Story this week that KeShawn Vaughn didn't show up to offseason workouts in Tampa Bay. They're voluntary, but as anyone who has played sports at any level is aware, all voluntary or optional activities aren't necessarily voluntary or optional. Bruce Arians gave a quote suggesting disappointment, and as anyone who drafted him last year is aware, Vaughn had a disappointing rookie season.

A popular sleeper pick in many drafts last year -- would he be Tom Brady's new version of James White? -- Vaughn could barely get on the field behind Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy. Two of those players were signed only after Vaughn was drafted, so fair to say he didn't impress with his opportunities.

So what about 2021? The Bucs still have those two veteran running backs, and they also added Giovani Bernard. Would be wildly optimistic, it seems, to consider even using a last-round pick on Vaughn, and those with him rostered in dynasty leagues also need to be wondering if he's worth hanging onto.

Vaughn is actually one of three third-round running backs from last year's draft who had very quiet rookie seasons. Darrynton Evans (pictured) battled injury and didn't get on the field much behind Derrick Henry. Lynn Bowden was actually dumped by the Raiders before the season. Will any of these players amount to anything?

I pulled the list of all third-round running backs from the last 20 years who had quiet rookie seasons, which I defined as fewer than 300 total yards. It gave me 26 players, including those three from 2020.

Turns out a career impact is possible. The table shows all of those players' rookie year numbers, and their best fantasy rank over the rest of their career. Brian Westbrook was the star of this group, but there have been three others who went on to have top-15 fantasy seasons, including two who might again be relevant this season (James Conner and Kenyan Drake). About a quarter of those previous 23 third-rounders (six) had a top-25 fantasy season.

YearPkPlayerRunRecTotTDBest FF?
200291Brian Westbrook, Phil.1938627901st
2017105James Conner, Pitt.144014406th
201673Kenyan Drake, Mia.17946225214th
200081Rueben Droughns, Det.000014th
200393Chris Brown, Tenn.22161282020th
200396Justin Fargas, Oak.2032205024th
201594Ty Montgomery, G.B.14136150233rd
201970Darrell Henderson, LAR14737184036th
200577Ryan Moats, Phil.2787285350th
200573Vernand Morency, Hou.18487271250th
201196Alex Green, G.B.11617053rd
201987Damien Harris, N.E.12012053rd
200377Musa Smith, Balt.31031253rd
200771Lorenzo Booker, Mia.1250125065th
200088Doug Chapman, Minn.000068th
200869Jacob Hester, S.D.9591186274th
200182Heath Evans, Sea.11011078th
200385B.J. Askew, NYJ909086th
200793Garrett Wolfe, Chi.85117202092nd
200790Tony Hunt, Phil.160161106th
200674Brian Calhoun, Det.1920390125th
201497Dri Archer, Pitt.4023630155th
2005101Maurice Clarett, Den.0000--
202093Darrynton Evans, Tenn.5427811?
202076KeShawn Vaughn, T.B.109341431?
202080Lynn Bowden, L.V.322112430?

Bottom line, it's not over for Vaughn, and not for Evans or Bowden either. Tempting as it might be to cut bait, probably best to hang on for another year, or at least through training camp.

But the odds, as they say, are against a significant career impact. There are a lot fewer Brian Westbrooks than there are guys who missed. And not a great sign for Damien Harris or Darrell Henderson, either.

--Andy Richardson