The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will draft a running back in the 2017 NFL draft. That’s what Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds reports in his latest SR’s Fab 5 column, and Reynolds suggests Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey as a player the Bucs are intrigued with.
With Doug Martin’s future with the team in doubt due to drug usage and a three-game suspension to start the 2017 season, the Bucs will draft a running back to replace the 28-year old rusher, who is coming off a career-low 421 yards and 2.9-yard average last year
Replacing Martin — or at least finding some form of insurance for him — makes sense, depending on how he’s progressing in his recovery from an apparent drug addiction. I’m not sure that spending a first- or second-round pick on a back is going to be the right decision there, though, but I’ve made my skepticism on spending a lot of (draft) capital on that position clear repeatedly.
The Bucs do have a pretty varied and serviceable group of backs right now, especially if they re-sign Jacquizz Rodgers. I’m not as down on Charles Sims as Reynolds appears to be, and I don’t see why a combination of Sims, Rodgers and Peyton Barber (with possibly a drafted mid-round back added into the mix) wouldn’t be perfectly alright. Not a long-term solution, of course, but as the New England Patriots keep proving year in, year out, you don’t need long-term solutions at that position.
At the same time, I’m not quite seeing the appeal of McCaffrey in a very strong running back class. McCaffrey’s pretty solid at most things he does, but he doesn’t really stand out anywhere — and he’s not the dynamic player that, say, Dalvin Cook is. If you’re going to be investing a high draft pick in a running back, you might as well swing for the fences rather than settle for McCaffrey
Quick aside: complaining about stigma and discrimination surrounding white running backs while focusing on a white back’s ‘intelligence and work ethic’, and ignoring those aspects when talking about non-white backs like Kareem Hunt on the very next page, and other backs on the third page? Yeah, that’s a bit.....much.
In any case, apparently the Bucs will draft a running back. Whether that drafting of a back will happen in the first two rounds remains to be seen — it’s certainly possible given the draft’s quality at that position.