Best Rookie

October 13th, 2016
The four-letter anoints.

The four-letter anoints.

So it is the bye week and this gives fans a chance to look back and assess the first five weeks of the NFL season for the Bucs.

The four-letter decided to have each of its correspondents tab the best rookie on the team they cover. And Jenna Laine has a no-brainer of a pick. The best rookie for the Bucs this year? Corner Vernon Hargreaves.

The Bucs’ first-round pick has been on the field as a starter since Week 1, when he played every single defensive snap. Originally, he played both nickel and outside, but he was switched to the outside last week, where his impact and playmaking should be felt even more. He limited Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to five catches for 70 yards on Monday night in Week 5.

Here is what impresses Joe so much about Hargreaves: Hargreaves himself told Joe back at the NFL Scouting Combine in chilly Indianapolis that he can ball. You saw the physical traits in underwear football and you saw how he was a ballhawk in preseason games.

Hargreaves’ intelligence is impressive. Take Monday night; he knew he didn’t have a shot to pick a pass he was defending, but he was smart enough to realize, in a split-second, if he could tip the ball in the air it would give a teammate a chance for a pick.

Sure enough, Daryl Smith came down with a key interception. To think of defending to a possible interception to making a move so a teammate can make a play, all in a blink of an eye, that’s damn impressive.

Joe has a hunch Hargreaves is going to be terrorizing opposing quarterbacks with the Bucs for quite some time. One may honestly question the choice of Charles Sims in the third round (Devonta Freeman anyone?) or ASJack@ss in the second, or Roberto Aguayo in the second. But Hargreaves? That’s a home run.

29 Responses to “Best Rookie”

  1. Rojas Says:

    Agreed, shutting down KB in his first game shows the kid isn’t afraid an has heart. He didn’t do bad against Julio either except for that miscommunication on the touchdown. Other than that he’s been one of the best players on defense this year

  2. Rob Says:

    Uhh, a reach? I love Hargreaves as much as the next guy, but if a DB doesn’t possess the “intelligence” to tip a ball, given the opportunity, he just doesn’t belong on a roster.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Vernon Hargreaves is definitely a home run Joe. NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year is a definite possibility if he keeps playing like he has.

  4. Espo Says:

    That Smith interception was the best play Conte has ever made. I could just picture him trying to catch it and doing nothing but knocking it away from Smith. Instead, he ducked out of the way.

  5. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    He’s also a super cool guy. He gave my son a pair of gloves before the game started. He was the only Buc player to engage the few Bucs fans at the game.

  6. Bird Says:

    And so many people criticized this pick after the draft? He is another joe Haden. He is only gonna get a lot better!

  7. Pickgrin Says:

    When a rookie starts from day 1 because his talent is so obvious that you can’t keep him off the field – that’s when you know you’ve got a special player.

    Licht has drafted SIX such players in the last 3 years. (Evans, Winston, D. Smith, Marpet, Alexander, Hargreaves)

    Just a little food for thought directed at those who make themselves look foolish by saying our GM sucks.

  8. Joe Says:


    VHIII is a really good guy.

  9. The Buc Realist Says:

    Just imagine how he could play in this defense with a pass rush!!!!!

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You just can’t miss with your first round picks…..we didn’t with VH3…..he is playing a position where lack of talent would be exposed easily.

    He is also a great community citizen and will be a fantastic representative for the Bucs for many years…..I really like this kid.

  11. teacherman777 Says:

    VHIII is bright eyed and kind hearted.

    It goes to show what happens when Black fathers stick around and teach their sons how to be men.

    As Luke Cage said, “More black boys have guns than fathers these days.”

    I am against racism and police brutality. And I love Black people.

    But at the same time, Black Americans gotta fix their own house as well.


  12. PRBucFan Says:

    And to think you doubted him early on in preseason 🙂

  13. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Trading up in the second round to draft a kicker that makes about 50% of his kicks. That’s how championship teams are built.

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Sure would be nice if Noah Spence stepped up too.

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    surprised @db55 hasn’t commented yet… were waiting for the VHG vs. KB match up and you got it….he’s played like an pro bowler against Julio and kb….GO BUCS!!!

  16. Kobe Faker Says:

    VH seems like a starter in the NFL, which is great

    Every team needs a #2 starter and a slot corner starter is a must in this new NFL normal, but……..

    I still dont see VH be a #1 shut down man 2 man corner

    He doesnt pocess the top end speed and quickness to handle the elite receivers that can catch on all 3 levels

    VH does better with bigger physical receivers

    ***good news is not too many teams have #1 shut down corners and most teams play alot of zone

    dont hate

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m pretty sure it says, “the best rookie for the Bucs.” He’s playing well, no question. I’m not sure about the ROY or Pro Bowl references though. Best on the Bucs for sure!

    @Bonzai- Agreed! How great would it be to see Spence start contributing?!

  18. SOEbuc Says:

    Bonzai Noah has been close to the ball a lot of times but there is no pass rush up the middle for him to get around on the outside. Pisses me off. I’d like to get a nasty DT in round 1 this year

  19. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    @Scurvy Dogs,

    I was there too, but I would respectfully disagree Hargreaves was the only Buc to engage fans before the game. I saw a bunch of players signing autographs by the tunnel. The players usually aren’t going to be to chatty before a game, as they are (hopefully) locked in on their responsibilities for the game.

  20. Bucsfanman Says:

    @SOE- That should improve with the return of GMC, McDonald , and Ayers. I don’t disagree with drafting another DT but, WR and Safety should be a priority. If Spence can improve, it will mitigate the need at DE, maybe not completely but it will help.

  21. LakelandBuc Says:

    The Bucs best rookie?.. he’s the ONLY drafted Buc rookie that’s playing. The Bum kicker ate up a 3rd and 4th, he’s the WORST kicker in the NFL. Noah Spence has played a little. The rest of the rookie class hasn’t even got their jersey dirty.

  22. BigHogHaynes Says:

    This guy is just a rookie, next year he’s gonna be a “BEAST” and the leader of next year’s defensive back-field…….I’d venture to say that we should go DE FIRST ROUND, WR SECOND ROUND and pull that KICKER move, trade back into the SECOND ROUND for another CORNERBACK!

  23. 813bucboi Says:

    @kibe….Julio is an elite receiver….theres only 5-6 elite wr in the game….stop being a hater….GO BUCS!!!

  24. 813bucboi Says:


  25. Kobe Faker Says:

    Grimes had Julio most of the time

    VH just doesnt have the quick twitch , change of direction, recovery like marcus peters or even ramsey

    VH is going to be a consistent reliable corner for a long time and the kid isnt scared of sticking his head in there, but he will always need to have a safety help up top against the elites

    different type of corners in the nfl.

    He is not the physically gifted Patrick peterson (ceiling) more of the josh norman (ceiling)

  26. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    @ Hawaiian

    I was on the other end of the field, near the end zone where the players were warming up and joking around with each other. They very well could have been engaging the fans near the tunnel, but not near the end zone.

  27. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Look how this is all playing out. I was part of the Joebucsfan minority that wanted “undersized” Vernon Hargreeves. And most of y’all wanted Senior Bowl stud Noah Spence who is about 2 games away from being a heathy scratch.

  28. 813bucboi Says:

    @kobe…go back and watch the game…VHG cover Julio about 60% of the time that game….quick twitch?….did you not see that tip that lead to the pick?….that was quick twitch 101….what has he displayed this year that has you so concerned or down on him….he has displayed being just as physical as pat p….more versatile than josh norman who doesn’t shadow wr’s in the slot….he has revis like technique and is a ball hawk like talib and Sherman….ramsey doesn’t ever come close….you heard what steve smith said about him…he’s nothing special….Julio nor kb has said anything because they know he’s one of the better young cb’s in the league….VHG is our #1 cb…..GO BUCS!!!

  29. Buccaneers Says:

    Harhraeves was our best player Monday night in my opinion. our entire secondary did great and been making plays all year. If I didn’t know any better I would say that Brent Grimes knew that pass was coming to him knowing they would not throw two words Vernon Hargreaves