Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jaelon Darden “flashing”, working with Tom Brady
Reports out of Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp indicate that rookie wide receiver Jaelon Darden could be a stud, and is working well with Tom Brady.
Boy, the hits just keep on coming. The whole world were witnesses to the success of the Buccaneers on the field during their Super Bowl run, and the team was the talk of the league during the offseason for being able to bring back all 22 starters and a little something something on the side. Now, it seems that the glowing reviews can’t stop coming in from camp. The latest being rookie fourth-round pick Jaelon Darden out of North Texas, who are the books traded up to select.
Listed at 5-feet 9-inches and 174 pounds, Darden is small by NFL standards. However, he’s often used his quickness to make up for his lack of thickness on the field, as evidenced by his performance during rookie mini-camp. During mini-camp, Bruce Arians had Darden taking his reps lined up on the outside, despite many assuming he’d be in the slot, saying that Darden is “a little thicker than I thought he was going to be” when it comes to his muscle. Arians went on to say that Darden reminds him of Scotty Miller, which would explain the reps on the outside.
That wasn’t where the comparisons ended, however.
Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they drafted wide receivers like Santonio Holmes, Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace, and current-Buc Antonio Brown. Arians sees them all in Darden based on how fast he plays by catching the ball away from his body, but primarily Sanders and a little AB. That is pretty high praise and something to be excited about.
That was only rookie mini-camp though. Now, with training camp in full swing, the oasis-like image of Darden excelling does not appear to be a mirage. When asked about the rookie, Arians again had nothing but positive to say. He was quoted as saying Darden has been “flashing“ on the field, and has even been taking reps with Brady.
Just when you think it’s impossible to get more excited for the Buccaneers to conquer the request of “going for two“ as Super Bowl champions, we get more news like this.
The wide receiver room is a crowded, and talented, one for the Bucs. However, if Darden appears to be the player that he already looks like, there’s no reason why he can’t make an impact despite the quantity and quality of the receivers.
It looks like the Buccaneers have found yet another stud to add to their collection, and the NFL should be on high-alert, if they aren’t already.