The Buccaneers have been linked to several running backs in various mock drafts, with Stanford's Christian McCaffrey and Florida State's being two popular names associated with the Buccaners' first-round pick. Buccaneers.com contributors Andrew Norton, Scott Smith and Joe Kania debate which player would be the better fit in Tampa Bay:* *
Some of the top shots of Florida State's Dalvin Cook.
Scott Smith: Dalvin Cook
Here's what I would like to see the Bucs come away with: a power running game. I think the addition of DeSean Jackson and the continued emergence of Cam Brate gives Jameis Winston a very dangerous and varied array of targets. Tampa Bay's passing attack may be on the verge of becoming something special, but that evolution will be a lot easier if opposing defenses also have to worry about a strong running game. Getting LSU's Leonard Fournette might be the quickest route to that power game, but I think we all agree he'll be off the board well before the Bucs pick. So Cook vs. McCaffrey is indeed the more likely choice, and I'll go with Cook. He may not be as powerful as Fournette, but he can do it all – run between the tackles, bounce one outside, catch passes and, when he gets to the second level, explode for that home run. I think Cook is an every-down back, whereas I think the jury is still out on whether McCaffrey can be a prototypical first and second-down player in the NFL.Andrew Norton: Christian McCaffrey
The Buccaneers might already have a similar player in Charles Sims as a quick running back that can be devastating in the receiving game. But if you consider McCaffrey to the Bucs are more of a slot receiver/RB hybrid with special teams return ability, it starts looking like a better match. The Bucs' had a less-than-stellar return game last season and McCaffrey could can in and win that job. Add in work from the slot and the backfield and I doubt anyone in Tampa would be disappointed in picking up the NCAA's all-time single-season all-purpose yards leader. 3,864 yards. In one season. That's 276 yards per game. Yes, please.
Joe Kania: Dalvin Cook**
Despite limited production a year ago, the Buccaneers still have two very accomplished running backs on their roster in Doug Martin and Charles Sims. In 2015, both players recorded more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage. While I think McCaffrey would be a welcome addition to the Bucs' backfield, he and Sims have a very similar skill set. Both would be productive on third down, but if both are healthy - who gets those snaps? I believe Cook can be a productive back on first and second down, as Scott mentioned above. Plus, he's spoken openly about his desite to reunite with his former college teammate, Jameis Winston, in Tampa Bay. Seems like a no-brainer if Cook is still on the board.