“Diamond” Darden

May 12th, 2021

Bucs WR Jaelon Darden.

Joe has noticed a trend on this site from commenters that totally seems out of whack.

It seems folks have the nerve to suggest Scotty Miller is in danger of a roster spot. Why? Because of the fourth-round draft pick of Jaelon Darden as a Bucs receiver.

We have no full idea where the Bucs plan to play Darden. No position on the roster is more loaded than receiver. Joe’s pretty confident you could take three Bucs backup receivers, Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson, and those three as a triplets unit could start on as many as possibly eight teams.

Yes, the Bucs are that loaded at receiver.

(No, Antonio Brown is technically not a starter despite being a sensational receiver. That’s why Joe sometimes refers to the returning Bucs lineup as “22+1.” The last digit representing Brown.)

Besides, Darden is likely a slot receiver in the NFL. Despite being a small dude, Darden playing slot led the nation in touchdowns at that position. So why the Bucs would instead want to put him wide where Miller plays doesn’t register with Joe.

And the way Arians loves speed at slot, Darden, with his resume, sure destined for that position. So Miller is in no way in danger of losing his job — two different chess pieces on the chessboard.

Closet Bucs fan Peter Schrager of NFL Network recently threw out on Twitter that Darden will be a “diamond” for the Bucs. A true third-day steal.

So where and when can we see this Darden on the field for the Bucs? Well, initially likely special teams. Remember when Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians said Day 3 for the draft was for speed and special teams? That sounds like Darden.

As for him catching passes from park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, smartphone-phobic, waffle-grilling, trophy-throwing, roller-coaster-scared, numbers-rules-peeved, Bucs-Super-Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady? That’s up to Darden.

And Joe supposes the health of the top five receivers will have a say as to when or if Darden catching any passes this fall.

42 Responses to ““Diamond” Darden”

  1. Steven007 Says:

    Miller still has the best straight line speed and will be used just like he was last year and also to open up the underneath routes by occasionally pulling a safety with him. I agree with Joe, darden seems like the perfect slot guy to work in their occasionally early on.

  2. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Agreed on Scotty Miller. I see Darden being an improvement over Jaydon Mickens (although I have nothing against Mickens, he was adequate). We’ll see.

  3. Dewey Selmon Says:

    GM Tommy is not getting rid of Scooter for a rookie that has never played a snap in the NFL. Stop the nonsense.

  4. ncbucsfan Says:

    Darden will see the field at the slot sooner than later. I believe Darden was a “Brady” pick according to his skillset. Hell, Tom may have even phoned in the pick to Licht after reviewing film from the scouts lol! Tom is that obsessed. Darden just happens to be a former QB who’s mose quick than fast and has huge hands for his size (sounds just like an Edelman-clone). Darden and Tyler Johnson will play slot, along with Godwin, but particularly in 4-wide sets.

  5. Waterboy Says:

    Bucs Wrs have a history of injury and other reasons for missing games. I predict that come week 7/8, we will see the Bucs trotting out a starting group of Tyler Johnson and AB backed up by Darden/Mickens. I fully expect Evans-Godwin-Scotty to miss multiple games. This is where Bucs depth really pays dividends!

  6. bojim Says:

    He sure has been getting a lot of air time. Hope he makes the team.

  7. catcard202 Says:

    From my armchair GM office…Darden looks like he was selected to take Mickens roster spot & ST role in 2021…Which will open up the chance for him to take on a much bigger role (in the Slot), going forward.

  8. Buczilla Says:

    I’d hate to be the guy that tells Brady that Miller is going to get cut. Loved the Darden pick and I’d put him at punt/kick returner from day one along with Brown every once in a while. Make teams fear our return game.

  9. Swampbuc Says:

    Only an eggplant-for-brain moron would suggest Scotty Miller is in danger of losing his roster spot. Only a fool who is blind to the workings on NFL offenses, not to mention the preferences of Tom Brady, would suggest that. It might be one of the stupidest things ever suggested, and that list has a lot of competition.

  10. Allbuccedup Says:

    With Evans not getting any younger and Godwin and Brown on a one year deal it doesn’t hurt to have a little depth.

  11. TOM Says:

    Scooter’s going nowhere except up.

  12. Cobraboy Says:

    After that coffin-nail pre-halftime TD catch in GB, Brady prolly has Scooter tattoo somewhere only the wifely babe can see…

  13. Robert Says:

    Darden & Johnson will get a lot of playing time when CG goes down, and CG will not get a long term contract with those two stepping up. You heard it here 1st-Charley

  14. SirClicksAlot Says:

    I think Joe wrote right here why Scooter’s roster spot is in danger by Darden. Special teams. Scotty Miller offers almost nothing at all on ST, unless you think making fair catches is important. And is very limited at receiver, only able to play wide and win on deep routes. While Darden has the talent to be electric on ST AND take it the house from short or deep. He has a much better track record than Scooter did in college and production matters. I think we ultimately end up with 6 receivers so everyone stays, but I expect by midseason you will start to see Scooter inactive on gamedays to give Diamond Darden (cool nickname Joe) more play time.

  15. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    To be fair, there’s no real difference between slot and wide. You can draw plays up any way you want and send anybody deep or short. If this guy is that fast, you will see him go deep a lot.

  16. SOEbuc Says:

    The real joke is keeping seven WR on this roster. Yes I hope Darden will be able to beat out Mickens. Darden is another future project. Scotty is NOTHING but a long stride WR and we already have plenty ahead of him that can break off routes. Is NOT week to week depth. Trade him now while he’s hot before we don’t resign him next year when his contract is up.

  17. Logan Says:

    Joe, come on you’re killing me. Look at what the slot receiver does in BA’s offense. The slot requires a bigger physical receiver. Godwin has to block and he’s a good blocker, he’s gotta seal off edges from defenders. Stop with the nonsense of Darden, and other smaller guys play the slot that doesn’t fit the system. You should know this.

  18. lambeau Says:

    Mickens close to the bottom in punt returns, with 99 yards on 30 punts–14 fair catches. Gunner Olszewski on the Patriots had 346 yards on 31 punts– 11 fair catches. Hoping Darden can do better.

  19. SB~LV Says:

    I have not seen anything from Scotty Miller to show he is more than a one trick pony. I do think he is at risk of making the roster and Darden has little to do with it. Miller could be replaced if a proven veteran becomes available, all the way up to the final cut down by the other 31 teams. All that said I hope Miller can step it up and become a valuable piece in the offense.

  20. SOEbuc Says:

    Would take Scotty all day if we had more than a 53 man roster.

  21. Joe in Michigan Says:

    lambeau: Yes, Mickens was nothing special, but neither was the Bucs special teams altogether. That might’ve had something to do with his lack of yards. I don’t remember Mickens fumbling, which makes him adequate.

  22. Cannon Says:

    Scotty may be a one trick pony… but man… its one hell of a trick!


  23. Redblud Says:

    Sorry, Scotty is not ahead of Darden on the depth chart. He’s not ahead of Johnson either. Johnson is not ahead of Darden. With Darden in the slot, you’ll see more of AB out wide in 4 wide set. Scotty is terrible besides the deep and really not that efficient on the deep ball. He is the worse route runner in the entire NFL, does nothing with the ball after the catch, could make a 3 year girl miss a tackle in the open field. Stop it. Just stop it. Scotty will make the roster, but don’t be surprised when he does play even 10% of the snaps next year. Out of the 6, he will have the least amount of playing time.

  24. Joe Says:

    does nothing with the ball after the catch,

    Generally, if you catch the ball in the end zone, YAC is not necessary.

  25. Redblud Says:

    Joe, the man had 3 TDs last season and 1 in the playoffs. We seen him catch the ball not in the end zone, and the twig goes down if he’s touched with a pinky. I almost Scotty gets cut, because the Bucs fan base has the guy way higher than he is. He is not even a Brady favorite. Brady asked Arians and JL for his replacement because of what he lacks…😂😂😂

  26. Joe Says:


    Not saying Scotty Miller is Randy Moss. Bucs likely are not even in the Super Bowl without Miller. He can do one thing and do it well and it just so happens to be Bruce Arians’ favorite play: the bomb. So unless Darden totally blows up at a position he likely is not going to play, Miller is here whether haters want him or not.

    Darden is more a slot guy despite his size. Arguing Darden will replace Miller is apples/oranges, like saying Alex Cappa will beat out Donovan Smith. Hell right now, we don’t even know if Darden can catch an NFL football.

    Arians has already talked about using Darden over the middle (like a slot receiver). He’d never do that with Miller.

  27. Bucanero Says:

    He’ll get some throws it’s a long season. I’m happy with this pick ⛏️ great value at the fourth round. This is were professional scouts make their payday.

  28. SB~LV Says:

    Scotty may have been Brady’s flav of the year 2020, but he has throw TD’s to something like 600 different pass catchers….last year was last year !

  29. Redblud Says:

    Joe, the Bucs have 3 true receivers in Evans(Outside), Godwin( Mostly Slot) and Brown(Mostly outside). When we aren’t 11 personnel, we will be in 12 personnel. So the only time we are likely to see Miller, Darden In Johnson is in rare sub situations and 4 wide. In situations where they need a blocker, Johnson will get the PT. In situation when we are 4 wide, you bring in an extra slot, not an extra outside guy. That means Darden becomes more valuable in those sets. I supposed there may be a few times they bring in Miller for his deep speed, and play Evans or Brown in the slot, as BA likes to move all his guys around, but Miller is not a better football player than Darden, even right now. It’s not even close to me. Miller is terrible and in the NFL for one reason and one reason only, because he can run fast. He doesn’t nothing else even remotely average.

  30. BucEmUp Says:

    Only an idiot would suggest that.

    Watson is gone

  31. rriddler Says:

    Seems obvious. Mickens out, Darden in. All other WR slots remain the same as last year.

  32. firethecannons Says:

    Darden will be a returner then later in season, he will be called upon for backup duty in the slot and he will be fireworks

  33. SB~LV Says:

    I am telling you, because it happens every year, that a big name WR at the end of a rebuilding team needs, will be either shopped or released or player trade or any combination of, will happen.

  34. 6throundpick Says:

    TB12 will hit the open receiver. And he’ll spread it around. It’s like MLB…all timing; can’t throw the same pitch and get outs. Having been drafted by the Montreal Expos; 18th round, because teams expected him to play football. Regardless, the TB QB Extraordinaire, quite gets it. So, get open and don’t drop it, guys, and great things will continue to come. Cheers!

  35. Mike Johnson Says:

    Just watching the tape on Dardens gets you excited. You cannot teach speed, cuts, avoiding tackles. I got him being one of the steals of the draft. He probably will even return punts. He might be our new..Mr Excitement.

  36. bucsfan951 Says:

    “Scotty is terrible besides the deep and really not that efficient on the deep ball. He is the worse route runner in the entire NFL”

    its absolutely stunning that a receiver ranked 14th in the entire nfl with an average of 15.2 yards per catch is not efficient on the deep ball and a horrible route runner…

    thats some really lucky numbers to have for such a horrible route runner that isnt good at the deep ball! smh

  37. Ne+ bucs fan Says:

    To use a basketball analogy,,,,You put the 3 point guy in basketball when you need to score,,he’s a bench player with a special role,, you could use the same analogy with Scotty Miller,,,I also think he brings more to the game than a one trick poney,,, coach him up,,, guys got great hands,,I don’t agree he’s a one trick poney,, he could be a Edelman,, brown,,fill in the blanks,,to many great receiver’s on the team,, but he has a role to play in my opinion,,

  38. Daniel Williamson Says:

    Sad isnt it. Suffering through all those first few drafts, except for Leeroy , all those lost games in a row. Becoming the losingest franchise in alllll of sports. Then what success we have turns into a letting go of our qb because he wanted a little more money. Grateful to, but suffering under an owner ,Culverhouse, who was in the top ten money makers in all of football each year, 7th one year and putting the worst product on the field. Finally dungy and Lovie and Monte devise a scheme for one of the best defenses of all time. Scrapping like mad dogs to overcome our woeful offenses. Winning a Superbowl. A few down years and now….now we have the greatest qb of all time. The freakin GOAT. He waltzes in and by his greatness and all that goes into being competitive off the charts, in love with throwing a football and dissecting defenses, mentally and physically always preparing and prepared he changes our culture from jester to king. Like that. Except for the fan culture. Were any of you pulling your heart out year after year with what had been known to be called by the fans of other twleams the “yucks”, the ” Suckaneers”? And other names unprintable? Maybe ya were, but odds are ya werent, but a culture was built here, like the early Mets and any team that has suffered long droughts of winning. Tough, resilient, proud and loud. A core of fans that were and are awesome.
    That said our culture obviously hasnt healed fully. Its sad. We, instead of relishing, basking and radiating with unabashed joy for all the blocks that just fell into place in the last year, we moan and piss and groan.”Oh muh Gawd we got another receiver what the hell we gonna do?” “If we lose somebody then the guy that beat him out is better. It happens every year. Im now gonna get on the emotional roller coaster of managements business doings or coaches decisions. Thats they bidness. Mine is to trust the GOAT, trust my coach who is refreshingly honest and genuinely grateful for that Super Bowl, to make the decisions that have to be made. Byron Leftwiche has hit another gear and we have one of the, if not the, best DC’s in the game.Lets enjoy the embarrassment of riches.I remember as a kid other kids getting candy and ice cream, for us no money for such. I remember my beautiful Aunt Margie churning up home made vanilla ice cream. The first time the ice cream touched my taste buds and the world lit up and I was in heaven. Thats how this feels to all long suffering Bucs fans. Imma just sit my crusty 66 year old butt right here in my lazy boy and dwell on how much smack I get to spew tomorrow to my good friends who are fans of lesser teams. Two Superbowls so far. A chance of a couple more to come. Fuggettaboudit!

  39. Ne+ bucs fan Says:

    Did I contradict myself,, LOL

  40. Swampbuc Says:

    Redblug- lay off the glue for a night. Scotty filled in when everyone was hurt early in the season and showed nice possession receiver ability. But whatever, be the know-it-all and then eat rancid crow when you’re proven so wrong once again.

    Imbecillin around here.

  41. Buczilla Says:

    It’s downright comical how some folks are just trashing Scotty who’s touchdown against the Packers may have been our most significant play as a franchise since Joe Jurevicious and Ronde made their incredible plays against the eagles in the nfc championship. He’s not a great player (yet?), but he sure as hell isn’t a scrub either. He’s another valuable weapon for Brady to use to tear up opposing defenses. It’s crazy how people can look at the exact same thing and come up with such ridiculous conclusions. Keeps other people from being boring I guess. 😛

  42. Hodad Says:

    Mickens, and Watson are gone.