The Buccaneers were near the bottom of the barrel in rushing through the 2017 season. Peyton Barber provided some life to a struggling running game, but it wasn’t enough to really provide a sense of optimism heading into 2018.
As a team, Tampa Bay finished 27th in rushing with 90.6 yards per game. Former running back Doug Martin struggled mightily with 2.9 yards per carry, Jacquizz Rodgers averaged 3.8 yards per carry, Charles Sims rushed for 4.5 yards per carry in a very limited role, while Barber averaged 3.9 yards per carry on the season after being the featured back during the final four games.
But there is help on the horizon for the running game by way of rookie Ronald Jones II. The USC stud running back averaged 6.1 yards per carry and 9.4 yards per reception throughout his career in Southern Cal.
Dive deeper into his stats and you can really see Jones’ talents and abilities. While at USC, Pro Football Focus recorded 58 missed tackles on carries alone, ranking him second among draft eligible backs. Those missed tackles led to 914 yards after contact which was seventh-most in the nation among running backs and third among draft eligible backs. He’s also a huge home run threat with a 46.4-percent breakaway ability (compared to former Buc Doug Martin, who was just 13.5-percent). Looking further into his breakaway ability, Jones was charted by PFF to having 25 runs of 15-plus yards (second-most in his class), gaining 719 yards on 15-plus-yard runs (fourth most in his class). Factor in that breakaway ability in the passing game and we may see Jones light the field up in both phases of the game.
Jones gives flexibility to head coach Dirk Koetter and offensive coordinator Todd Monken on how to be creative with the offense. It’ll be up to them to best utilize his skillsets. But their second round selection gives the team a legit threat for opposing defenses to worry about. All those reasons are why Jones will be the Bucs instant impact rookie.
Who do you think will be the Bucs instant impact rookie?
This poll is closed