Billed as a sleeper who shot up boards in Dynasty leagues after the Buccaneers drafted him, Ke'Shawn Vaughn's rookie season was ultimately a wash. He didn't become "James White South" in a rookie season that was effectively a wash after Vaughn got off to the slowest of starts missing a huge chunk of training camp on the COVID-19 list. Vaughn eventually played a few snaps during his rookie season, but he never carved out a significant role. If the Buccaneers don't draft a pass-catching RB, keep an eye on Vaughn's role in training camp. If you see him start to take the majority of passing down snaps in practice and with Tom Brady's first team offense in the preseason, he's worth investing one of your last picks on. This seems unlikely, however, following Tampa's decision to sign Gio Bernard.
Vaughn has impressed coach Bruce Arians during his time in Tampa, but the second-year running back's chances of seeing increased playing time in 2021 may hinge on his improvement on special teams, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports. "Ke'Shawn's made a nice move, but he has to be a better special teams players right now because of what's in front of him," said Arians. "But I have all the confidence in the world in him as a runner and a receiver." "What's in front of him," as Arians puts it, are Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette. Meanwhile, veteran Giovani Bernard was added this offseason, and all those factors leave Vaughn's prospects for playing time murky at best. The Vanderbilt product logged just 31 touches (26 rushes, five catches) during his rookie campaign, recording a touchdown through the air and averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Vaughn played just 37 special-teams snaps and was a healthy scratch for six regular-season games and the final three postseason contests, but it appears he could have a chance to increase his overall profile in the offense with a strong training camp and preseason in all phases.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday that he expects Vaughn to have a "breakout year" in 2021, Taylor Jenkins of PewterReport.com reports. Arians wouldn't rule out drafting a running back in April, but he suggested he has confidence in all of Vaughn, Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones. While Fournette's performance in the playoffs makes him a clear favorite for the lead role heading into Week 1, the Bucs could make more of an effort to involve Vaughn in their offense in his second season. The 2020 third-round pick barely played as a rookie, taking 31 touches for 143 yards and a touchdown in 10 games.
Vaughn, who was a healthy scratch for Sunday's Super Bowl LV win over the Chiefs, finished his rookie season with 26 carries for 109 yards and five receptions (10 targets) for 34 yards and a touchdown over 10 games. He also lost a fumble. The rookie approached his first pro training camp with hopes of pushing Ronald Jones for playing time, but the subsequent signings of LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette largely derailed those plans. Vaughn ultimately logged 99 snaps from scrimmage and an additional 37 on special teams, so he did have a chance to get some valuable reps under his belt despite the crowded running back room. With McCoy unlikely to return in 2021 and Fournette likely having earned himself a fairly robust payday on the open market with his strong four-game postseason run, Vaughn may have an exponentially busier sophomore campaign while competing alongside Jones.
Vaughn (coach's decision) is listed as inactive for Sunday's Super Bowl LV versus the Chiefs, Scott Smith of the Buccaneers' official site reports. With Vaughn sidelined, the Buccaneers instead will roll with Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones at running back, while LeSean McCoy is available in case he's needed out of the backfield.
Vaughn (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's divisional-round contest at New Orleans. In the Buccaneers' wild-card win at Washington, Vaughn received double-digit offensive snaps (12) for the sixth time in 11 appearances this season, which translated to five carries for 21 yards. The elevated snap count coincided with an active Ronald Jones not taking the field due to a quad injury suffered during pregame warmups. With Jones back in the lineup this weekend, Vaughn will be a healthy scratch while Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy join Jones as the Tampa Bay's available running backs.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/26||@Los Angeles Rams||6||14.56|
|4||10/03||@New England Patriots||22||18.88|
|8||10/31||@New Orleans Saints||2||13.00|
|10||11/14||@Washington Football Team||3||14.24|
|11||11/22||New York Giants||17||17.50|
|15||12/19||New Orleans Saints||2||13.00|
|17||01/02||@New York Jets||20||18.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||26||109||0||5||34||1||17|