If Jason Licht & Co. are around in 2018, some strong decisions will need to be addressed at the tailback position. Doug Martin will be due a cap hit of $6.7mil in 2018 and $7mil in ’19 and ’20. With a whopping $68mil in expected cap space projected for 2018 and likely into 2019 as well for the Pewter Pirates, being on the hook for a few million for cutting Martin really isn’t that horrendous of an idea. Sometimes, you just gotta cut your loss like the un-named FSU Kicker. Don’t say it.
After Bucs fans clamored for Licht to take Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey at #19 last April and we’re a bit stunned at the Howard pick, the 2018 draft is ripe with RB talent to supply the Bucs backfield woes.
#1 Saquon Barkley Penn St 5″11 223- 1st RB ever to win back to back Big10 Off Player of Year. Pure Freak at the RB spot. Solid instincts not seen on this level in a longtime. Special player. Great Hands evidenced by 600 rec yds in ’17. Has abilty to stop on a dime or clear you like a deer with a beautiful old school hurdle. Maybe the strongest back to come out since Adrian Peterson.
#2 Derrius Guice LSU 5’11 212- One of only 2 SEC RBs to run for 250 yds in two games in same season (Moe Williams, UK ’96). Electrifying ball carrier who thrives on the “Big Play”. 18 TDs in 6 career games as a Tiger, of those 18- 7 have been from 40+yds out or more.
#3 Bryce Love Stanford 5’10 196- School record 301 rush yards vs. ASU. 11th RB in FBS history to gain 1000 yds in first 5 games (Others include Marcus Allen, Barry Sanders, Ricky Williams, Leonard Fournette). FBS Record 10 Consecutive games with a 50yd run. “A smaller, faster version of Barry Sanders” remarks one scout. That’s scary!
#4 Josh Adams Notre Dame 6’2 220- FBS leading 5.5yds after contact. FBS leading 7 runs of 60+yds. FBS leading 4 runs of 70+yds. Absolutely thrives on contact and punishing defenders. Will literally run through even the stoutest of tacklers.
#5 Ronald Jones II USC 6’1 195- Sophomore briefly ran track at USC last spring as part of winning 400 4×4 team. Had a rough outing against ND in October, but rebounded and shined in the Trojan’s final 5 games on a heavy workload finishing strong with 5 straight 100+yd games.
Dark Horse Candidate: Damien Harris Alabama 5’11 216- Harris, a junior, does not have the numbers or track record of the previous 5 backs listed, but what he does have is 906 yds on a mere 110 carries this year for a whopping 8.2 ypc. His attempts and yardage both dropped slightly in ’17, but the 8.2 ypc is very tantalizing combined with his power and size. Improved his draft stock dramatically showing off some Red Zone prowess with 11 TD’s compared to only 2 in 2016.