Breakdown Of Jaelon Darden

May 1st, 2021

Bucs WR Jaelon Darden.

So what can we expect from new Bucs wide receiver Jaelon Darden? It seems like this guy has wheels.

Per Dane Brugler of The Athletic, Darden can get to top-level speed quickly. He ran a 4.4 40-yard dash and is known for his speed.

STRENGTHS: Accelerates to top speed with one step, stretching the field to get behind the secondary…the threat of deep speed opens underneath cushions…uses the burst off his plant foot to gain separation on slants and posts…able to escape the jam with his initial quickness…uses his speed to destroy coverage/pursuit angles…has the hand-eye coordination to stab the football mid-stride without slowing his momentum…tracks the ball flight downfield, subtly adjusting his path…only one fumble on his résumé…has return experience, averaging 8.9 yards per punt return with one touchdown (35/310/1)…known as a maniacal worker, and he doesn’t lack for drive or determination…finished third in the FBS in receiving yards in 2020 and second in receiving touchdowns (behind DeVonta Smith).

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at North Texas, Darden played the A wide receiver position in head coach Seth Littrell’s spread system, lining up inside and outside. He leaves Denton as the school’s all-time leader in receptions (230), receiving yards (2,782) and receiving touchdowns (38) and is attempting to be the program’s first draft pick since 2004 (and the first wide receiver draft pick in school history). Darden has electric feet to win off the line, separate out of his breaks or create with the ball in his hands — only DeVonta Smith and Amari Rodgers had more yards after the catch (576) in 2020. He relies more on speed than seasoning as a route runner and will struggle to be a ball winner in tight windows at the next level. Overall, Darden is obviously undersized, which will limit his role potential in the NFL, but his foot quickness and home run gear will leave defenders in his dust. He projects similar to Jakeem Grant when he was coming out of Texas Tech.

Darden is a little guy at 5-7, 174. But you know what? So too is Scotty Miller and look at the impact he’s had.

Joe trusts the Bucs organization when it comes to wide receivers. They’ve earned Joe’s respect.

12 Responses to “Breakdown Of Jaelon Darden”

  1. Mike Johnson Says:

    Never heard of the guy. But I just watched his highlight reel on another website.
    Unbelievable. he got bigtime juice. He looks like our best pick so far. But we shall see what he brings.

  2. Patrick Says:

    I have watched the video where they claim he’s 5-9 175 but regardless the guy’s a little water bug

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m just hoping we don’t end up with 42 WRs & 38 RBs……we need another CB.

  4. Bellingham Bucs Fan Says:

    As a UNT alum, I say, outstanding and good riddance to Middling Mickens.

  5. Medicated Pete Says:

    This guy has twitchy knees & ankles and bendy levers

  6. David Says:

    As long as he’s not scared of contact like the forgettable Appalachian State player

  7. Ash Says:

    It obvious that they are confident in the cbs they have despite what you think

  8. IrishMist Says:

    He’s got great short area quickness like Welker and Edelman. He’ll start off returning punts, but he may get some snaps running those option routes from the slot that Brady likes.

  9. Reddington Neck Shores Says:

    Give me some slot action and return yards and I’m stoked.

  10. DrunkInYbnor Says:

    I like the pick alot. It looks like once he gets coached up and learns to use correct technique in route running (wow). He has a lot of false steps while running routes its almost like his feet are trying to catch up lol. I believe as long as he comes in humble and ready to learn and be critiqued he will be a very good player for us.

  11. Hope springs eternal Says:

    This guy will get plenty of exposure during the pre season games. Especially in the kick returns and second half passing game. Hope he is more versatile than Scotty and a shifty runner. Scotty has excellent straight line speed but lacks shifty moves. Been a long time since the bucs have had a burner with elusive moves.

  12. stephen j burke Says:

    Jaelon “beep beep” Darden