As I look at the Buccaneers needs for 2018, RB is an area that will need an upgrade. In the next month, the Bucs are expected to cut ties with Doug Martin who will be due 6.25 million dollars this season should the Bucs bring him back. That is a lot of dough for a guy that has averaged just 2.9 YPC over the last two seasons. Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Charles Sims are the RB’s on the roster right now and neither one has been able to be the feature back over a 16 game season.
So the Bucs will be looking for a RB in the upcoming draft. I’m sure the Bucs will take a RB, just not sure they will take one with the No. 7 pick. I think the Bucs have too many other needs that are more pressing to waste their number one pick on a RB. Then again it was’nt that long ago the Bucs took K Roberto Aguayo in the second round and we all know how that worked out. So don’t put anything past this regime in Tampa.
Saquon Barkley of Penn State is the best RB in the draft. Barkley could go anywhere from 1-10 in the first round. He has all the tools you need in a complete back. He is quick, elusive, and has good acceleration.
Barkley averaged 5.9 YPC last year rushing for 18 TD’s and 1271 yards. Barkley is also a very good receiver out of the backfield as he caught 54 passes for 632 yards and 3 TD’s. Barkley is also dangerous in the return game.
Unless the Bucs move up higher in the first round, he will be off the board by the time the Bucs pick at No. 7. I look for Barkley to go to the Cleveland Browns at No.4, or the Indianapolis Colts at No. 3.
Another RB that could go in the first roun and will be there at No. 7 is Georgia RB Sony Michel. Michel averaged 7.9 YPC this last season running for 1227 yards and 17 TD’s. Michel would have had better stats if he did not have to share carries with other ball carriers at Georgia. Michel was the second back behind Nick Chubb in 2016 and became the feature back this season.
Sony Michel would be a great addition to the Bucs aresenal of RB’s and would bring another dimension to the offense.
The Bucs also have some options at the RB position when free agency opens on March 14th. Dion Lewis, Carlos Hyde and Jeremy Hill are a few options for the Bucs if they go this route, I really like Jeremy Hill as he is the most complete runner of the three. Hill just needs a fresh start and would get that in Tampa.
I still think the Bucs need to go defense first in this draft. DE edge rusher first, and DB second. Those are the most pressing needs on this team.