Ronald Jones should be able to be the guy the Bucs want to have in their backfield on most plays this season with undrafted free agent Peyton Barber and passing down not-that-specialist Charles Sims on the roster. Barber had an opportunity last season, and played okay, but didn’t wow anyone and didn’t make plays for them. That will change with Rojo on the field, as once he sees space, he will use his cutting ability and underrated power to make big plays.
We want Rojo to be on the field a ton, but we need to check on reality first. Will he get goal line looks or will that go to Barber? Will he play on 3rd down and passing situations, or will that work go to Sims? Jones didn’t catch the ball a ton at USC, but he’s more than capable as a pass-catcher and we’ve seen him be a solid contributor in blitz protection at times.
He proved that he can carry the load last season after touching the ball 275 times, and while the Bucs might not want to give him the entire workload right away, it’s possible the talent differential between him and the rest of the RB room is too much to ignore. Either way, we have to monitor the race to these roles; sure, he’ll get a ton of play between the 10s, but goal line makes a huge different in fantasy for a RB, and so does playing in passing situations. Sims, who was their passing-down guy over the last few years, came back on a “please take me back” deal after testing free agency, so he’s not guaranteed the job.
Jones’ late 4th, early 5th round ADP is okay, but if we learn that he isn’t going to get out of a committee or not be on the field in key fantasy situations, I rather take a sure-thing receiver at that spot. Too early at this point, but keep an eye on the situation as training camp begins next month.
What’s your prediction? Will Jones be an every down guy? Will he take over early down duties completely? Let me know!