Mixed Reviews Of Rookie WR Jaelon Darden

July 25th, 2021

Rookie receiver Jaelon Darden

Rookie fourth-round-pick receiver/returner Jaelon Darden got plenty of time today to showcase his pass-catching skills with the first- and second-team Bucs.

Remember, the Bucs run practice on two fields, and Field 2 primarily is where the third- and fourth-stringers compete. But Darden was with the big men today on Field 1, and he stood out — for multiple reasons.

The elite quickness is obvious, and there’s just a different energy about Darden’s play. (The neon yellow in his cleats certainly helps the perception.)

Mike Evans had a sparkle in his voice talking about the rookie after practice. “Jaelon’s so fast. He’s going to be a really good player for us.”

Bucco Bruce Arians wasn’t down on Darden but said twice that he needs to squeeze the darn football.

“He gets wide-ass open, he’s just got to catch it every time, and he’s got great hands,” Arians said. “I think he’s just a little nervous.”

Evans said he reminds Darden and other rookies that “it’s just football” with bigger guys and they need to relax and do their thing.

With so few newcomers on the Bucs roster, Joe will keep a sharp eye on Darden, who is sure to get a load of work in training camp. For today, receiver/returner Jaydon Mickens was on Field 2 with the reserves and bubble players. But he did manage to pop. Joe saw Mickens make a nice diving grab on a ball thrown slightly behind him from Kyle Trask.

15 Responses to “Mixed Reviews Of Rookie WR Jaelon Darden”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    Love it!
    Toss him into the fire and see how he handles it!
    The kid is cocky and confident, once he realizes that he can play with these guys ( NFL talent) he’ll be back in his groove!
    I could be wrong and he won’t be able to handle the playbook or the pressure, but I don’t think so!
    This kid has the intangible “it”

  2. Mike Says:

    First day jitters is all he’s dealing with. He’s going to be good to go once the regular season rolls around.

  3. Hodad Says:

    Probably needs to get use to the heat, and humidity.

  4. Joe Says:

    Probably needs to get use to the heat, and humidity.

    He’s from Texas. It gets hot as blazes there. And if you live anywhere near Houston, it’s Florida humid.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Watson’s injury may save Mickens

  6. Kentucky Buc Says:

    First day out with a team full of superstars. Bound to be a little overwhelming to look around and see all those guys not to mention Tom Brady throwing you the ball.

  7. Wild Bill Says:

    I am guessing he is focused on running as fast as he can and remembering the correct route and making really quick cuts. Bet tomorrow after a sleepless night he will focus on catching the dam ball, haha.

  8. mark2001 Says:

    Seems to me I remember Scotty Miller having some drops as a rookie as well. Maybe these smaller guys have a little more adjustment, as the players in the NFL are as a whole, much bigger, stronger and faster. Give him a few weeks.

  9. BucEmUp Says:

    He had hands in college, hes just star struck.Dude is gonne ball out

  10. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Some of these guys are still learninge the names of their new teammates. A lot to take in. He will be fine. He may need to slow it down a little so he can be in the right body position to effectively catch the ball. Some of these speedy guys are running so damn fast and concentrating so hard on thier routes and gettiing open that catching the ball becomes an afterthought. Once he gets comfortable he will be able to catch.

  11. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Wild Bill I didn’t see your comment until after I posted. 😆😅🤣 Great minds think alike I guess.

  12. Wild Bill Says:

    Hey Jeff, you did a good job adding your take. I agree with what you said too. The kid has so much to learn in a big hurry. He will settle down. Can’t wait for the preseason games when we get to see the rookies play. We know what the starters can do.

  13. GoFor2 Says:

    Speed has no slump. Hang on to the ball and run your route. The GOAT will lead you to the promise land.

  14. Eddie Marz Says:

    Always thought it was funny that after ONE DAY some fans are forming opinions. Man he has a whole year to show us what he has. He’ll fit right in and make an impact. Just has to wait in line. Ha Ha.

  15. teacherman777 Says:

    Injuries happen y’all.

    Happy to have Mickens, Darden, and Miller.

    Kwon Alexander anybody?

    Maybe he’d be willing to sign a 2 year deal for 2 rings?

    Why not? Tell him he has a year to rehab and improve on limited snaps a d special teams?

    Imagine Kwon Alexander as our 3rd LB?

    Oh my god!