“Hardest Cover”

April 27th, 2024

Joe is impressed by the athlete new Bucs rookie receiver Jalen McMillan is.

TheAthletic.com penned a feature on McMillan years ago, and the Tampa Bay third-round pick was a unique three-sport star: football, baseball (center field) and track. Yes he was a sprinter.

McMillan’s mom and former coaches saw him on the road to being an early Major League Baseball draft pick.

“I watched where he was playing at, and I saw him track this ball down, and it was unreal,” Simon said. “Our coaching staff was like, ‘I can’t believe he even got close to that baseball.’”

Baseball was McMillan’s first love, his mother says, and the first sport at which he excelled. It’s why she still can’t quite square the idea that he won’t play the game again.

“Hopefully, his baseball days aren’t done, as a mom who likes non-contact sports, or for my blood pressure,” Haener said.

Joe likes that McMillan was a diverse athlete in high school. That’s often a bonus when it comes to ongoing development.

Buccaneers assistant general manager John Spytek said yesterday that McMillan is a natural in various ways and the Bucs’ intel from defensive players let them know he’s more dangerous than he appears on paper.

“He plays like the game makes sense to him,” Spytek said. “His route running is very, very fluid. We talked to several [college defensive backs] throughout the [predraft] process. When you ask them like, ‘Who’s the hardest cover that you’ve had all year?’ Several of them mentioned him. Just because he’s such a good athlete and [has] such a good feel for running routes. Like that combination makes him an extremely hard cover. He has a great hands. He can run. He’s a low 4.4 [speed] guy on our watch.  He’s still big. So, you know, high expectations for him. He’s played football at a high level.”

As Joe wrote earlier, the Bucs have a strong history with drafted receivers, many after where McMillan was taken yesterday at No. 92 overall.

The offense needed more juice, and it sure seems like it got some.

71 Responses to ““Hardest Cover””

  1. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Good receiver and route runner he’s just injury prone.

  2. Casual Observer Says:

    Excellent pick. Can also replace one of our star WRs one of these years.

  3. Dave Pear Says:

    Since when does one injury that he played through on a college playoff team make you injury prone?

  4. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Baseball is his first love. I think that should be a concern maybe he won’t be in it like he should.

  5. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Look im no expert I just think this draft is questionable, regardless of my opinions im still going to support all our picks and hope they all make it.

  6. Dave Pear Says:

    Oh so he’s not injury prone, but he loves baseball. And that’s a problem since he caught 79 balls for over 1000 yards in 2022.

    But you don’t like this draft even though Jason is a draft savant and by all accounts, is slaying this draft.

    Just go drinking, dude. Drink a lot.

  7. Dave Pear Says:

    Switching gears, any insight on why Jerry Rice’s son Brendan hasn’t been drafted yet?

  8. SB~LV Says:


  9. SlyPirate Says:

    Proudbucsfan Says:
    Look im no expert I just think this draft is questionable


    I agree. No Pro Bowlers. Barton, Smith, Mc seem like good players that fill a need. Bras and Irving are questionable. It’s okay but not exciting.

    The thing is we got better than anyone else in the NFCS.

  10. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Dave Pear I don’t drink, so my opinion is my opinion and anyone that doesn’t agree with you is a drinker.

  11. Proudbucsfan Says:

    To bad the days are gone that you can not tell another man to meet you outside without going to jail

  12. Dave Pear Says:

    No wonder, Proud. Explains a lot.

    Maybe you should try microdosing psilocybin. Might connect your “injury prone” brain to reality. Not liking something just “because” happens a lot, but don’t try to rationalize it with “injury proneness” or “love of baseball.”

    You think you know better than Jason Licht, maybe that’s why you’re proud.

  13. Rod Munch Says:

    Proudbucsfan Says:
    April 27th, 2024 at 3:39 pm
    To bad the days are gone that you can not tell another man to meet you outside without going to jail


    I know, it’s disgusting. If two men want to meet up outside the bar and spend an evening together in a van making a movie, that’s their choice, and other people should be more accepting of it. But no, the cops are called, and even though it’s 2am on a Sunday, they get charged with being in the area of a school. Free country? Hardly.

    I’m totally with you on that.

  14. Dave Pear Says:

    Oooh and now the Proudboyfan wants to pick a fight because……he’s been exposed as a idjut! LOL!

  15. Dave Pear Says:

    Rod Munch — ROTFLMAO

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    SlyPirate – If you come out of a draft with an all-pro player, that is generally considered a home run draft – and the hype on the Duke kid is that he should become just that.

    With the other picks, they’re more solid than boom/bust – and I’m find with that, since most of the time those guys are busts.

    Also the WR — just watching him play, with that great route running, I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s being called Godwin II next year at this time. He’s a very similar type of player – at least based on the limited film I’m seen and reading his scouting reports.

    The RB pick … that I don’t get. RBs are a dime a dozen, and the Bucs need, desperately, an ILB to go with David, and need depth all over the place. With that said, he does profile as a guy who should do well in the NFL and is a change of pace back that the team doesn’t currently have. So not what I would have done, but still he’s someone who I think will have a very good chance of being a meaningful player. To me, he’s dramatically more impressive than Tucker was last year, and everyone on this site seemed to think he’d be starting for the Bucs by week 1.

  17. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Exposed because I have an opinion? Also, I’m as straight as it gets.

  18. Dave Pear Says:

    Damn, Rod I can’t stop laughing. You have some doozies, that’s one of my faves.

  19. Dave Pear Says:

    An exposed “straight man.”

    Uh huh.

    Methinks he doth protest too much!

  20. Marine Buc Says:

    Graham Barton missed 4 games last season due to injury…

    Funny nobody ever mentions that.

    Is he also “injury prone”?

  21. Baking with Evans Says:

    You guys are killing me!!!!

  22. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I never said I didn’t agree with every pic that we’ve made. I like the Duke kid and think the Alabama pass rusher is very promising. I don’t get the slot corner and the questionable running back. The receiver is a good receiver, but I’m concerned about injuries and him wanting to play baseball

  23. Steven007 Says:

    As I said in another post that was first moderated and then evaporated into the JBF ether, I think the Irving pick signals that they are sold on Tucker making enough improvements after a terrible rookie campaign to be the primary backup. Thus, Irving, who is more similar to White, would be a change of pace third down back.

  24. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Most of you that comment on this site are here just to attack people that don’t have your opinion just like Rod munch got attacked for not caring for Baker Mayfield. It’s not fun. I don’t wanna fight with any of you. I have an opinion and I don’t attack people that have a different opinion than I do

  25. Steven007 Says:

    Proud, John Lynch liked playing baseball and in fact was drafted. He seemed to do okay in the NFL. Most of these guys are athletes and a lot of them have played multiple sports. Unless a guy signals that he’s flip-flopping between baseball and football, kind of like Kyler Murray did a few years back, it shouldn’t be perceived as worrisome.

  26. D Cone Says:

    Doubt there was one coach that game planned their best DB to match up against McMillan. Although he has skills wasn’t anyone saying forget Odunze and Polk. We got to stop McMillan.

    Is Joe trying to push the narrative that Bears and Pats are complete idiots taking the other Huskie WR’s at 9 and 37 because they are easier to cover?

  27. Dave Pear Says:

    No no, really – ProudBoyFan has an opinion. He deserves a cookie.

    He says McMillian is injury prone. When that was challenged, he revealed the real reason is, he’s a good baseball player. When challenged, he then says he doesn’t like the whole draft. When challenged, it’s because “it’s his opinion.” Then he (she?) implies he/she wants to “step outside.” Of what is a question, since he/she doesn’t drink. When challenged, he/she claims it’s straight. But still has an exposed opinion.

    That’s the current thread summary.

  28. Proudbucsfan Says:

    And yes, I’d like to slap the hell out of people that call me an idiot for not having the same opinions as they do

  29. SB~LV Says:

    lol… I love this joint 😂😂😂

  30. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    It doesn’t matter if you like this pick or not, bottom line is there were better, much better players (not just receivers) that were available for this pick that were of a much bigger need. Like power RB (which was blown on a small, slow, but oh he’s shifty, RB), and LB, and G.

  31. SB~LV Says:

    Only 50 picks before we can argue about the new player 🤣

  32. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    SlyPirate Says:
    I agree. No Pro Bowlers. Barton, Smith, Mc seem like good players that fill a need. Bras and Irving are questionable. It’s okay but not exciting.

    I’m excited for the new players because I believe all five selected in the first four rounds have a real chance to rise up the depth chart and become a starter by the end of next season.

    We really need a couple years to realistically evaluate the draft class. It’s kind of early to make a determination as to which of these guys (if any) can make a pro bowl or not. If I was a gambler though I would bet that at LEAST one of them will make it within 3 years.

  33. Steven007 Says:

    Admiral, you need to take your own advice regarding liking this pick. Meaning it just doesn’t matter if you do or not. Quite clearly the brain trust doesn’t agree with you that there were much better players fulfilling much bigger needs. If they did agree they would have chosen one of the players you are alluding to. They didn’t. Because they are the decision makers. Certainly we can be critical. But at the end of the day, as you yourself said, it just doesn’t matter.

  34. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    ^^^^^^To clarify what I wrote above, when I wrote “the end of next season” I mean by the end of 2025, not this year.

  35. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I can see now Dave Pear that you’re just here to fight with other people that think differently than you do I don’t attack other commenters that have a different opinion, you also are saying things that I didn’t say like hating the entire draft. Keyboard warrior, and in my opinion, I think McMillan going to have a problem with injuries.

  36. Ryan Smith Says:

    If he has hands and playing in the slot in this new system he gonna have lot’s of catches and yards.

  37. Dave Pear Says:

    lol ProudBoyFan! I am not here to fight. You’re the one who wrote in indelible text that you like to slap people around who don’t agree with you. But, yeah.

    Try this – have some foundation for an opinion. Foundation means “facts” and “data.” Otherwise your “opinion” is subject to challenge, and when none is given other than “step outside” you are exposed to be called an idjut.

    That’s probably inaccurate.

    How about “cretin?”

  38. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Steven007 you said it perfectly we can all have Opinions but it really doesn’t matter because the front office and JL make the decision. We will all know the results in about 3 years just like JTS and Logan Hall those in my opinion were busted picks.

  39. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Yes I did say I’d like to slap you, that was a direct reaction to your attacking comment against me

  40. HC Grover Says:

    Whoop de Doo!

  41. Proudbucsfan Says:

    And what did I say that wasn’t facts ? He does love baseball more than football. It’s in the article and he had an injury problem his senior year that’s why his production was down. Come up with something else to attack me.

  42. Brandon Says:

    For those that don’t get it, Godwin is a free agent at the end of the season and this dude compares favorable to him.

  43. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Can’t we all just get along?

  44. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I most definitely would get along with everyone, but I was attacked

  45. D-Rok Says:

    A few of these posters (imposters?) on here need a timeout. Or a valium. Or a room.

    This is a public forum.

  46. Proudbucsfan Says:

    No one is perfect and the draft is a crap shoot. I most certainly do want every one of our pics to succeed, but we’ve had pics in the past that are not productive and we’ve had pics that became Hall of Famer like Ronde Barber and I’ve been here for all of them. I am proud to be a lifetime Buccaneer fan. I also respect other people’s opinions

  47. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    Tampabaybucfan, nope, lol. But we can all agree that the reason we’re all so passionate about the draft is because we love the Bucs, which makes you all my brothers and sisters

  48. Rod Munch Says:

    Proudbucsfan Says:
    April 27th, 2024 at 4:22 pm
    I most definitely would get along with everyone, but I was attacked


    So is being on the world wide web new to you?

    The back and forth, finding new and creative ways to insult people is all part of the fun.

    Anywho, as they said in Stripes, “Lighten up, Francis.”

  49. Buc4evr Says:

    Put him in the slot and let’s see what he’s got. My guess that it is likely another knee injury. The guy doesn’t look like he is built to survive in the NFL, but hope he works out.

  50. Proudbucsfan Says:

    To answer your question Rod, I am a Gen X child and never really transitioned good into the tech age I can manage with most but as an example I’m not on a social media platform. No facebook or twitter none of it. I just go to a few websites to keep up with my love for the Buccaneers, Rays, lightning

  51. J Says:

    We got people tracking the comment thread in here like a serial killer with a crotch itch.

  52. Dave Pear Says:

    ProudBoyFan apparently has skin thinner than a young Georgia peach.

    Your baseless “opinion” was challenged with a legitimate question, and you pivoted to “love of baseball” being a fact. It may be, but since when has that been a problem? Bo Jackson? Deion Sanders? Tom Brady? Baker Mayfield? John Lynch? Their baseball affection obviously led to very poor performance in the NFL. Oh, wait.

    If you’re gonna bet all butthurt and triggered to the point of threatening physical violence on an Internet forum, maybe do something else.

    Again I’ll advise – try getting three-eyed wasted for a change. Might don’t good and would probably only take two beers.

  53. Tony Says:

    Well if all of them are already “injury prone” by missing a couple of games then Carlton Davis Jamel Dean & Payton Wilson should just retire now. They’re constantly dealing with injuries. Payton has has a shoulder injury & like two knee injuries.

  54. MelvinJunior Says:

    The only reason for Polk skyrocketing up the draft boards was because he took full advantage of the opportunity given to him… Due only to Mac’s injury! Mac was probably their #1 Receiver in 2022! Or, at least a #1A at a minimum with Odunze, in a LOADED Receiver Room. Polk was just a real nice #3 complimentary piece adding to the unit… But, he was 💯the CLEAR #3 tho, without a shadow of doubt. Mac was ‘seemingly’ always hurt last season and I took that as being “injury prone,” as well. But, it looks like now though, it was just ONE ‘injury’ that he continued to play through… And, then it just nagged him for the rest of the entire season. His first 3-games (when fully healthy, before the injury)… HE. DOMINATED. Just exactly, the same as he did the year before. The ONLY thing that held him back was that injury. If fully recovered, the Bucs may have just gotten THE Steal of the draft. The Falcons really screwed-up BIG-TIME, Thank God. Just think… They could’ve lined-up Bijan Robinson-Odunze-London-PITTS-Rondale Moore-Mooney-Allgeier-RayRay McCloud (former Sickles HS alum) – SHEW! We really dodged a bullet there, with all that.

  55. MelvinJunior Says:

    What about John Elway & Danny Ainge… I have two of Ainge’s baseball cards lol.

  56. Tbbucs3 Says:

    If he doesnt pan out he can cross the street and join the Yankees minor league

  57. Dave Pear Says:

    Leave Proudbutthurtfan alone! Stop attacking the proud one! Waaa waaa waa.

  58. lambchopp Says:

    I think the RB pick really could have been a lot of different positions at that pick, but they probably missed on someone they had higher up on their draft.

    Either way, having a guy who can make people miss is a plus in my book. At the very least he’ll be able to get the short yardage first downs that most of our guys get stymied on. Can’t wait to see the OL shape out. That’s the most exciting part.

    In Licht we trust.

  59. BucVoyager Says:

    Brady was a catcher. NFL is littered with multi-sport guys. I think that is what makes them so good.

  60. David Says:

    Saw him making some serious catches. The biggest thing is, he is an awesome route runner. That is so important in the NFL.

  61. Capt.Tim Says:

    This kid is a great WR. Really good addition

  62. ChiBuc Says:

    @MelvinJunior, great explanation as to how/why Polk was drafted before Jalen. Perspective

  63. ChiBuc Says:

    Dave Pear, wtf. It’s like you’re bullying Radio. You gotta know by now that you’re being a d!ck if Rod Munch, a man who loves playing with matches, is asking others to “lighten up” on your behalf. It’s one thing to shoot the neighbors cat with a bb gun, and quite another to club a seal

  64. Dave Pear Says:

    ChiBuc – point taken. The whole “beat people up” thing triggered me to use logic and reason, which to your point, Radio doesn’t have. I apologize.

  65. Dave Pear Says:

    ChiBuc – point taken. The whole “step outside and slap people” thing triggered me to defend the rights of non-vegetables. You’re right, it’s unfair to rely on logic and connected points of reason when you’re trying to get through to a thin skinned Radio prone to fantasies of fisticuffs when someone challenges her opinions.

    I apologize.

  66. #99 the big fella Says:

    Rod , that was the funniest comment on here ever.. still lmao , sorry proudbucsfan it reall was

  67. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Really like this WR. JL did an amazing job filling All our holes

  68. Billy Says:

    Now, now children.

  69. Jeremy Goins Says:

    @ Dave Pear . You are absolutely here to fight and to say controversial things that are usually false. I have been on JBF for a couple years now and I know your MO. That in its self says a lot. I am excited about our draft picks, we seemed to check all the boxes. These newbies might not be starters out of the gate but hopefully soon there after. Go BUCS!!!!!!

  70. orlbucfan Says:

    Brandon Says:
    April 27th, 2024 at 4:20 pm
    For those that don’t get it, Godwin is a free agent at the end of the season and this dude compares favorable to him.
    Ungodly CG14 has a SB ring and is good buds off-field with future HOF ME13. One of the reasons why he’s still here. You can bet both Licht and Bowles know half the NFL would take his great WR azz in a nano-second. He’s also still young and a team-first dude. No diva BS with him. I’m staying out of this food fight between Pear and Proud. You two oughta be glad you weren’t Bucs fans in the 1980s!

  71. BucRodgersBDBDBD Says:

    Joe I always love your stories, but the comment section is so entertaining. I’ve come to realize I’m actually here for the comments. Thanks Joe!!!