Buccaneers: 3 contributors from 2020 that could see a lesser role in 2021
By Rob Leeds
Jaelon Darden complicates the receiver room for the Buccaneers
Again, we’re probably way too caught up in the moment here, but Jaelon Darden looks like a bonafide starter. How he lasted so long in the draft is beyond us, but you’ll hear that much more during the regular season as more people learn his name.
It may seem outrageous to believe that Darden could overtake Brown’s third spot on the depth chart, but there are several things to consider.
First, Darden has been the best player at camp, hands down. Brady has already established a connection with the rookie receiver, and Darden is doing everything asked of him and more. Brady and Brown do have a great relationship, but it’s hard to ignore the bond that is starting to form between the new duo during camp.
The second factor to consider is Bruce Arians. Arians is a professional, but it is well-known that he isn’t particularly fond of Brown. AB was a great teammate during his time with the Buccaneers and has done well to shift his perception in the public’s eyes. Still, Arians is a stickler for playing the best player over the well-known player.
Brown’s Hall of Fame career will do little to keep a starting role on this team on name alone, and putting Brown at WR4 and Darden at WR3 would be an on-brand move by Arians if the rookie continues on his current path.
As we said, it may be a bit too early to start looking at Darden as a starter, but it’s hard to say enough about how much this kid has impressed all of the right people in such a short time.
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