How could a third-round pick come in and instantly jump two players who played impressively the previous season? A new regime is all it takes.
Despite having great depth at the running back position, the Bucs spent the 69th overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft on West Virginia's Charles Sims. Many fans were left scratching their heads with this pick, but head coach Lovie Smith has made it clear that the Bucs value Sims very highly despite what others may think, per the Tampa Bay Times' Gary Shelton:
Who are the people you're talking about? We love him. We have an excellent running back coach who liked Matt Forte when no one else did. Tim Spencer came up to me after the Senior Bowl talking about Charles Sims. Whether someone else liked him, he's a very good football player. In time, everyone else will like him.
The comparisons to Matt Forte make plenty of sense, especially considering Sims' skills as a receiver. A transfer from Houston, the Big 12's 2013 Newcomer of the Year racked up over 200 receptions over his four-year college career, leading NFL Network's Mike Mayock to name Sims the best pass-catching back in this year's draft.
Though Mike James and Bobby Rainey proved last year that they can both perform at a high level, fans should expect Sims to get first crack as the change-of-pace and third-down back behind Doug Martin. Don't be shocked to see the Bucs get both Martin and Sims on the field at the same time, with Sims possibly working out of the slot.