When the Bucs selected Ronald Jones last April in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, most felt the team upgraded the running back position in a big way. In, fact many didn’t wonder if former USC running back Ronald Jones II would unseat incumbent Peyton Barber, but when it would take place.

Hopefully none of those fans were holding their collective breath.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Through four preseason games not only has Jones underwhelmed in the stats department versus the other backs on the Bucs roster, he has underwhelmed statistically when compared to last year’s rookie running back Jeremy McNichols, a fifth-round selection. The former Boise State standout didn’t even make it to the opening day roster for the Bucs after a preseason where he ran for 79 yards on 23 carries.

Jones who was the 38th overall pick last April didn’t even average a yard per carry, and finished the preseason with 22 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown.

Both undrafted free agent running back Shaun Wilson (15 for 71 yards, 4.7 avg.) and Dare Ogunbowale (21 for 55 yards, 2.6 avg.) clearly outplayed Jones this preseason. And while Jones won’t be cut due to his draft status, you have to wonder how far down the depth chart he has fallen and at what point – if any – he makes an impact in 2018.

With the loss of Charles Sims to injury, and Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers having NFL experience at running back on the roster, will the Bucs be on the lookout for veteran back after cut downs on Saturday where all teams must be down to 53?

Will Jones even be on the 46-man active roster on game days? That question won’t be decided until September 9 when the Bucs open the 2018 regular season at New Orleans.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
3 years ago

Jones was being hit in the backfield as soon as he was receiving the handoff. Hard to judge any player under such situations.

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
3 years ago

Agree Bucs need to get him out in space.

Ron Gibson
Ron Gibson
Reply to  Buc 1976
3 years ago

Outer space

Horse
Horse
3 years ago

I actually thought Jone did alright considering the offensive line blocking was not good most times. I didn’t see any tap dancing; the guy was mostly running into a wall of Defenders and where our offensive line was I have no clue.

vtrantb
vtrantb
3 years ago

Clearly outplayed. Looks slow and tentative. Can someone explain why we passed on Guice?

Sneedy16
Sneedy16
Reply to  vtrantb
3 years ago

I am pretty sure Guice has a torn ACL right now. Tentative? What game were you watching? He literally ran into guys as soon as he touched the ball.

vtrantb
vtrantb
Reply to  Sneedy16
3 years ago

I know Guide has a torn ACL. My pointvisbwhy draft Jones over Guice when he had great years in the SEC?

Sneedy16
Sneedy16
Reply to  vtrantb
3 years ago

Guice had a some issue that a few teams passed on, so it wasn’t just the Bucs.

Jlog
Jlog
Reply to  Sneedy16
3 years ago

Well if Jones had a ACL he would help the Bucs more as it would free a roster spot. Right now he’s dead weight.

Sneedy16
Sneedy16
Reply to  Jlog
3 years ago

Dead weight really? Yeah I’m sure Donte Fowler running unblocked for a tackle was Jones fault as well. We are already thin at running backs to begin with, so him on IR wouldn’t help.

vtrantb
vtrantb
3 years ago

Hypothetical question to Bucs fan. If the Bucs didn’t draft Jones in the 2nd round, based on what we have seen so far in camp and preseason and we keep 2 out of the 3 names: Jones, Oga, Wilson, which 2 players would the Bucs keep?

MrThrityTwo
MrThrityTwo
Reply to  vtrantb
3 years ago

Bucs GM Licht gets 2 extra 2nd rounders and uses all 3 on NON-O LINE. Oline is key to running game – Duh The BUCS O Line should have been 2nd Priority after D Line – PERIOD. Look at the eagles – Oline #1 Dline top 10 last year – instead they waste on questionable D backs. Whyyyyyyy. No Idea – Licht is The entire staff is on borrowed time. And with JW out against 3 playoff teams early, I fear players smell these guys will be out – and the players could phone it in like they did with… Read more »

Dave
Dave
Reply to  MrThrityTwo
3 years ago

2 questionable corners? Licht nailed both those picks. Davis is a stud in the making, and M.J. looks like a big playmaker. Have you watched a single snap of this preseason? Like any at all? You win dumbest comment of the article

e
e
3 years ago

The kid has a killer tape. I hope that he makes the cut and gains the confidence to do what he did at USC. Somebody stick Rocky on his Netflix list.

vtrantb
vtrantb
Reply to  e
3 years ago

They are not going to cut him based on his draft status but if it is at the expense of Wilson it would be a travesty.

e
e
Reply to  vtrantb
3 years ago

They cut Aguayo and he was a second rounder?

vtrantb
vtrantb
Reply to  e
3 years ago

1 year too late.

MrThrityTwo
MrThrityTwo
Reply to  vtrantb
3 years ago

EXACTLY and way late into the camp/preseason – They saved that for TV aka hard Knocks…. WTF
Can u imagine Belichick doing that? NOOOOOOOO

Licht sux

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy
Reply to  e
3 years ago

They cut Aguayo after he played an entire year….poorly. If RoJo does the same, then yes next year he could get cut.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  vtrantb
3 years ago

I loved the Wilson pick!! Dude was a complete stud in college. They better not cut him. Sadly enough I’d keep 4 backs. Barber, Quizz, RJ2, and Wilson. Wilson will scooped up in 2 seconds if we release him

vtrantb
vtrantb
3 years ago

Let me see both Wilson and Oga return kickoffs and can catch the ball and more decisive and quick…and Jones can?

Pick6
Pick6
3 years ago

Ogunbowale can be stashed on the practice squad without issue. Jones will get a little time but Licht has not hesitated to quickly move on from Round 2 duds in the past. Jones could go the way of ASJ and Aguayo within 12 months if he produces more of the same and they like Shaun Wilson enough

vtrantb
vtrantb
Reply to  Pick6
3 years ago

Yeah like his 2nd rnd busts like Aguayo and Spence. Spence was still on the field when all the starters were in street clothes. That said it all.

SOXX
SOXX
3 years ago

Looking for a home run when he needs to get the tough yards. Time to adjust to the NFL where a 5 yard run is a good thing.

MrThrityTwo
MrThrityTwo
Reply to  SOXX
3 years ago

Bingo – and that falls on the coaches – COACH for heavens sake!

scubog
scubog
3 years ago

From my perch, it looked like the youngster was hit as soon as he got the hand-off and the few times he wasn’t hit in the backfield he managed a few yards by trying to find a sliver of room that just wasn’t there. Way too soon to write off this kid. Then again, here in Bucville, many do love to select their scapegoats and whipping boys early.

Jlog
Jlog
Reply to  scubog
3 years ago

I respect your opinion but he should have had way more touches in the preseason.

IDGABuc
IDGABuc
3 years ago

I think Jones will get a cpl seasons at least to show what he can do if he flashes at all (which he hasn’t so far!) over the next year. You’re hoping he makes a cpl nice runs though even if it is the O-line but he didn’t at all. Wilson looked better for sure. Look at Hargreaves for the most part so far though! He’s looked pretty good when most people probably weren’t expecting much based on the last two seasons. For some guys it just takes time Jones will get it an early pick but it’d sure be… Read more »

Pete Wood
Pete Wood
3 years ago

I’m baffled by his lack of production. Even if the D line hammered him every single time, the D line was composed of scrubs and everyone else who rushed for the Bucs had no trouble breaking through. For some reason most fans, including me, have very little patience with running backs. We give QBs and WRs a couple of years to produce, but expect RBs to produce from the getgo. I think he’ll come through, but we probably ought to put him way down the depth chart. Would it be such a crime for him to be on the practice… Read more »

Sneedy16
Sneedy16
Reply to  Pete Wood
3 years ago

He wouldn’t make practice squad to be honest. He would be signed the next day if we cut him. He needed more carries during the preseason. I understand they didn’t want to get him hurt, but they should have left him in during the second half last week.

fredster
fredster
3 years ago

He was hit in backfield almost every play. That’s a fact. Barry Sanders wouldn’t done much better getting hit when he gets the handoff. When the defense penetrates into the backfield the run is dead!!’ Why don’t people here understand this? It’s basic football 101. This is a pathetic O line. They did nothing to open any holes. Griffin did good job and was getting ball out quick. The pass blocking was a little better than the run blocking. I said from beginning how can you judge the rookie Jones if your backup O line is complete garbage? They should… Read more »

MrThrityTwo
MrThrityTwo
Reply to  fredster
3 years ago

“I said from beginning how can you judge the rookie Jones if your backup O line is complete garbage? ”

You nailed it.

Our GM and team focusing on garbage DBs when we had 3 2nd rounders instead of OLINE says it all – They don’t get it and that’s that – should have hired Coughlin – who understand winning in the NFL to what ever role he wanted and given him a blank check.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  MrThrityTwo
3 years ago

You’re a complete tool. I hate dumb fans

DT25
DT25
3 years ago

Rewatched the tape today. Dante Fowler came untouched 3 (!!!!) different times to hit Jones as soon as he touched the ball. That didn’t happen to Wilson or Ogunbowale even once. Yeah, let’s stop being alarmist and SOMEBODY let the guy run behind the starting OL. Anybody that has seen Jones’ tape knows he needs space to run so CREATE SPACE TO RUN.

Dman
Dman
3 years ago

Let’s see what the coaches say come cut down time. Two players at need positions – Jones and Spence have been disappointing. I agree with most posts that Jones is getting hit early and doesn’t have much room, but this just doesn’t feel right. The guy has talent so let’s see how he works through it over the course of the season. The bigger disappointment is Spence. He showed iron man toughness and promise his rookie season and it looks like the team has done what it can to support him. Again it’s preseason, but I think the question is… Read more »

wnb0395
wnb0395
3 years ago

I missed the game last night but al I am reading is how he didn’t have any running room and was constantly hit in the backfield. That seems to be a consistent theme with him in every game he has played. Why is he the only one getting hit in the backfield? No other RB on our team has been hit in the backfield even half the amount of times as him even when they play behind the same Oline. So whats the problem? And why is Fowler playing the back ups. He is a former 3rd over all pick… Read more »

Sneedy16
Sneedy16
Reply to  wnb0395
3 years ago

Fowler is suspended the 1st game of the season, so they played him until the 2nd quarter yesterday.

Buc76
Buc76
3 years ago

This is great. 1st and 2nd round pick can’t get on the field. How many screwups does Licht get? If this team doesn’t have at least a winning record it’s over for both Koetter and Licht.

MrThrityTwo
MrThrityTwo
Reply to  Buc76
3 years ago

Expect a complete house cleaning – Offer Josh McDaniels what ever he wants and give him 5 years.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  MrThrityTwo
3 years ago

Yeah Josh McDaniels is the answer. It’s comedy hour over here. McDaniels is a horrible coach. Terrible in Denver, and walked out on the Colts after taking the job. Real class act

vtrantb
vtrantb
3 years ago

Yeah he got hit in the backfield a couple of times but that doesn’t explain all the 28 carries for 22 yards. Bottom line, a 2nd rounder should not be outplayed by two FA RBs.

nybuccguy
nybuccguy
3 years ago

Rojo is getting killed on every hand off because other teams know he is a one trick pony.

Keith F
Keith F
3 years ago

Yeah RoJo is not off to a good start to his NFL career, we can all agree on this one. He may have relied on his athletic ability to be successful in college so we (at least the Bucs coaches/scouts) know the talent is there. He reminds me a lot of Melvin Gordon (15th overall pick), it took Gordon until his second season to become the back he is today. Gordon’s first season was really awful, however he was able to adjust to the NFL and is now one of the better RB’s in the NFL. The Bucs will bring… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
3 years ago

“Rojo is getting killed on every hand off because other teams know he is a one trick pony.”

And the winner right here.

Teams are shooting gaps as soon as they see Rojo in the game. Rojo needs to become a pass catching threat to counter this.

When Sims was trotted out there on third down situations it was telegraphing to defenses the Bucs were not running the football.

Rojo needs to improve his pass catching to be a complete back in the NFL.

MrThrityTwo
MrThrityTwo
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
3 years ago

SIMS GONE FINALLY

Break out the Champagne – 3 years too late but woooooohooooo

fredster
fredster
3 years ago

He had longest catch of al our RBs of 37 yards last week. That’s non sense they are beating o line because he’s one trick pony. The O line was getting beat like bitches. Other 2 backs numbers are only slightly better when behind that line.

thewbacca
thewbacca
3 years ago

I understand the draft logic amongst high picks the last 3 years, but Tampa needs to start coveting O Linemen more in their higher picks this year and the next as well.

drdneast
drdneast
3 years ago

Thewbacca, I agree. You would think Licht would have learned by now. Game is still won in the trenches. Fredster, there is actually some truth in what Alldaway said but I believe his hands are getting better as evidenced by that long pass he caught on a wheel route last week. And yes, the poor guys seems to get the worst of the blocking when he is in. It’s a shame Pewter Report has to single the poor kid out and try to make him the new Bucs whipping boy when most of the ignorant fans can usually do that… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast
3 years ago

I’m surprised Mark didn’t pick on Noah Spence as well last night since he didn’t have the multi sack game Pewter Report said he needed.
It was easy to see how they were negating Spence’s speed. too. On passing down they would put a TE on him and he would either chip on him on the way out, giving the OT time to step out or they would just double team him.
I never saw Smith call for a stunt in any of those situations which would have negated that but I could be wrong. Oh well.

Ron Gibson
Ron Gibson
3 years ago

B U S T !!!

GoldsonAges
GoldsonAges
3 years ago

Rojo Goat

BUC-ASS-BOB
BUC-ASS-BOB
3 years ago

Will someone please explain why Shawn Wilson and Dare Ogunbowale are averaging 6 yards a carry with the same o line , what a moron theory its the o line FAULT . It is Bucs fault not hearing the scouts screaming that RJ was not running well at end of last season did any one other than me watch the USC Washington game ? RJ looked terrible, Jason Licht seems to get his game film from ESPN highlights. Now bucs can pay him huge money to sit on practice squad. Hows that fat boy doing with 12th pick doing Jason?… Read more »

Dave
Dave
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
3 years ago

Yup born loser Buc Ass Bob finds a way to bring up Vea in an article that has absolutely NOTHING to do with him. Nobody gives a shit what you think of Vea. Go root for another team dude

MrThrityTwo
MrThrityTwo
3 years ago

Bye Bye Licht – you bl#w

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy
3 years ago

Having watched this team every year since inception, one thing I know for sure is: the preseason is meaningless. The number of times we had some guy look great (eg, Eric Rhett) or awful (eg, Warren Sapp) in some preseason performance, only to have it all reverse, would take an abacus the size of the Big Sombrero to count. Give the kid a chance before you write him off.