With the departure of running back LeGarrette Blount from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Bucs need a backup running back to help support second year back Doug Martin. There are a few players that are competing for the position with Brian Leonard and Peyton Hillis, but one that has really caught my eye is rookie Mike James.
James isn’t a name that pops out as very little has been heard of who he is. Before James was drafted in the sixth round by the Buccaneers he attended the University of Miami (Fla.) for four years. During his senior season he got the ball about 150 times with over 600 yards rushing and six touchdowns. Now these statistics shouldn’t be very impressive as it wasn’t even close to the college leaders at the running back position, but James does have quite a bit of speed.
At the 2013 NFL combine, James clocked his 40 yard dash time at 4.53 which placed top ten among the running backs. James has very quick feet for a 5-foot-10 223 pound running back, and this gives him an advantage as he has the ability to slip through the tiny holes in the defense where the bigger running backs can’t.
Even though James was picked up by the Buccaneers late in the draft, I feel that he was still a great choice that can be a very important role player to the Buccaneers offense. As he competes against Leonard and Hillis for the position, I feel confident in his abilities to win the backup role to Martin. I believe that giving James the backup position would be in the best interest of the Buccaneers offense moving forward this season.