The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' sixth and final pick in the 2013 NFL Draft is versatile University of Miami running back Mike James, chosen in the sixth round with the 189th selection overall. James, who started 12 games for the Hurricanes in 2012 and put up nearly 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards, was the only offensive player the Buccaneers added among four selections on Day Three of the draft.
Perhaps concerned they would miss out on James if they remained at their original pick at #196 in the sixth round, the Buccaneers sent a seventh-round selection to the Minnesota Vikings in order to move up seven spots and secure their man. In a nice bit of symmetry, that seventh-round pick – #229 overall – had been acquired only minutes before in a trade of running back LeGarrette Blount to the New England Patriots.
James joins a Buccaneer backfield that also includes 2012 rookie sensation and Pro Bowler Doug Martin, as well as recent free agent addition Brian Leonard, 2012 seventh-round pick Michael Smith and potentially Jeff Demps, another asset gained in the Blount trade. James, who averaged 4.4 yards per carry during his collegiate career, caught 67 passes and scored 22 total touchdowns, could be a valuable change-of-pace option for Martin, who figures to remain the primary ballcarrier.
In four seasons with the Hurricanes, the 5-11, 222-pound James played in 50 games with 17 starts and recorded 1,386 yards and 17 touchdowns on 312 carries. He also racked up 585 yards through the air, including a 72-yard reception against Duke last year.