I hope that everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July. The heat was brutal but the brisket was mouth watering and the brats were rather phallic. The passing of the 4th of July is a big landmark to me for the football season. It usually means that we are just a little over two months away from the regular season! That may even be true this season as well, but as the positive cases swell and regulations begin to be put back in place, my anxiety builds. But we must press on and be prepared for the best. I remain hopeful that NFL football will be played and that the safety of the players and staffs will go off without a hitch.
With #SFBX beginning the drafting process tomorrow I continue to research interesting and maybe even tossed aside names. Someone who seems to be tossed aside is a running back with an inside track to a GIANT workload and he’s being drafted just inside of the top 100. He is a player who had incremental improvements in his 2nd NFL season and changes to the offense in 2020 that greatly benefit him if he can hold up his end of the bargain.
Ronald Jones has had an up and down relationship with Bruce Arians. There were a couple of instances where Arians called out Ronald Jones for not pass blocking well. But things seemed to go in Jones’ favor when he was named the starting RB in November. In April, both Bruce Arians and Jason Licht had very positive things to say about Jones’ future while adding that they wanted to add depth at the position in the draft.
If Tampa would have added Dobbins or Akers in the 2nd round of the NFL draft, which they had the opportunity to do, it would have been a cause for concern. But instead, Tampa opted for a Safety in the 2nd round and added Ke’Shawn Vaughn from Vanderbilt in the 3rd round of the draft. Vaughn is a North-South 3-down back type. But I don’t think that he is any more than a handcuff in 2020. Although Jones hasn’t yet shown his full potential as a pro, he is the more explosive and dynamic option. And entering a season where the NFLPA is pushing to not have a preseason, experience will definitely be key, especially without Peyton Barber on the roster anymore.
Ronald Jones finished in the top 20 in the NFL with 8 breakaway runs and also had a 4.7% breakaway run rate. I think that’s going to serve him well in a more balanced offense with Tom Brady under center. Jones also improved in the passing game catching 31 balls for 309 yards. The key for Jones to stay on the field is to be a trustworthy pass blocker for Brady. And with his NFL experience, he definitely should have the upper hand in that area.
According to FantasyPros, the Buccaneers have the easiest schedule for running backs in 2020. Ronald Jones is also currently the 95th player off of the board. I will be scooping up all of the Ronald Jones value that I can in drafts this year. Rudy Gamble currently has a 41%-41% split between Vaughn and Jones, but I currently believe that Jones may see 55-60% of the snaps. Either way, check out Rudy’s player pages, they are looking pretty crisp this year!