Bucs’ Best Bets: Running Back

Bucs’ Best Bet – Rounds 1-3: Memphis RB Darrell Henderson

The Bucs have more pressing needs than running back in this year’s draft, and likely won’t address the position before the third round. That means passing on likely second-round picks in Alabama’s Josh Jacobs as well as Penn State’s Miles Sanders, whom the team really likes. Henderson is right up there with Sanders, and it’s his 5-foot-8, 208-pound size that will cause him to slip to the third round where the Bucs might pounce. Henderson, a junior, is one of the most productive and explosive rushers in this year’s draft, rushing for 3,545 yards and 36 touchdowns in his three years at Memphis while averaging 8.2 yards per carry.

The Tigers star is like a faster version of Kareem Hunt and does a great job of slipping tackles for extra yardage. Henderson had a career-high 1,909 yards and 22 TDs last year with his 4.49 speed, while catching 22 passes for 295 yards (15.5 avg.) and three more scores. Henderson would be ideal in Bruce Arians’ offense as he has tremendous hands. He posted 63 career receptions for 758 yards (12 avg.) and eight TDs at Memphis. With Peyton Barber’s contract up after this year and Ronald Jones possibly being a bust, Tampa Bay needs a long-term playmaker at the running back spot and Henderson could be a star at the NFL level.

Bucs’ Best Bet – Rounds 4-7: Memphis RB Tony Pollard

If the Bucs don’t get Henderson in the third round, don’t be surprised if Tampa Bay targets Pollard, his Tigers teammate, on Day 3. Pollard is slightly bigger at 6-foot, 210 pounds, and faster, evidenced by his 4.37 time in the 40-yard dash at his pro day, which the Bucs attended. Pollard was used as a runner, receiver and return specialist at Memphis. He rushed for 941 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 6.8 yards per carry over his career. Pollard not only caught passes out of the backfield, he also lined up in the slot and ran routes while totaling 104 catches for 1,292 yards (12.4 avg.) and nine TDs.

Last year, he totaled 1,010 yards from scrimmage and scored nine TDs before shining in the Senior Bowl where he scored a touchdown. Pollard is one of the best kick returners in college football history, setting the FBS record with seven touchdowns, including four as a junior, while averaging 30.1 yards per return. Pollard’s speed, versatility on offense and kick return ability would be quite useful in Tampa Bay as a fourth- or fifth-round pick.

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fanofdabucs

Benny Snell at 14 is ridiculous. I know a lot of the “experts” aren’t high on Snell because they all get so caught up with 40 times and highlight reels.

All Snell will do is be a workhorse back that will wear defenses down, and consistently be a 1,000 yard rusher.

This guy was a monster in the toughest conference in football.

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TBChucky

Henderson would fit nicely. Still hoping Rojo can emerge this season, but it wouldn’t be wise to bank on it.

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Dman

I agree with , take Snell if you can get him in later rounds. Like Barber, he is a 1,000 yard runner from the SEC that nobody seems to care about. I think the two of them would make a strong tandem backfield.

I’m still of the mind the running game improves with better Oline play. And keep your fingers crossed the Ronald Jones comes around.

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surferdudes

If Licht couldn’t pick the right back last year with a high second round pick, why would we think he could find the right one this year?

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Brandonges

This team has too many needs to justify taking a RB for the second year in a row (aside from a round 6-7 flier). Fix the offensive line and the running game will suddenly become viable.

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BUC-ASS-BOB

As of today Bucs do not have cap space to sign player picked at 5 , they have so many needs on both lines and d in general it is so hard to draft RB however they could trade back to early 20s and pick up Josh Jacob’s Jameis needs a RB to take pressure off him could be difference for Jameis this year. Last year bucs rated 31 in running attack they need RB more than any other team……..

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Bucsfan1983

I’m in favor of getting a back later(this year anyway, more holes to fill elsewhere), so sign me up for Tony Pollard in round 4 or 5.

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chefboho

Wow, that’s twice in one week I agree with you BOB. Let’s not make it a habit lol. I agree the running game needs a major boost. I believe we can improve a little just from having a better running game coordinator. Good god Warhop sucked at his job. It’s almosy crazy how the running backs were met in the backfield before they could even pick up speed. I agree that this team has so many holes that’ll be hard to draft one. One that could be had in the later rounds that I love is Travis homer. Good speed… Read more »

Austin Williams

Take Henderson in the 3rd! If he is not there (which probably will not be), then take a later round RB, but Henderson at 3rd round would make us sooooo explosive!

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bucianco

If the OLine is improved even slightly with better/different coaching and a new scheme of attack, and one or two improved pieces, that might be enough to improve the run game from 31st to somewhere in the middle. The run game doesn’t have to be fearsome to be effective. Besides, having a top offense and a bad defense got us to 5-11 last year. I think we should avoid drafting a RB and put our 6 picks to better use defensively. There will be plenty of undrafted backs to choose from. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet.… Read more »

scubog

I still say, draft the BPA and if that’s a RB, so be it. The question is whether or not RB is also a need. I thibk it is. Bruce has praised Peyton Barber and I too think he’s a decent, albeit not spectacular RB. ROJO is a great mystery. My opinion is that he is young and his fragile confidence was shattered. And what has BA attempted to do with Jameis and Hargreaves……….bolster their confidence. Too soon to give up on him, but we can’t afford to pass on a RB while we wait. The others on the roster… Read more »

DT25

I actually think I prefer Pollard in this situation. He’s bigger, not unlike David Johnson, and will cost us less draft capital. We simply can’t afford to draft another RB in the top 3 rounds this year. Give RoJo a chance to develop under an actual NFL caliber coaching staff and bring in a pass catcher like Pollard to add another dimension to the offense. Those early picks need to be used to address bigger needs along the DL, OL, at LB and in the secondary.

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yohohoandabottleofrum

The Memphis running backs are a good duo….but I have to mention a running back that all you seminole fans failed to mention and that is Jordan Scarlett from Florida. He has speed and he is a really tough runner. I know most of you hate the Gators but look at his tape when he runs with the ball.

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