OL Robert Hainsey, Notre Dame
The Buccaneers scouts have done very well in grabbing linemen over the past few years, so it seems that this pick is probably a good one too. Hainsey started at right tackle for the Fighting Irish but showed some versatility by playing the inside spots at guard and center during the senior bowl.
One thing Tampa really likes about their offensive linemen is versatility. Not having played on the inside of the line, Hainsey’s showing probably caught the Bucs attention.
“We see him as a real versatile guy,” said General Manager Jason Licht, who noted that the Buccaneers liked what they saw of Hainsey as a tackle. “It’s not that we don’t think that he can play right tackle, but we do think that he has a big upside at guard or center, which he also played at the Senior Bowl and kind of caught our attention, just the versatility aspect.”
What more is there to say? Oh, he was a team captain and they say he’s smart. Also, he appears to be a perfect fit with the Bucs current offensive line in terms of demeanor. Also, he can play a lot of positions, if needed. And, he won’t be needed immediately, like Tristan Wirfs was.
WR Jaelon Darden, North Texas
Jaelon Darden was the only player the Bucs selected this year that management warranted trading up for. They spent a six-round pick to move up 8 spots and get him with pick 129. There is little doubt that this was a want pick. The Bucs want speed, a return specialist, and someone who won’t mind spending a lot of time on the bench if it comes to that.
For those reasons alone, Darden is a masterful choice. He ran a 4.46 forty at his pro day but has shown great athleticism. But the Bucs are full to overflowing at wide receiver, so his chances of making the team, if he doesn’t pan out as a return man on special teams, could be short-lived.
“Speed. You know, speed,” Arians told SiriusXM NFL Radio, via joebucsfan.com. “He reminds me a lot of John Brown and Emmanuel Sanders when I had them when they were young. [Darden is] fearless over the middle. Can really catch the ball away from his body as Emmanuel could. And he has great hands. With his return ability, he can really help us.”