The Bucs selected Vanderbilt RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Vaughn brings lead-back size at 5’10, 214 pounds and ran a 4.51-second 40 time at the Combine, giving him an above-average 103.5 Speed Score. He transferred from Illinois after the 2016 season and operated as Vandy’s starter the past 2 years. Vaughn averaged a gaudy 7.9 yards per carry on 157 totes in 2018 but sunk to 5.2 yards per carry on 198 attempts this past year. He still ranked among the top 30 draft-eligible backs in both yards after contact and missed tackles forced in 2019, though, and finished ahead of guys like D’Andre Swift and J.K. Dobbins in Pro Football Focus’ Elusive Rating. Vaughn is also capable in the passing game, totaling 41 catches for 440 yards (10.7 YPC) and 3 TDs over the past 2 seasons. Vaughn vs. Ronald Jones will be an interesting battle to watch this summer.
Buccaneers GM Jason Licht praised RB Ronald Jones this week, saying he and the staff "have more faith in him now than we ever have," according to the team website. "We do think Ronald hasn't even scratched the surface of what he can be," Licht said. "He made a huge jump from year one to year two. He didn't have to do much to do that because year (one) wasn't very good for him. But year two, we felt very good about where he came, and we think he still has a tremendous amount of upside." Licht added that "some of the better teams" feature multiple RBs that they can "rely on in different roles." So even if the GM is being totally honest about their Jones assessment, don't be surprised to see Tampa bring in another significant RB or 2. At the moment, Jones looks like the easy favorite to lead the Buccaneers' backfield. But we'll see what the group looks like by the end of summer.
Bucs HC Bruce Arians said Monday that RB Ronald Jones has earned the right to start going forward. The 2nd-year back played on a season-high 53% of Tampa's offensive snaps in yesterday's loss to the Seahawks, taking 18 carries for 67 yards and a score. RB Peyton Barber carried just 4 times. It's looked like Jones was emerging as the Bucs' lead back at other times this season, but this is the 1st time we've heard it straight from Arians. That makes Jones easier to trust in Week 10 fantasy lineups in a nice matchup against the Cardinals.
Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones returned to practice Friday, according to ESPN's Jenna Laine. That bodes well for the knee he hyperextended in the 2nd preseason game. Laine also reported, however, that Jones has "had some busts" in blitz pickups and still needs route-running work. Jones has followed a mildly buzzy spring with a lackluster summer and seems set as the #2 guy in the backfield. He also could face a challenge from Dare Ogunbowale, who has generated his own slight buzz lately -- including positive reviews of his receiving skills. Overall, this looks like a backfield to try to avoid for fantasy football.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones missed time early this week with swelling in his knee. But he practiced the past 2 days and is expected to play in Friday night's preseason game against the Browns, according to insider Greg Auman. Jones and RB Peyton Barber have split 1st-team snaps and touches almost right down the middle across the first 2 exhibitions.
Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones sat out practice Monday. Afterward, HC Bruce Arians told reporters (according to Pewter Report): "Ronald's knee swelled up a bit, so we're trying to take it day by day with him." Sounds like Arians isn't overly concerned, but we'll keep an eye on the situation. A healthy Jones hasn't made for all that exciting a fantasy football draft option, though.
Through 2 preseason games, Bucs RBs Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones have split 1st-team work almost directly down the middle. Barber has tallied 5 carries and 1 target vs. Jones' 4 carries and 1 target. This looks like a committee backfield to open the season, leaving both RBs as uninspiring fantasy options. For more preseason observations, check out Preseason Week 2 Notes.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston said Tuesday that RB Ronald Jones has been "showing out" in OTAs. "I think it’s just his confidence and his comfort," Winston continued. "RoJo is a smart guy and he’s getting comfortable in this offense. No one is breathing down his neck, he’s more relaxed and he’s out there executing at a high level and you can really see what he can add to this team. I know how talented he is, that’s why he was a second-round pick." Jones had a brutal rookie season. But the Bucs made no significant additions to the backfield this offseason. And there's been a steady stream of positive buzz on Jones this spring. He's starting to look like an intriguing target in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts.
Bucs GM Jason Licht singled out RB Ronald Jones as the player who's most impressed the coaching staff this offseason. "His attitude, his willingness to do extra," Licht continued. "You can just see the confidence rising in him." Jones is coming off a brutal rookie campaign that saw him fail to pass Peyton Barber on the depth chart and average just 1.9 yards on 23 carries. Licht might be simply covering his butt after spending a 2nd-round pick on Jones last year. But it's also too soon to write off a guy who turns just 22 in August. Jones still has every chance to win Tampa's starting job in 2019.
The Buccaneers have reached a deal with RB Andre Ellington. The 30-year-old started his career in Arizona under new Bucs HC Bruce Arians. They showed us then that Ellington's not a workhorse. There's room for him to work into a Tampa committee, however. Last year's 2nd-round pick, Ronald Jones, returns, and Peyton Barber (a restricted free agent) will likely remain in the mix. Signing Ellington certainly shouldn't keep the Bucs from making any other backfield moves this offseason. We'll see what this depth chart looks like after the NFL Draft and early free agency.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones will play against the Panthers this weekend, HC Dirk Koetter said Friday. The rookie has been either injured or a healthy scratch in 4 straight games. He’s unlikely to see more than a handful of touches on Sunday and isn’t a fantasy option. Peyton Barber remains a fine RB3 or flex.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones (hamstring) was limited in practice all week but is out for Sunday’s game against the Giants. Peyton Barber will continue to dominate carries in Tampa’s backfield, with Jacquizz Rodgers playing on passing downs.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones (hamstring) returned to a limited practice on Wednesday. That gives him a chance to play against the Giants this weekend after missing the last 3 games. Jones isn't a fantasy option but would put a dent in RB Peyton Barber's value.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones (hamstring) remains out for this weekend’s game against the Redskins. Peyton Barber will continue to dominate touches in Tampa’s backfield but is an unexciting RB3 in fantasy lineups.
Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones suffered a hamstring strain in Sunday's loss to the Bengals and is expected to miss "a few weeks," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports. That only helps the touch count for Peyton Barber going forward. Barber already returned to 19 carries against Cincinnati and posted his 2nd strong fantasy performance among the past 3 weeks. Unfortunately for Barber, matchups with Carolina and Washington don't shape up well for RB scoring over the next 2 weeks.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones was knocked out of Sunday's game against the Bengals with a hamstring injury. The rookie carried twice for -3 yards and caught his lone target for 4 yards before exiting. We'll look for an update on his status, but Jones isn't worth rostering in redraft leagues.
Bucs RB Peyton Barber missed Wednesday's practice with an ankle injury. He appeared to tweak an ankle in the 2nd half of last week's game against the Browns, and his status for this Sunday's game is uncertain. Barber's absence would leave rookie Ronald Jones as Tampa's lead ball-carrier.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones is active for today’s game against the Bears. The rookie had been a healthy scratch for the first 3 weeks. We’d try to avoid Tampa’s backfield today, but Jones certainly has the talent to take over lead duties.
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