.

That's a high pick to spend on a position the Bucs don't have to address. More realistically Tampa Bay could end up with Florida State's Trey Benson or Michigan's Blake Corum. Both would be complimentary backs to White and offer differnt things that improve the short yardage game.

Marshawn Lloyd can't be slept on either, as he could add some speed to the backfield and learn the ropes from Chase Edmonds.

Either way, the Bucs have options for running backs and it wouldn't be surprising to see them use one of their Top 100 picks to land one in an effort to finally fix the backfield.

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