Buccaneers set sights on Notre Dame running back, Audric Estime, as potential NFL Draft pick.

Reacquiring Chase Edmonds through free agency to pair with Rachaad White doesn’t instill absolute confidence in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers regarding the improvement of their historically poor rushing offense from last season. Despite a resurgence in the latter half of the previous season, the running game still fell short of expectations. Consequently, the Buccaneers require an additional dynamic presence in the running back roster to inject vigor, something beyond what White and Edmonds offer.

Audric Estime from Notre Dame emerges as an enticing prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft, potentially offering a unique dimension the Buccaneers currently lack.

Audric Estime’s Background:
Hailing from St. Joseph Regional High School in New Jersey, Estime showcased his talent by amassing impressive statistics and earning accolades, including NJ.com Football Player Of The Year. Initially committing to Michigan State, he later shifted allegiance to Notre Dame.

Estime’s collegiate journey saw remarkable progress, with significant contributions in his sophomore and senior years. He exhibited robust statistics, highlighting his prowess with both rushing and receiving, underscoring his versatility and impact on the field.

Standing at 5’11” and weighing 230 lbs, Estime presents a formidable challenge for opposing defenses. He’s ranked second among running backs by Pro Football Focus, boasting commendable offensive and running grades. NFL.com’s Lance Zuerlein likened tackling Estime to grappling with a compact car at full speed.

Performance at Pro Day and Scouting Combine:
Estime’s performance at the NFL Scouting Combine initially raised some concerns, notably his 40-yard dash time. However, he showcased improved speed at the Notre Dame Pro Day, indicating game speed that allows him to outpace defenders for significant gains.

Estime’s production score at the NFL Scouting Combine ranks him favorably among running backs, reflecting his efficacy on the field despite certain metrics falling short of expectations.

Potential Impact for the Buccaneers in 2024:
Estime brings a level of physicality and power absent in current Buccaneers running backs. Moreover, he offers versatility in running, receiving, and pass protection, ensuring unpredictability in offensive strategies.

His proficiency in short-yardage situations combined with the ability to break explosive plays mirrors the impact Derrick Henry has demonstrated. Furthermore, Estime’s effectiveness amplifies as games progress, akin to Leonard Fournette’s tenure with the Buccaneers, posing a formidable challenge for fatigued defenses.

Three-Year Projection:
Initially, Estime would serve as a rotational asset complementing Rachaad White. However, with White’s contract nearing its end, Estime could ascend to the starting role if White doesn’t extend his tenure with the Buccaneers or fails to impress in the upcoming season.

Estime possesses the qualities to emerge as a legitimate NFL starter or a highly effective component of a running back tandem. His versatility enables him to excel in various situations, potentially leading to increased snaps and a prominent role within the Buccaneers’ offense.

Stock Evaluation:
Estime is currently projected as a late third to fourth-round pick in mock drafts, with his selection averaging around pick 108. He’s often linked with teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, and Buffalo Bills, indicating considerable interest from various franchises.

The addition of a talent like Estime could substantially bolster the Buccaneers’ rushing attack, offering the potential to evolve into a focal point within Liam Coen’s offensive scheme. Thus, Buccaneers fans are faced with a crucial decision regarding Estime’s potential contribution to the team’s success.

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