Clay Fits “Underrated” Mold

July 12th, 2015

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Rookie MinicampWhile there are plenty of high hopes around Tampa for fifth-round rookie WR Kenny Bell, one national observer thinks the Bucs got better value in Round 6.

Doug Farrar, of, penned a deep look at the Buccaneers’ offseason and tagged versatile Kaelin Clay as the team’s most underrated draft pick.

The Bucs don’t have a lot of depth at receiver behind Jackson and Evans, but Clay has the potential to change that over time. With just one year at Utah after a junior college stint at Mt. San Antonio College, Clay led the nation in punt return touchdowns with three and the Pac-12 in punt return yards with 346, adding a kick return touchdown for good measure. Tampa Bay didn’t get much out of its return game last season, so Clay could make an immediate impact there. He also gained 523 yards and scored four touchdowns on 43 receptions, and with time, he could be an estimable speed slot receiver for a passing game that’s still looking for definition.

Based on practice observations, Joe can say that Clay runs very crisp routes and looks like a real NFL wide receiver, surely better than last year’s sixth-round pick, Robert Herron.

Clay, though, was drafted to be the next Devin Hester, the guy who wanted to play for the Bucs but Lovie Smith let the Falcons snatch him last offseason.

Joe’s hoping Clay can translate his college return magic to the NFL. The Bucs have been aching for a stud returner since the filthy Panthers destroyed 2008 Pro Bowler Clifton Smith’s career with a cheap shot to the head. If Clay can’t look the part in preseason, then Joe expects veteran Bobby Rainey to win the returner gig by default.

26 Responses to “Clay Fits “Underrated” Mold”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If we have winners with Bell & Clay this year and either Edwards or Pamphile last year…..with the 1st round picks, ASJ, Donovan & Marpet in the 2nd….we will have had two pretty good drafts…..time will tell…
    I haven’t given up on Sims yet.

  2. buc4lyfe Says:

    I agree. I’m of the belief that Capt Dirk will steer this offense to 27.8 points per game. I do like all our draft picks so far from Licht.10-6 record but lose our first game of playoffs… That’s a whole different beast for us to slay!
    YO JOE!
    GO BUCS!!!

  3. Buccfan37 Says:

    After reading your piece on Clay he sounds like he just may be a keeper. Going to be some tough choices come final roster.

  4. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I’ve seen that 10and6 with first round loss in the tournament prediction before. I’m curious, exactly who is the team beating us in the first round? I’m just curious.

  5. BlogTalkFootball Says:

    If Clay is even half as good as Hester, we have something to cheer about!

  6. Dan Says:

    I hate the panthers.

  7. Buc-A-New Says:

    Howdy Nos Bos how goes it? I am one of those that thinks that 9 is the real target for us this yr. I think we woulda won 6 last yr with a healthy MG. Upgrades at QB, OL, OC and possibly WR too? Um yeah we should not have a losing season IMO.

  8. tickrdr Says:

    10-6 would be great, but how about we win at least ONE game at home this year, and then we can work on beating at least one of the NFC South rivals. Despite the easiest schedule in the league, and a HISTORICALLY bad NFC South, neither of those things happened last year.


  9. Pawel Says:

    The teams I hate in NFC starting from the least to most hated.

  10. WS99 Says:

    Anyone else wake up this morning hoping and praying that NFL countdown was on? No, just me? Argh!!!!

  11. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Clay, is a talented kick returner there’s no doubt about that. His speed and elusiveness should translate well to the modern NFL. His speed in elusiveness should translate well to the modern NFL. Where it seems like absolutely no one can tackle, except Lavonte David.

    I’m just excited, to see how our new offense of Coordinator utilizes Clay. On bubble tunnel screens, maybe even a flea flicker or two. Like Chucky, Koetter likes to expose the weaker or links on the defense. This is where Clays speed Will trump the average Nickelback.

  12. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Crazy how my iPhone keeps repeating sentences. My bad I’ll doublecheck next time

  13. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Whus good Buc,how you been man. I see you everyday,I love the dedication.

  14. DallasBuc Says:

    Those effin Panthers

  15. The original "Kevin" Says:

    Clay will be our hester. Cant wait to see bell come out and make defenses look sillyas a rookie

  16. Buc-A-New Says:

    DB you have been on a roll with some really funny Ish lately! Cracking me up! Don’t worry bro. Toe will touch Leather soon!
    Nos, All is good bro. Not just a little bit but All man! Hope all is good your way too man.

  17. Danati74 Says:

    I just hope these later round picks all pan out. Guys like K. Edwards, K. Pamphile, Bell, and Clay. I mean today they all look like great pick, but since when has the BUCs had any late round picks do anything,…or even make the roster. Our upper round picks have a hard time sticking. Sure last year this time everyone was saying how R. Herron was fast and looked strong. Like a cheaper S. Smith I even heard, but NOPE. All that chirp went away fast with a case of butter fingers. If they all look good in pads or not hurt…yup We finally got our selves a GM. If we start winning… a good coach too. Slowly we will change the 30-70 record of late.

  18. kyle Says:

    bucutalkinbout….. 27.8 points huh? May I ask how you came to that scientific conclusion. must be all the film study in the offseason your doing. one word…dbag!

  19. BUCutalkinbout Says:

    Dbag? Really lol, just having fun bro, easy easy

  20. kyle Says:

    buc, my apologies, I was just busting your chops and talking smack. Hope you didn’t take it personal, have a great day!

    Go bucs!

  21. 813bucsboi Says:

    10-6 with a playoff appearance …I sure hope so but that all depends on the oline..that would be great but I think its more like 8-8..nfc west will be strong with Seattle, St. Louis, & Arizona…nfc north has the packers, lions and Viking will be a force with a.p. running the rock and nfc east will have at least 3 teams giants, cowboys and eagles fighting to make it…we have to absolutely win our division in order to make it which we can do but the total team success will depend on the oline..GO BUCS!!!

  22. drdneast Says:

    Joe, you state unequivically that Love let the Falcons sign Hester.
    do you have any facts you can state to back up your conviction.
    I’m sure the non signing was a money issue which Lovie may not have been able to control.
    as it is Hester is seen on the bubble this year because many “experts” feel his salary is way to high for what he produces.

  23. Joe Says:

    @drdneast – Some of you guys really complicate things, or believe too much of what you read elsewhere. Licht was very clear that there was total personnel consensus on all Bucs moves under this regime prior to training camp 2014.

    Hester was clear that he loves Lovie and wanted to play for him again.

  24. tampa2bucsforever Says:

    I like Kaelin Clay as a kickoff returner and punt returner but claiming Clay as the team’s most underrated draft pick? That title should go to the player who has the most impact on the teams results this year other than Winston. I have watched Clays returns for TD and I just don’t see him doing the same at the NFL level. Kenny Bell is taller, faster, can leap higher and has better hands and may just be better as a return man as well..

  25. Joe Says:


    Thank you for the kind words.

  26. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    buc4lyfe Says
    “I’m of the belief that Capt Dirk will steer this offense to 27.8 points per game.”

    I would LOVE this. I believe 25 points per game are needed to be championship ready. If he does what you say and our defense starts clicking…we’ll contend.

    I just don’t think he can do it in one year.