With a team that has not been to the postseason since the 2007-08 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went into the 2018 NFL Draft with a major hole to fill at the running back position. The Bucs are extremely hopeful that second-round pick Ronald Jones out of the University of Southern California will be one of the steals of the draft.
According to a report this weekend by Bucs beat reporter Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the USC product could be expected to get at least 15-20 touches per game right out of the gate.
A very explosive back for the Trojans, Jones rushed for a whopping 3,619 yards on 591 carries (6.1 yards per carry) and 39 rushing touchdowns in just three seasons at USC before he declared early for the 2018 NFL Draft.
Although he only caught just 14 passes for 187 yards and one touchdown last season for the Trojans, Jones is likely going to be a huge weapon on offense for Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter and quarterback Jameis Winston to work with.
Jones has all the tools to potentially be one of the top running backs in the league someday. If he does get a bigger role than expected, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone if he is in the race for Offensive Rookie of the Year for the 2018-19 season.
Tampa Bay has had notable success in the past with running backs having huge rookie seasons like Warrick Dunn in 1997, Cadillac Williams in 2005, and most recently Doug Martin (who joined the Oakland Raiders this offseason) back in 2012.