Ronald Jones
The Bucs hope to restore Ronald Jones’ confidence in 2019. Can Jones become the number one back in Tampa Bay?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted USC running back, Ronald Jones in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. That pick thus far has not worked out. In nine career games, Jones has 23 carries for 44 yards. YIKES! While that’s a very small sample size, the Bucs have made it clear that they believe in Jones. Not drafting another running back in the 2019 Draft confirms that.

According to running backs coach Todd McNair, Tampa hopes that give Jones some confidence and really get him going in year 2:

“Rojo had 23 carries on the season and 13 of those he got hit at or behind the line of scrimmage,” McNair said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “So the biggest thing with him is restoring his confidence. I think once we start getting him to the second level clean. You know, a guy comes out of college, USC is a high-profile program. A second round pick and he doesn’t have a lot of success. I’ve seen it happen before and his confidence goes way down. With him it’s baby steps and working our approach.”

13 hits at or behind the line of scrimmage is tough for anyone to become productive. Especially when that’s well over 50 percent of your carries. The offensive line has to get better in 2019. It starts there first and foremost. The only problem is that it looks like the exact same starting 5 (or most of it) is returning in 2019.

The Bucs do have insurance with Peyton Barber if Jones never figures it out. I’m sure Tampa would love for Jones to take the starting nod. Barber averaged 3.7 yards per carry on 234 attempts in 2018. Barber is more of a short yardage guy anyway who lacks explosion. Jones has the potential to be an every-down back. For whatever reason, we haven’t seen it yet.

I’ll tell you this much, my fantasy team would really love if Ronald Jones did figure it out. I drafted Jones for my fantasy team after his Freshman year at USC. After having a great college career, there’s no reason why people should give up on Jones yet. If he does figure it out, he has an opportunity to get a bunch of carries on what is quietly a really good offense. Jones could be a fantasy sleeper that you should keep an eye on.