Today we’ll take an exclusive look at the all the running backs on the current roster and assess the likelihood of who will and won’t make the final 53. As it stands, the Buccaneers are currently carrying six running backs going into training camp. My guess is only three will make it to Week 1. Lets run through the competition:
Peyton Barber (1st String)
– Peyton Barber isn’t by any means a flashy name in the NFL. That doesn’t mean he won’t be. For his career, the 24-year-old running back has rushed for 1,517 yards and 9 touchdowns in three years of limited play. Not bad at all. It would seem as if Barber is on the verge of a break out season given his upward trend statistically. The Buccaneers completely disregarded the running position this year, further suggesting their belief in the young back. He is absolutely the unquestioned day 1 starter.
Ronald Jones (2nd String)
– Ronald Jones has his draft status and poor offense to thank for a second season in Tampa Bay. By the looks of it, he’s redeemed himself nicely thus far this offseason. He now has the complete backing of a new staff and will be set loose this year in order to get a full sample of his talents. Assuming he plays up to his capabilities, Jones will be second in command to Barber in 2019.
Bruce Anderson (3rd String)
– A hometown product, Anderson played collegiately at North Dakota State and spent the majority of his year splitting time in a deep backfield. In his junior year the slashing back ran for 1,216 yards and 12 touchdowns while still splitting backfield time. Fast forward to the Buccaneers offseason and Anderson has been productive and is in serious contention to make the final roster. An undrafted free agent and hungry to make a name, Anderson’s sounds a lot like another RB sitting at the top of this list.
Andre Ellington (Cut)
– This is where this depth chart shakes up a bit. Now, I mentioned that I believe the Bucs will only carry three backs into the season. Andre is listed here at number 4. A former “Arians’ man”, Ellington has been a non-factor during minicamp and OTAs this year. You could say maybe the signing was more about helping to install Arians’ offense rather than what he can bring to the field.
No disrespect, but remember Ellington was out of football last year. He hasn’t taken a handoff in well over a year and with Anderson showing up strong in camp he might shakeup the running back group.
Shaun Wilson (Practice Squad)
– Shaun Wilson is a curious case. He was an undrafted rookie out of Duke last year and showed enough in camp to stick around on the practice squad and eventually a few Sunday appearances. He shows flashes of being a complimentary back, but so far only has 6 carries in his lone season. I’d have to say Andre Ellington is probably Wilson’s biggest competition at this point.
Dare Ogunbonwale (Practice Squad/Cut)
– Ogunbowale comes into this competition as merely more than a camp body. Also an undrafted rookie back in 2017 with the Houston Texans, Dare has bounced around practice squads between three teams in his two years in the league. Still provides a max out potential of a third string back in the future. Would be a welcomed addition to the practice squad.
– Outside of the top two running back spots, everything is up for grabs. Now, I do not expect Dare Ogunbowale to push Ronald Jones for a spot on the roster, but Anderson and Ellington will be the training camp battle to watch.