The evaluation process is well underway of draft prospects, the NFL Scouting Combine is upcoming, plus, individual workouts and team visits are all still to come. One position that is definitely at the forefront for the Bucs and the Dolphins is running back.
We wrote previously that both teams are obviously in need and neither should be afraid to look strongly at guys like Penn State’s Saquon Barkley and LSU’s Derrius Guice early in the first round at #7 (Bucs) or #11 (Fins).
However, if both of those guys are gone, or the teams deem another more important need, who’s another back that you should be monitoring, as the first round unfolds and perhaps in to the early second round.
The name? Ronald Jones, Southern Cal.
Our brothers from Fanrag Sports’ draft arm, NDT Scouting, gave an in depth look at Jones and glowing evaluation and grade:
"Ronald Jones is the best running back to come out of USC since Reggie Bush and he has every tool necessary to persist in the league far longer, and far more successfully, than Bush ever did." – @BenjaminSolakhttps://t.co/TY4YzXXlwV
— NDT Scouting LLC (@NDTScoutingLLC) February 17, 2018
Jones had a brilliant rushing career at “tailback U,” averaging 6.1 yards per carry while rushing for 1,500+ yards in 2017, scoring 39 career rushing TDs (19 a year ago). Scouts are salivating at his game breaking speed, especially.
NDT Scouting analyst, Benjamin Solak, scouted Jones game tapes extensively, and has projected him as a mid-first round to early second round grade.
One thing that Solak wrote in his evaluation that should intrigue Bucs and Dolphins fans about his potential at the next level:
“Because of his excellent ability to gear up/gear down, Jones can execute the primary agent of outside zone–force the linebackers to flow too hard to one sideline, then cut underneath them–to perfection. First, Jones’ speed stresses the linebackers to the outside–then he can cut upfield (outside zone runs are designed, not to get the RB to the outside, but to give him space to cut upfield) in a blink.”
Again, he may not last into the second round, but Jones is an explosive back that would definitely be great value, if he is there.
And we know that in Tampa Bay and Miami, they are on the look for a running back.
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