Young Buccaneers player desperately needs great camp

Jaelon Darden, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Jaelon Darden, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Year One for Jaelon Darden with the Buccaneers was one to forget. He will need his 2022 training camp and season to go much better.

Training camp is just around the corner, and Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are looking to win their second Super Bowl in three years.

The odds are decent that the Bucs will be a deep contender in this year’s playoffs, and those odds become all the better when Tampa can find a way to have the young guys step up.

One such player that will be under the microscope is wide receiver Jaelon Darden.

Darden’s rookie season was less than stellar on the offensive side of the ball and special teams, and in many ways it was downright bad for a guy that had so much hype entering his first year on a great team.

While he was a rookie and the expectations were likely too high for a guy that was looking like the fourth receiver at best heading into camp last season, Darden is in a tough spot with similar expectations building again.

Words like “breakout” and some openness in the wide receiver room are going to quickly start to bring attention to the young receiver that the Bucs traded up for yet again. These aren’t going away either, and Darden needs to have an excellent training camp and preseason if he hopes to start changing the narrative on his young NFL career.

100 yards in a preseason game should not be out of the question. Maximum effort and some quality special teams effort should be the bare expectation.

One way or another, Darden needs to be great, and he needs to make that happen as soon as the start of camp if he wants to prevent the Buccaneers from having to make a tough decision regarding his future with a team that needs everyone operating at 100 percent.

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