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2017 NFL Draft: Buccaneers show a lot of interest in running backs

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The Bucs keep bringing in backs for visits.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma Pro Day Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to show interest in running backs. Today’s revelation: Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine told Pro Football Talk that no team has shown more interest in him than the Bucs.

“I would have to say Tampa Bay just because they came down to Norman to work me out and they flew me out to tour their facility to talk with all the coaches. Other than them, it’s been pretty equal,”

Perine’s a power back who probably can’t lead an NFL running game, but who should be a useful part of a committee of backs.

The fact that the Bucs have shown significant interest doesn’t necessarily mean they’re likely to draft Perine. As always, the fact that they invited him to the facility means there’s some level of interest, and a few unanswered questions.

Generally speaking, NFL teams don’t need to invite players for a visit if they’re completely convinced of every aspect of their being. Sometimes they still do, though.

Of course, with Perine there’s also another reason to bring him in: he may be able to tell the Bucs something about Joe Mixon, who the Bucs have shown considerable interest in, even though multiple teams have taken him off their draft board.

One thing’s clear: the Bucs are going to draft a running back in the 2017 NFL draft. They’ve brought in a slew of backs for visits, including Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon, and Ohio State running back/receiver Curtis Samuel.

That is obviously not good news for Doug Martin, though it may also be bad news for Charles Sims, who’s in the final year of his rookie contract.