Saturday, September 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Draft can still offer quality RBs in later rounds

If the Bucs use their top draft pick to address other needs besides running back, recent years have shown that quality backs can be found in later rounds.

Last year's Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year, Saints running back Alvin Kamara, was drafted in the third round, and another finalist, the Chiefs' Kareem Hunt, also went in the third. Two years ago, Chicago's Jordan Howard finished second in the NFL in rushing as a rookie after being drafted in the fifth round.

Who might be this year's later-round gems? Here are a few options if the Bucs want to wait until the second day of the draft, or even the third to find a new back.

RASHAAD PENNY, San Diego State: Led the NCAA in rushing with 2,248 yards, getting 7.8 yards per carry and scoring 23 touchdowns, but he still should be available when the Bucs pick at No. 38 overall in the second round. He's unlikely to be there in the third round, when the Bucs pick at No. 69 overall.

NICK CHUBB, Georgia: The consensus is that former teammate Sony Michel will be the first Bulldogs running back taken, perhaps in the late first round. The question is a 2015 knee injury — he's returned healthy for the last two season, but not at the same level he was before the injury.

Waiting until the third day — the draft's final four rounds — can often be waiting too long. Last year, the Bucs took Boise State's Jeremy McNichols in the fifth round, but he wasn't even good enough to make the final roster cuts.

KALEN BALLAGE, Arizona State: Much like Kamara, his college stats don't jump out — never so much as 700 rushing yards in a season. But he's shown flashes — he scored eight touchdowns in one 2016 game against Texas Tech. His pass-catching is a plus, having caught 44 passes as a junior, and he should still be around in the fifth or sixth round.

DARREL WILLIAMS, LSU: It's easy to get overlooked playing behind Leonard Fournette — a top-five pick last year — and Derrius Guice, who could crack the first round this year. He rushed for 820 yards this season and can help himself with good measurables this week in Indy.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Comments
Bucs PK Chandler Catanzaro insists he’s curse-free

Bucs PK Chandler Catanzaro insists he’s curse-free

TAMPA — When placekicker Chandler Catanzaro missed a 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter at New Orleans and a point-after attempt last week against the Eagles, he left the door open for a possible comeback by the Saints and Eagles.The Bucs...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Ryan Fitzpatrick said his only goal was to go 3-0 while Jameis Winston was suspended

Ryan Fitzpatrick said his only goal was to go 3-0 while Jameis Winston was suspended

TAMPA — Shortly after he learned he would be starting the first three games this season, Ryan Fitzpatrick saw the opportunity to do something few thought would be possible.No, not take Jameis Winston's job.The Bucs starting quarterback was susp...
Published: 09/21/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Mailbag: Bucs-Steelers, Vita Vea, Rays’ playoff chances, more

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Mailbag: Bucs-Steelers, Vita Vea, Rays’ playoff chances, more

It's our mailbag episode, with questions about how many games the Bucs can win this season, the reason for their offensive explosion and what we can expect from Vita Vea this week against the Steelers.Plus, what moves should the Rays make this offsea...
Published: 09/21/18
FitzMagic is everywhere, even in Cleveland

FitzMagic is everywhere, even in Cleveland

It feels like there's FitzMagic in the air everywhere these days, even in Cleveland.When Baker Mayfield came off the bench Thursday night to lead the Browns to a 21-17 win over the Jets — Cleveland's first victory in 635 days — he became ...
Published: 09/21/18
Bucs DT Vita Vea, CB Brent Grimes return to practice, could play vs. Steelers

Bucs DT Vita Vea, CB Brent Grimes return to practice, could play vs. Steelers

TAMPA — For the first time in seven weeks, Vita Vea played football Thursday.At least it looked like the rookie defensive tackle was playing football when he walked to the Bucs' practice field wearing a helmet and full pads and took a three-poi...
Published: 09/20/18
Tell us: What are you doing to celebrate FitzMagic?

Tell us: What are you doing to celebrate FitzMagic?

Have you fallen under the spell of FitzMagic?Are you growing a beard? Naming your dogs (or your kids) after Ryan Fitzpatrick? We want to hear from you.Let us know what you're doing to celebrate the hottest player in the NFL — Tampa Bay's own Ry...
Published: 09/20/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: When might Jameis Winston return under center?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: When might Jameis Winston return under center?

Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud on today's podcast to discuss if and when Jameis Winston might regain his job as starting quarterback of the Bucs.Plus, they talk about what Tony Dungy, who is set to be inducted into the Bucs' Ring of Honor, has met ...
Published: 09/20/18
Jameis Winston’s Uber ride will never be forgotten, and shouldn’t

Jameis Winston’s Uber ride will never be forgotten, and shouldn’t

Just when you thought it was fun to be a Bucs fan again. Just when you were blissfully under the spell of FitzMagic. Just when the Bucs were becoming the cool kids in the NFL with the latest greatest show on turf.Just as the good times have arrived, ...
Published: 09/19/18
Buccaneers-Eagles All-22: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fitzmagic could be real

Buccaneers-Eagles All-22: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fitzmagic could be real

It’s just a mirage.At any moment now, Ryan Fitzpatrick will come crashing back to Earth. He’ll go back to being the Fitzpatrick of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Quarterbacks don’t t...
Published: 09/19/18
Bucs’ Ryan Fitzpatrick is NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week. Again.

Bucs’ Ryan Fitzpatrick is NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week. Again.

It's Ryan Fitzpatrick's world, and the NFL is just living in it.For the second straight week, the Bucs quarterback was named the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week.Fitzpatrick becomes the first Bucs player to ever to win that award in back-to-back we...
Published: 09/19/18