The Bucs lost Peyton Barber in free agency and added rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn with a third-round draft pick. Vaughn offers plenty of versatility as he started to run pass routes at Vanderbilt late in his career. Bucs Director of Player Personnel John Spytek said of Vaughn, “He's got the ability to detach and run some of the routes that Coach Arians likes to do.” After the draft, Bruce Arians said Vaughn “can play every down.”
Vaughn will be competing with Ronald Jones and Dare Ogunbowale for snaps. While Ogunbowale wasn’t productive in the stat sheet in 2019, he was very involved as he played the second-most snaps (ahead of Barber) out of Tampa’s three main running backs. He was only 54 snaps shy of first (Jones). Vaughn was also on the list of players to test positive for COVID-19 or was exposed to someone with a positive diagnosis, and being in quarantine may stunt his development in early training camp. The Bucs also brought in veteran LeSean McCoy, further complicating this backfield.
2020 Bottom Line
The Bucs’ backfield is one of the toughest to predict. Arians seems to ride the hot hand at any given moment, and if Vaughn makes any critical rookie mistakes he may be headed to the bench (we saw him sit Jones in 2019 for a pass protection error). Vaughn has a lot of potential, and joins a high-powered Bucs offense that just got Brady in the offseason. But it’ll be a fight for touches in 2020. Especially with the addition of McCoy. While we don't project big numbers for Shady, he'll be involved enough to impact Vaughn Vaughn should be viewed around the top 40 running backs.