Should the Bucs draft a running back this year? If so, Sermon should be their guy
Running back Trey Sermon used a monstrous second half of the 2020-21 college football season to boost his draft rankings. He helped lead the Buckeyes to the National Championship game where he got hurt during the first quarter.
TRE SERMON’S COLLEGIATE CAREER
Coming out of high school, Sermon was a four-star running back and the 12th ranked running back in the country according to 247sports. He committed to Oklahoma over Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Tennessee, and many more schools.
Sermon spent three years in Norman where he had lots of success. As a freshman, he was second on the team with 744 rushing yards and was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention for Offensive Freshman of the Year by league’s coaches. His best year at Oklahoma was his sophomore year where he rushed for 947 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Following his junior year, he announced he’d be transferring to Ohio State as a graduate transfer.
It wasn’t until his final three games of the season that Sermon made a major name for himself. He rushed for 100+ yards in all three games including 331 rushing yards in the Big Ten Championship game against Northwestern. Sermon broke his collar bone on the his first rush of the National Championship game.
PRO DAY DATA AND ANALYSIS
Sermon came in 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, with a 77 1/8” wingspan, 9 3/8” hands, and 33 3/8” arms. His 40-yard dash time was a 4.60 and 4.57 while his vertical jump was 37”, and broad jump was 10 feet 5”. He ran a 1.49 10-yard split, 4.28 short shuttle, and a 6.83 3-cone drill. Sermon chose not to do the bench press portion.
While his 40-yard dash time was not very fast, his split time showed the type of quickness he has. His 1.49 second time ranks in the 94th percentile.
Sermon also used his Pro Day to help raise money for Arise by Faith which is a charity that helps victims of domestic violence. His mother is a victim of domestic violence. He allowed people to make a one-time donation to the charity or pledging money per vertical-leap inch he jumped during the Pro Day.
WHAT HE BRINGS IN 2021
Despite not being as fast, Sermon is a quick back who bounces off defenders. He could provide an immediate impact in the red zone next season. He also is stellar in the passing game with protecting the quarterback. With Tom Brady at quarterback, having a running back like Sermon could be crucial.
With Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones both returning to the Buccaneers, Sermon could provide a major spark as the third string back. Both Jones and Fournette have dealt with numerous injury issues, so Sermon could have to take on an even bigger role if one of those guys go down with an injury,
If both backs stay healthy, I would expect to see Sermon on the field in the passing game and the red zone.
With the way running back’s go, three years from now could be Sermon’s peak season in the NFL. With Ronald Jones being just 23 years old, we could see Sermon and Jones be similar to Fournette and Jones this past season.
However, we could also see Jones gone by then if the Bucs decide not to re-sign him. KeyShawn Vaughn is another running back who would be looking to take over the starting running back spot then. Regardless, expect a ton of youth in the Bucs backfield moving forward into the next few seasons.
This would also be great because Sermon could learn under Fournette for a season. Fournette has been in the NFL for a good amount of time and played on some talented teams. I think it’s safe to say that Fournette could teach Sermon a few pointers on how to play well in postseason games as well.
If drafted, Sermon and Vaughn could be the future of the Bucs backfield.
In many mock drafts, Sermon has ranged anywhere from the 3rd to 7th round. My serious prediction would be early day three. If the Bucs haven’t drafted a running back yet when their 4th round pick comes up, drafting Sermon would be ideal.
It will all depend on when the running back run occurs in the draft. Last years draft was a perfect example of how long the top running backs can stay on the board. For Sermon, it will all depend on where guys like Najee Harris and Travis Etienne are drafted.
In his ESPN+ prospect rankings, Mel Kiper Jr. has Sermon listed as the fourth best running back prospect in the draft behind Harris, Etienne, and Javonte Williams.
ON THE CLOCK…
So, Bucs Nation, it’s time to hear your thoughts. Would it be worth drafting a running back in the fourth round? If so, is Trey Sermon the guy that you want? Let us know what you think by voting in our poll and discussing your thoughts in the comments down below.