The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are bringing back Peyton Barber on a one-year deal. They’ve also added Andre Ellington the mix and have Ronald Jones entering his second season along with unproven players like Shaun Wilson and Dare Ogunbowale. But could they add yet another running back to the group?
Of course they could. Maybe not in round one, or round two or even day two. But they could. And Devine Ozigbo could be the guy they add.
DEVINE OZIGBO CAREER
As a four-year contributor for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Ozigbo finished with over 2,000-yards rushing, 49 receptions and 21 career touchdowns.
His most impressive season was his last one, as he eclipsed 1,000-yards rushing for the first time in his career just this past season.
Ozigbo also brought in a career high 23-receptions in 2018.
As a four-year player for Nebraska, Ozigbo has experience but not an immense amount of carries on his legs.
Has size and speed which are both sutiable for the NFL. Won’t win any sprint titles, but he can get home if given the opportunity. Likewise, he isn’t Jerome Bettis, but he can hold his own.
Shows all the pre-requisite traits and skills to be an effective NFL running back. Coaching and scheme are going to help get him the rest of the way.
Finally, he’s a capable receiver. Quarterbacks won’t want to use their running back as a primary target anyway, but having him as an outlet when needed will come in handy.
He doesn’t have an insane amount of carries for someone who played all four-years, but he has some tread taken off the tires.
While his final season was impressive, his previous years showed more to be desired, so figuring out if his Senior 7.0 yards per carry average was a more accurate picture of Ozigbo as a pro is important.
As Lance Zierlein pointed out on his NFL.com draft profile, Ozigbo failed to turn in big games against stiffer conference competition. This could also be a result of talent difference across the board, but it’s concerning nonetheless.
WHY THE BUCCANEERS NEED HIM
Tampa Bay hasn’t had a real threatening rushing attack in quite some time. Peyton Barber is a good back, and a personal favorite of mine. However, he’s yet to develop any real contribution to the passing game.
Some argue this has had more to do with Dirk Koetter’s affinity for having a ‘receiving back’, and they may be right.
Still, it’s hard to roll into 2019 assuming Barber can be an effective receiver. Ozigbo has shown the ability to be a serviceable receiver out of the backfield, and can run enough that it doesn’t have to be his one trick.
WILL IT HAPPEN
As a day three option, anything can happen. Arians and company were able to turn David Johnson into an NFL star. I feel like they can do the same with Ozigbo. For the record, I feel like they can do the same with Barber as well.
Tampa Bay picked up a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft where they had none previously. This could be looked at as a free pick, and used for luxuries like adding another running back with an immense ceiling.