Bad Times For Vernon Hargreaves

April 28th, 2018

Man, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves’ stock is sinking faster than Joe’s pants without a belt.

And both of those sights are ugly.

Two years ago, general manager Jason Licht had just drafted Hargreaves with the No. 11 overall pick and was glowing about his “instincts, his football intelligence, his quickness, his ball skills.”

Licht even mentioned that he knew Hargreaves’ football-coach father for 18 years and that Hargreaves had a solid foundation as a “football guy.”

In 2016, Hargreaves had a decent rookie season with expected growing pains. The Bucs finished 9-7 and he literally took nearly every snap at outside cornerback.

And then the bottom fell out last season. Hargreaves was benched quickly, relocated to nickel cornerback and then blew out his hamstring.

Yesterday saw another hole poked in the Hargreaves balloon. Tampa Bay drafted two cornerbacks in the second round: M.J. Stewart out of North Carolina and Carlton Davis from Auburn.

Dirk Koetter’s post-draft chatter with media sure sounded like a guy who had little expectation of Hargreaves playing outside corner again any time soon.

Sure, nickel is an important position, but that was not the grand plan for Hargreaves — or any other cornerback drafted that high. Still just 22 years old, it feels like Hargreaves has just about hit rock bottom with Bucs officials with a final chance to pull himself up.

Ronde Barber said last month that Hargreaves is the third-most talented cornerback in Bucs history after Aqib Talib and Donnie Abraham.

What the heck happened?

Joe really hopes the Bucs’ draft haul at corner was one huge wake-up call to Hargreaves.

54 Responses to “Bad Times For Vernon Hargreaves”

  1. Chris in WA Says:

    VH3 is in control of his own destiny. Time to Buc up or shut up!

  2. SOEbuc Says:

    M.J. Stewart is from UNC Joe. Don’t know where the hell you got Nebraska from. Close out your tab and get some rest.

  3. Kevinator Says:

    Stewart went to University of North Carolina, not Nebraska
    Joe fixed this quickly. Breathe easy, Joe knows the kid is out of the ACC.–Joe

  4. Gambelero Says:

    My initial reaction exactly, but it’s possible they see Stewart as a strong safety or Davis as a free safety. I’m not sure if Mike Smith’s defense uses that exact concept. The two safeties roles vary depending on formations and situations.

  5. passthebuc Says:

    Stewart will be a safety

  6. Alpha Buc fan Says:

    Haha I wanna drink what joe is sippin on lol

  7. Pryda ...sec147 Says:

    I honestly think the competition and pass rush is gonna be great for VH3

  8. OneBucPerson Says:

    VH3 just doesn’t appear to be a scheme fit, he’s a press man being forced to play in mostly zone so he gives up way too much cushion. I think we seriously need to start looking for teams that might be interested in snagging him.

  9. danr Says:

    Based on history there will be a wr

  10. dexterOHMAN Says:

    good thing Vernon Hargreaves got those preseason picks

  11. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    It smells to me like they are sticking Hargreaves at nickleback just like they said. Beckwith will be fine he doesn’t get a lot of snaps anyway,but I’m in conflict right now about Hargreaves. I like him and I think he will benefit from this revamped dline and should be relooked again for outside corner. Seriously though they got Hargreaves in a good spot but the DB spots look like they’re getting sorted out in training camp and I like Hargreaves to bounce back to starter form. It’s smart to play him as a nickel though but he has to be a grade A tackle for that spot. He has the ball skills though but I think the North Carolina kid will ultimately be the nickel guys seems more of a corner than a safety to me and Davis should probably be the safety but he’s not a tackler as well just like Hargreaves. How bout Brent Grimes old ass being the nickleback. I bet thats the way it turns out after training camp. Grimes is just not every down player any more to me and I felt Hargreaves just had an off year altogether last year and our dline did him no favors. Hargreaves is just fine ppl already got addressed when he met the media at the combine

  12. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Competition brings the cream to the top!!

  13. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Eric Reed and Colin K!! Bring on compitition!

  14. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Eric Reid!!

  15. THETRUTH Says:

    If he is a football player he accept challenge and competition if he can’t handle it than he is just use to being fed on silverspoon.

    MAN UP!!!!!

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    VH3 isn’t going anywhere, his cap hit makes it basically impossible. Hopefully he just gets back to where he was at the end of his rookie season since he looked like a quality guy, and he looked fine in the preseason and opening, but in that disaster of a Vikings game he fell off a cliff.

  17. Capt.Tim Says:

    Lot of excuses for VH3
    Truth is real simple
    Hargreaves is too short, too slow, and um, not the sharpest tool in the shed.
    The coaches have stated , So many times, that they are not directing Hargreaves to play 10’ off the defender, that to keep arguing that means uou cant read.

    Hargreaves plays 10’ off his man, or the guy blows by him. NOT BECAUSE OF DIRECTION FROM THE COACHES. Once Ryan Smith replaced Hargreaves, he didnt stand off 10’. He got Beat, because the Bucs never pressured the QB.
    Despite the lack of Pass rush- Ryan Smith- A rookie- still played far better than Hargreaves.

    Hargreaves is a bust. He will never be able to play outside CB.
    Noah Spence isnt ever going to be an every down DE.

    Just like I said the day they were drafted.

    With Beckwith on the Shelf, I sure hope they give Noah some time at LB. with our new D-line- that young man could wreak havok from the edge

  18. NFLRealist Says:

    Most fans don’t realize how bad DBs can look without a decent pass rush. The best corners in the NFL can’t cover starting WRs indefinitely on a play.

    Smith & Hargreaves aren’t All-Pro corners, but they probably instantly improve once the pass rush does — because it forces QBs to throw less accurate throws, forces QBs to make throws before WRs get separation and more.

    There’s a reason the Bucs coaching staff didn’t “sell out” everything to draft a corner in the 1st round. They *know* their secondary instantly improves with a strong pass rush, and our D-Line has sucked for too long.

  19. Glazers Almanac Says:

    The D line was terrible last year. Really Really terrible. Like all time terrible for any NFL team. The bucs bolstered that in free agency and with Vea in the 1st rd. I dont know if Hargreaves is the guy but you cant blame him or give up on him after just 2 years. He should have the chance to compete this year with a new D Line coach and a new D line. But, I am afraid McCoy will turn these nasty D lineman into pitiful happy go lucky fools. Hopefully its the other way around and McCoy gets nasty.

  20. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Hargreaves will have along career with the Bucs. It just won’t be as an outside CB. It’ll be as a slot CB. Nothing wrong with that, it’s a very important position. He has elite movement in short areas but just doesn’t have the long speed to keep up deep down the sideline. It is what it is. He still has much value.

  21. IsrBuc Says:

    Vh3 just looks like a clown to me. If you look at the pics from the workouts this guy is always in a dancing posture, even when the others are stretching or doing something else. You’d expect him to look more serious in this situation but he’s the complete opposite, not mentioning the weed even. He looks dumb. Not sure he belongs.

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    Capt.Tim – Yes, Ryan Smith was playing 10-15 yards off the line of scrimmage all year. Did you even watch the games?

  23. Greg Says:

    I love how Joe overreacts to everything. Vernon Hargraves is a stud ball catcher. I’ve watched him for years and when he came to the Buccaneers there’s no foundation there is no pass rush whatsoever to help him out. Thank God for Jason Whillhite finally treating the defense of line as a priority and everyone in our defensive backs will benefit including Vernon Hargraves and all the new pics. I knew world is a powerless Tampa Bay embrace it

  24. Greig Says:

    Why do people push the myth that VH3 had a solid rookie season?
    He was garbage, it was worse than 2017.
    The lone player in the entire league to get burnt for over 1000 yards passing was VH3 and the ‘he was a rookie excuse doesn’t cut it. He was a first rounder and lower round rookies played and they didn’t get embarrassed.
    The guy has maybe 3 acceptable (not even good) games over his 2 years and they were when he was moved inside.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Was super excited after Rnd 1 … DT was a NEED (key rotational player IMO) but not a PRIORITY NEED (starting hole IMO). Still, Vita Vea was my favorite DT prospect & should make our DLine considerably better so I was happy. Having THREE picks in Rnd 2 because of tradedown of just a few spots was awesome IMO. Was convinced the Bucs were set up in a ‘NO LOSE’ situation from looking at who was still on-the-board after Day 1. Surely we could fill our 3 remaining PRIORITY NEEDS (starting OG, RB & CB) with Rnd 2 picks.

    Now after Day 2 keep asking myself ‘What happened?’ RB, CB, OG … they were all there. Have zero idea if ANY of the guys we picked on Day 2 can win starting gigs; they all appear to be projects in one way or another as opposed to ‘NFL-ready’. Still trying to stay ‘cautiously optimistic’ … but that just got harder to do after Day 2. But there’s still Day 3 … at least grab Bo Scarborough Jason.

  26. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Debbie Downer Joe and all you negative Bucs fans-
    One of the corners drafted will probably be a safety, or perhaps Hargreaves will be groomed for safety- the point is, Bucs have upgraded secondary talent and dumping on young players going through learning process accomplishes what? Feeding your self serving egos?
    Defensive line upgrades plus secondary upgrades will most certainly improve defense considerably and draft and free agency has also upgraded
    running game which will keep defense off the field longer.
    Go Bucs, ignore the trollers!

  27. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Rod Munch Says:
    April 28th, 2018 at 1:51 am
    VH3 isn’t going anywhere, his cap hit makes it basically impossible. Hopefully he just gets back to where he was at the end of his rookie season since he looked like a quality guy, and he looked fine in the preseason and opening, but in that disaster of a Vikings game he fell off a cliff.


    Hard to evaluate the vikes game when over half the defense was out, and thr offense kept going three and out and turning the ball over a great defense

  28. BucEmUp Says:

    Vernon is not a zone cushion corner, he’s a press corner. Move him up within five yards to play press coverage. Every team in the leave knows the Bucs don’t press….EVER!!!

    The only reason Vernon fell off is because the coaching failed him. It’s the same reason these two new corners will get picked apart unless Mike Smith changes his style.

    He said it would be different last season, it wasnt.

  29. lambchop Says:

    @Defense Rules,

    Ronald Jones is a project? I can’t say I totally like the pick but he does have some homerun potential. Given that Penny, Michel, and Chubb were off the board and Guice having MAJOR red flags – RoJo was the best available RB. He’s definitely not a project and will start day 1 with Peyton Barber. Now if they could get Nyheim Hines, that would be a project worth getting for the speed and kickoff returns.

  30. Capt.Tim Says:

    If Ryan Smith were doing the same thing, that 10 yards off the reciever nonsense, then the Bucs wouldnt have sufferred the embarrassment of benching Hargreaves- a first round pick!

    Ryan Smith was out playing Hargreaves. Smith sent Hagreaves to the bench, and took his job.

    They moved Hargreaves to slot corner- where he wasnt much better.
    Teams hate to admit their first round pick was a bust. Smith taking VH3s job was embarrassing to Licht and Koetter.
    They will keep him at slot, where he will keep hurting the team- but not as much he would at corner.

    Guess Munch thinks they replaced him with a guy who played exactly the same, because they enjoy looking like they blew a high first round pick.

    Yesh, you’re all over it munch

  31. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    I hope the coaching staff does NOT try to convert another DB to safety and waste another year of that player’s development. Especially if the potential is there for said coaching to be GONE!

  32. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    On a conference call, Stewart was quoted saying that Licht told him they expect him to play more inside and at Safety.

    So all things considered I don’t understand this pick 1 effing bit. Why is Licht trying to pull another Ryan Smith. I hate the idea of drafting a small, slow Corner and making him play a different position.

    Isiah Oliver, a 6’0 200 pound OUTSIDE Corner with first round talent was sitting there for us, but we take the guy who was projected to go in rounds 4-6.

    Classic WTF pick by Licht in the 2nd round. I’m ok with Jones (though Guice was the obvious choice there if you ask me), I like Carlton Davis and Alex Cappa, but this MJ Stewart pick is a real head-scratcher.

  33. Wausa Says:

    Some comments about MJ Stewart from the Senior Bowl:

    ” I don’t think I counted a single rep where MJ Stewart lost in the one on ones. Great performance here on day one.” John Tuls NFL

    “I’ve had 3 Thorpe Award Winners on my defenses. MJ is as good as any of the 3. He is a first round pick if the NFL teams truly do their homework. Absolutely loves ball and has a relentless work ethic. Flat BALLER’ Coach Gene Chizik

  34. Capt.Tim Says:

    Interesting thing about Ryan Smith
    Bucs liked his cover skills, but thought he was too big to play outside CB

    Smith is 6’, 200#

    After practicing him at Safety, they realized that he had some of the best cover skills on the team!
    You need big strong Cornerbacks in the NFC south- lots of big Wide receivers.
    With a d-line, Ryan Smith and Carlton Davis could give us a pair of big,Talented CBs, to team with Grimes!!
    I think our CBs will be good, now that we has

  35. Capt.Tim Says:

    . . .have a pass rush

  36. RustyRhinos Says:

    Hargreaves? He can not carry Donnie Abraham’s interception balls bag. Ever! He talks way to much, how about producing, then running your mouth. Or possibly be the person who blewup a receiver on a pass play and be jumping around like you are a kid again at Christmas and you got everything on your santa wish list.

  37. ComeOnJoe Says:

    Capt. Tim, VH3 isn’t playing 10 yards off the defender. He is the defender. I’ve said this before here, It’s too early to tell if he’s a bust. Barber didn’t take off until year 3 and Kelly took 4 years. As for your comment about being too slow, he’s faster than Barber was and about as fast as Richard Sherman.

  38. Easy Says:

    I think this is good for VHIII. He can still play nickel and be outside occasionally on first and second down.

  39. Jarhead Says:

    The two corners they selected appear to be physical in your face press corners? A lot of the criticism towards Smith was that he wasn’t using Hargreaves properly (press corner), could it be with the addition of the 2nd rounders that we will be pressing with our CBs this year???

  40. ShutTheBucUp Says:

    Buc Em Up is right.
    Mike Smith needs to go back to the drawing board because he’s ruining our young talent.

    Remember when everyone was calling Vic Beasley a bust?? See how Dan Quinn moved him to a linebacker hybrid role, similar to what von Miller does and he exploded to be lead the nfl in sacks? Noah Spence has the same potential but it’s completely untapped. That’s called playing to your players strengths and not forcing them to do things they obviously are not good at.

  41. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    As a gator vh3 was a horrible pick who got ate up on a regular basis going against the big time sec WRs like cooper and ridley he is what he is think licht missed on some players but time will tell

  42. Frank Pillow Says:

    The lesson with VHIII is that we got two guys last night with similar measurables in the middle-end of Rd2. That’s relative value. I have a sneaking suspicion that VHIII will be fighting for his roster spot.

  43. Not there yet Says:

    See these are the stupid narrative of the media about the draft. Because we don’t like vh3 and Smith, the draft comes and we get two news guys and you talk as if they will step in and take a job. Comparing college careers vh3 were better than both

    Pump the brakes because like vh3 we have no idea how long it will take them to adjust to the NFL. I remember the media being pumped about Myron Lewis too

  44. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Times are not THAT bad for him.

    M.J. Stewart is expected to play safety. That won’t affect VHIII at all.

    Carlton Davis is a pure slot corner, not an outside corner.

    VHIII was moved back to the outside last year. The Bucs have made it obvious that they believe he’ll work out.

    People around here, including one of the Joes, have given up on VHIII far too soon.

  45. JabooBuc Says:

    Bonzai: What are you talking about? I believe Licht has already said he expects Stewart to compete at CB and Davis IS an outside CB.

    The point about both of these picks is that we now have talented guys, including VH3 and Ryan Smith, competing for all DB positions. There is now depth and talent there. I expect more to come today and as UDFA’s.

    The great news though is that the improved DL helps all of these guys. Very excited to see what they have done thus far. On paper (and that’s a big disclaimer) this team is MUCH better then it was 2 months ago.

  46. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    You know, all of you seem to think Hargreaves is a bust…and yet…the actual people who get paid to evaluate these players still believe in him, regardless of pre-draft speeches.

    Let this all sink in (as things stand)…

    Vernon Hargreaves
    Ryan Smith
    Carlton Davis (Slot) (Starting by 2019)

    Justin Evans
    M.J. Stewart (if he works out) (Starting by 2019)

    Lavonte David
    Kwon Alexander
    Kendell Beckwith

    Vinny Curry
    Gerald McCoy
    Vita Vea (Starting at some point this year)
    Jason Pierre-Paul

    Demar Dotson (replaced by next year)
    Alex Cappa (Starting by 2019)
    Ryan Jensen
    Ali Marpet
    Donovan Smith

    Ronald Jones
    Peyton Barber
    Jacquizz Rodgers
    Charles Sims

    Mike Evans
    DeSean Jackson (replaced by next year)
    Adam Humphries
    Chris Godwin
    Freddie Martino
    Bobo Wilson

    Cameron Brate
    O. J. Howard
    Anthony Auclair
    Alan Cross

  47. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    First off, the draft still is not over, so don’t believe a word you hear.

    Secondly, we shall see who is right when all is said and done. Stewart himself said in an interview that he was told he would be tried at safety.

  48. Mike Johnson Says:

    Everybody is going to be watching Mr. Hargreaves this year. He has yet to live up to, or come anywheres close to his 1st rd draft billing. To me, he has been one of our Major disappointments. he’s slow and does not hit hard. Gets beat like a hammer in most cases and misses mucho tackles. This is the year we see if he can turn it up. We..are watching……

  49. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Here’s what I see: After Hargreaves’ rookie year, everyone here was excited for him.

    A year later, and everyone has given up on him.

    I saw the same thing with Mike Evans, though most of you pretend you never gave up on him. He had what some considered a bad sophomore year (I didn’t) and most of the fans called him a bust.

    What did Mike Evans do? How did he respond? He worked on his weaknesses the following off season and came back improved in those areas.

    So how can you people assume Hargreaves will not do the same? Give the kid a fair chance at least! Let’s see how he responds to last season. That is why they say it takes at least 3 years to properly evaluate a draft pick. Because bad sophomore years are very, very common in the NFL.

  50. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Bonzai, what planet do you live on?

    Vernon is our Nickel, this was made abundantly clear at the Owners meeting by Koetter.

    Carlton Davis was picked to compete for the job opposite Grimes.

    Stewart was told he would be slated to play Safety and Inside Corner. Yet again your delusion amazes.

  51. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    This is telling Vernon this is your year to show you belong and can play where we want you to play and do what we want you to do. This is your year to prove you were worth the number 11 pic. If not it’s the end for you as a buc!

  52. Debilah Says:

    JASON McLAURIN, you are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to disagree (Grimes Mom) 🤷‍♀️

  53. Ugh Says:

    No competition here… Maybe we can mash all 3 of them all together and make one descent CB

  54. Drulin Says:

    MJ Stewart signed a contract with ADIDAS a few days ago. Kid is a baller. Total savage of a DB. He is our new Ronde lite. Everyone knows he was 1st round talent if not for the rap sheet…except Bucs fans.