Extra-High Expectations For Jalen McMillan

April 27th, 2024

“Mike, no excuse for this kid not to ball out.”

Joe is confident the Bucs expect Jalen McMillan, their third-round pick of a wide receiver last night (No. 92 overall), to make a significant impact rather quickly.

Look at the history of Jason Licht drafting receivers and consider that McMillan is the highest drafted Bucs receiver in seven years.

First came Mike Evans. Beast! But Evans was a first-round pick and was a generational talent.

Then came third-round pick Chris Godwin at No. 84 overall in 2017. Joe has learned over the years that Godwin was a sort of a personal mission of Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht. That was “his guy” and Godwin was everything the Bucs wanted on Day 1 and is an all-time great Buccaneer.

Sure, Licht whiffed on Kenny Bell (Round 5, 2015), and Justin Watson (Round 5) did little with the Bucs, but Watson had talent and now has three Super Bowl rings — three!  He’s coming off a career year with the Chiefs.

Scotty Miller (Round 6, 2019) became a Buccaneers folk hero in his second season. Tyler Johnson (Round 5, 2020) made massive catches during the run to the Super Bowl season as a rookie.

In 2021, Jaelon Darden was a fourth-round bust, but Trey Palmer (Round 6, 2023) came out swinging last season and had a big postseason game against the Eagles.

That’s a lot of impact from guys drafted at McMillan’s level and lower, much lower.

Joe likes how McMillan has no excuses. He’s in and ultimate incubator with classy greats like Evans and Godwin, and he’ll have young receivers pushing him with competition, and he has a smart veteran to learn from in Baker Mayfield.

Joe is hoping McMillan can be a Mike Williams type (2010, Round 4). He was a Day 1 stud for the Bucs while dealing with double teams McMillan won’t see.

Rookie receivers thrive every year across the NFL. Expectations on McMillan will be very high.

30 Responses to “Extra-High Expectations For Jalen McMillan”

  1. Buddha Says:

    Quite a few draft. Gurus had him pegged as a second round pick. Licht has really improved as a value. Selector. This is a very good draft thus far.

  2. WhatTheBuc Says:

    I agree with you Buddha although I disagree with your location of periods in a sentence.

  3. CTBucs Says:

    Chris and McMill in a double slot, Palmer and Evans outside. Lots of options for Baker to hit

  4. SB~LV Says:

    Any details on his knee injury?

  5. Austing Says:

    Jason is one hell of a drafter

  6. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Jason-today is all about drafting a thumper RB. Can we please make that happen?!

  7. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    WhatTheBuc Says: “I agree with you Buddha although I disagree with your location of periods in a sentence.:


  8. drdneast Says:

    Neither Watson or Miller were used correctly by the Bucs coaching staff whereas Watson was by the Chiefs. Unfortunately, Miller was used incorrectly and in a limited manner by the Falcons as well last season. He is capable of doing more than running deep fly and post patterns.

  9. OrlandoBucFAn Says:

    I remember sitting in a bar on Fillmore Street in San Francisco watching the Rose Bowl before heading to the airport back in January 2017. Penn State was playing USC. All I remember was Chris Godwin was unstoppable that day. I had no clue who he was, but I remember telling my wife that I wanted the Bucs to draft that dude. What a relief when they did. I hope McMillan can step and have the same impact for the Bucs as Godwin.

  10. Buc1987 Says:

    Godwin’s replacement?

  11. Bucs Guy Says:

    3 good picks out of 4 so far. Need a power RB, LB and G. TE may have to wait. That’s what happens when you waste a pick.

  12. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    My nephews who live in the Seattle area are big UW guys. They both love McMillan and think the Bucs got a steal. He’ll replace Godwin as the #2 receiver in 2025.

  13. Bobby M. Says:

    Rd 4 has some talent left, wouldn’t mind trading our later picks for an extra 4th. Spencer Rattler and the FSU QB anre intriguing and much better athletes than Trask. Licht has shown ability to find solid o-linemen and LBs as well.

  14. JA Says:

    @ WhatTheBuc—if you are seeking adherence to the rules of syntax and spelling, this is not the place. Nonetheless I agree that Buddha made a good point after reading between the periods.

    Some things to consider before jumping for joy after a draft. This was compiled from the computer geeks who work for the Detroit Lions:

    Only 30% of first rounders sign a second deal with their drafting team, 22% of 2nd rounders, and 17% of third rounders respectively…

    Only 2-3 players from each draft class with make the Hall of Fame.

    In other words, the odds are stacked against Jalen McMillan, but that does not mean he cannot “buc” the system and beat odds.

  15. MelvinJunior Says:

    I remember sitting at my usual barstool at my old “Cheers Bar” Sports Legends in Clearwater (old “Tilted Kilt”), when Godwin was drafted. There was some kind of Bucs Podcast & Fan Group there hosting a huge “Draft Party” & I’m pretty sure that Ira might have been there, too! They brought in a big Jumbotron on a trailer out in the parking lot and everything… Pretty Cool Deal. It was a lot fun. The ‘second day’ of course, wasn’t as big as what the ‘first round’ was, but I remember so vividly, when Godwin was taken. I actually, videoed the reaction on my phone & it was SO AWESOME… Everyone (all dressed in Bucs garb) was shouting and jumping up and down screaming at the top of their lungs, “WE GOT GODWIN (while banging on the tables and stomping their feet, duhduhduhduhduhhhh), WE GOT GODWIN (duhduhduhduhduhhhh), WE GOT GODWIN (duhduhduhduhduhhhh)… The atmosphere was AMAZING. The Best Ever.

  16. MelvinJunior Says:

    Unfortunately, I also remember the O.J. Howard Pick… Everyone was shocked that he was still left on the board & were just ecstatic LoL… That one sure didn’t age well Hahah.

  17. Buc4evr Says:

    We will see, but the guy looks injury prone to me. Looks like a thin guy , wonder how he will hold up in the slot?

  18. David Says:

    I expect Palmer to bust out this year. I like this pick but he is the 4th WR so it seems like limited use for 2 years before becoming relevant.

  19. Saskbucs Says:

    Good pick. We will enter 2025 with a solid if unspectacular top 3 in Evans Palmer and McMillan. We will also have a lot more cap space. Love Godwin and maybe his market is soft enough he comes back at a more reasonable price but WR isn’t a dire need going forward and that’s nice.

  20. Stanglassman Says:

    Word is that the Bucs were going to take RB USC Lloyd but they had Braswell over Kneeland. They were always going to take the safety from UGA with their second 3rd round pick. Stinks not getting Lloyd but nice to know they had Braswell over Kneeland.

  21. Stanglassman Says:

    Knowing this means they will be taking a RB soon. Probably followed by ILB.

  22. Tony marks Says:

    I also am not forgetting Palmer. He was just a rookie last year and frankly looking at McMillan’s reels I see a good deal more exlosive plays from Palmer than I have seen of him. Maybe McMillan will push Palmer because I do think McMillan is smarter on the field

  23. Brandon Jeff Says:

    When I use “talk to text” I find that I have to go back and move periods, add capital letters and correct misspellings, so it is wrong to assume the poster lacks proper grammar skills.
    Realistically, does it matter that much if you can understand what the poster meant. This is not High School where your papers are graded for grammar. Now, if a poster writes gibberish and you can’t understand what he is saying, that’s different.

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    So it’s Evans and this kid on the outside with Godwin in the slot?

    This kid can ball out no question.

  25. adam from ny Says:

    just like i mentioned last night in a previous late night thread…

    i said troy franklin would never get past sean payton in round 4…

    and he literally moved up to get him, and pair him up with his homie bo nix…

    i think we made a mistake here with troy franklin…

    once again hopefully i eat my words, but only time will tell…

    let’s f’in go bucs!

  26. stpetebucfan Says:

    “Godwin’s replacement?”

    This year? Who cares about next year? There’s an entire season ahead with another entire off season to follow and ANOTHER draft.

    Where is Baker going to find enough footballs to feed all these targets. ME13 is going to get his touches!! More than anybody on this team he has EARNED THEM! Next to ME13 though is CG14 who has also played fearlessly and successfully and I agree with his wife…he too has earned his touches.

    I also agree with Joe the White has become a premier pass catcher out of the backfield. Otton seems to have found his hands and made some very important catches last year.

    So assuming even that this guys beats out Palmer how many targets is he really going to get.

    IMO WR for 2024…eff 2025…was one of the least needed spots to fill. Like many here I wanted a BIG RB to complement White not replace him.

    Are we really sold on the LB group…LVD obviously but SirVocea has yet to show anything…perhaps he’ll get healthy this year and produce. Braswell better be the real deal!

    Overall I trust Licht and he seems to have a great draft.

    Question for whomever knows. Are the UDFA’s available for any team to court immediately after the draft concludes or is their a dead period first?

    I think Licht has also done a solid job finding UDFA’s who contribute.

    Imagine if Brad Johnson had been in this draft he would still be a UDFA..boy did the talent people miss on Brad!!!

  27. Shane Callahan Says:

    No Spencer Rattler! I’ve closely watched every Sooner QB since 1984. He’s a whiny, primadonna. That FSU QB is intriguing though.

  28. Rod Munch Says:

    That’s amazing on Watson, he has as many SB rings as he averages drops per game.

  29. Dave Pear Says:

    Cmon, guys. The dude is injury prone, loves baseball too much and is a part of a very disappointing draft. And I’m proud to say I learned that right in these threads.


  30. matthew veal Says:

    I do like posts from former players, and I also thought baseball translates pretty well into football.