Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves poised for a big year

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 11: Muhamed Sanu
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 11: Muhamed Sanu /

According to Ike Taylor, the Buccaneers have a promising young corner ready to breakout in 2018. Regardless of his size, Hargreaves has the potential to be one of the leagues best.

Many fans still have questions about Vernon Hargreaves. His limitations due to his stature were a common topic among fans (especially those that wear maroon and gold on Saturday’s) last year. Former NFL Cornerback and NFL network.com writer Ike Taylor, doesn’t seem too concerned. Ike wrote an article about 5 young cornerbacks he thinks, are in position to have great years in their second year in the NFL. Vernon Hargreaves was number one on the list.

Hargreaves had a rough first year, but showed constant improvement throughout the year. The former Gator was burned at times by taller receivers, as was to be expected, but seemed to have a short memory from play to play. In week 13 against San Diego,Hargreaves began to turn the season around. In the post game interview, Tandy credited the game winning interception to the play recognition of VH3. The other play i thought was indicative of Vernon’s talent, was the tipped pass by Vernon which resulted in the Lavonte David pick six.

If you watch Hargreaves on that play you can see he recognizes the slant right when the receiver starts to break. His adjustment to the slant and closing speed to get to the receiver and put his hands on the ball is incredible. The very first step Hargreaves takes backwards on the play it looks like he is anticipating a streak down the sideline. The right foot moves back and opens his frame toward the benches, as if preparing to shade the receiver down the sideline. As soon as he sees the break inside, he recovers quickly and is able to poke the ball up in the air. That play alone was impressive.

For Vernon to have that type of reaction time when caught out of place (I know it – was just slightly) is a good sign. Hargreaves steadily improved throughout the year and according to Ike, will finish the season with 5 interception and 12-15 passes defensed. Those are big numbers, but  Taylor also says that because of Hargreaves improvement, the Buccaneers will have a top 10 secondary in the NFL. The season is not very far away so i guess we will know the answer soon, but top 10 secondary sounds nice to me.

Next: O.J. Howard Jersey Sales Rising Up The Ranks

How do you feel about Hargreaves and his growth from year one to year two? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!