The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been getting linked with some running backs over the past weeks, particularly in the first round of the draft. I am not a fan of spending first-round picks on running backs, though I can see the argument.
One alternative to spending a high pick on a back (assuming Doug Martin’s not going to be all that after his remaining three suspended games), is re-signing Jacquizz Rodgers. He produced 560 rushing yards on 126 carries in ten games (five starts), and looked pretty solid throughout
In fact, he looked so solid that Pro Football Focus ranked him tied for tenth with Devonta Freeman among all running backs, a pretty solid accomplishment, though PFF’s grading of players isn’t perfect and uncontroversial.
There’s more to sticking with Rodgers than just his ranking, though. He’s familiar with Dirk Koetter’s offense, having played for him in Atlanta, and is valuable as both a runner and a receiver. He can do it all — he’s not outstanding at everything, but he’s certainly good enough to lean on in a rotation.
And that, to me, is the more likely outcome here. The Bucs re-sign Jacquizz Rodgers, rotate him with Charles Sims, Mike James and eventually Doug Martin, and then they go from there. That’s a lot of bodies and a decent amount of quality at that position, and there’s no real need to spend a high pick on a back — or any kind of pick at all. Instead, they can spend time filling other holes, and adding some crucial depth. Like at wide receiver.