“True Slot Receiver” Jalen McMillan

July 1st, 2024

Rookie receiver Jalen McMillan. (A Tampa Bay Buccaneers photo.)

So the Bucs publicly said veteran stud receiver Chris Godwin will move back to a more full-time slot receiver role this year.

That put a smile on Godwin’s mug. “I think what I learned over the last four or five years, I’m really comfortable there,” Godwin said in May.

Last year, Godwin spent more time outside than at slot, and he wasn’t happy about it.

Then came the 2024 NFL Draft, and the Bucs drafted a slot receiver, Jalen McMillan in Round 3. Many consider him to be a second-round talent and a steal of a versatile player. But others consider him to be a slot receiver.

NFL Network year-round draft guru and former scout Daniel Jeremiah called McMillan “a true slot receiver” recently when talking about the Bucs’ receiving corps on his Movin’ The Sticks podcast, echoing the calls of many draft gurus back in March and April.

The Bucs are fired up about McMillan and see him as a receiver that can be used in many ways, though he’s no speed demon. So today Joe’s wondering what happens if McMillan proves to be only a strong slot receiver?

There’s nothing wrong with that, but if that’s the reality, then would he play maybe 30 percent of the snaps when either Godwin is resting or for the handful of times he lines up outside?

And what about speedy Trey Palmer, who caught 39 balls as a rookie? Some guy named Godwin only caught 34 balls as a rookie.

Joe is very eager to see how the Bucs’ receivers are utilized in the new Tampa Bay offense, especiallly if tight end Cade Otton continues to improve and the Bucs find a second tight end.

21 Responses to ““True Slot Receiver” Jalen McMillan”

  1. A Bucs Fan Says:

    I think McMillan had the lions share of snaps his final season out of the slot. Not sure about the season before when he led Washington in receptions and TD’s. Maybe it was due to injury. The Bucs receiver coach said he can play x, y, & f. Time will bear that out!

  2. Biff Barker Says:

    I’m thinking there are so many new players to watch!

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    They say “ you can’t have too many WRs” so that probably means you can’t have too many slot receivers.

  4. Dave Pear Says:

    A 4WR set can have two slots.

  5. All_da_way Says:

    McMillan is seen as a complete WR and will be trained everywhere as a flanker, split end or slot. NFL pundits do not follow the team as closely so they just make assumptions.

    Godwin is an elite slot player and Coen isn’t a dummy. McMillan though brings more stability as a boundary WR compared to Palmer. But Palmer has shown improvement.

  6. GoneGator Says:

    5 wide baby… Lol
    Let Baker sling it from the spread!

    I trust Coen and Todd to sort out how to best use JM.

    More curious about Palmer really.
    Lots of ways to use that speed and early separation besides taking the top off as a decoy. Hopefully he takes a leap and develops more chemistry with Baker this season. He’s going to need sure hands to compete for WR3.

    Looking forward to training camp to see how this situation (among others) plays out.

  7. Brian in St Pete Says:

    I’m a big fan of DJ. I think he has earned a lot of credibility over the years…but….hes falling into the trap that the national media always does. They don’t know enough about each individual team, particularly those in smaller markets, to make informed and correct takes.

  8. T. Says:

    Interseting rookie catch number on Godwin. 34 catch rookie season.

  9. Ed McSherry Says:

    Why fool around with near perfection of starting receivers: Mike, Chris and Palmer who now has experience and hopefully now knows better than to secure the ball after the catch and not run with it like it’s a relay baton.

    What’s wrong with having a good back up slot receiver.

    Don’t repeat what Canales did and needlessly use everyone on the bench; Canales did that because he didn’t know what he was doing. Let’s not do that, and be happy he’s gone, with all his cheesy gimmick-plays.

  10. David Says:

    Between him, Godwin, and Palmer they can all play slot or outside.

  11. Hustle Says:

    Joe hit on the head 2nd TE

  12. Hodad Says:

    Running 11 personal most of the time J Mac will get plenty of snaps in the slot. This is not an issue.

  13. Dude Says:

    Pigeon-holing him as a “slot” WR as if his tape doesn’t show him at all 3 spots whether bunch’d or split-out is weird. They talk like this so casual fans feel secure listening to their football takes. J Mac is a baller, and like Mike & Chris before him he’ll likely be asked to move all over the formation in efforts of finding favorable matchups. Like Cohen says “players not plays”

  14. Cobraboy Says:

    If McMillan is the real deal and Palmer doesn’t fall off the soph. table, that makes a fairly deep WR group.

  15. infomeplease Says:

    You can’t have too many quality receivers. If the o-line improves, it follows that the run game and passing game does too. If the team can learn the new playbook fast, this season will be one to remember. 😊

  16. Lord Cornelius Says:

    It seems like in todays NFL WR’s play all around the formation more and you see them getting elite #1 WR’s in the slot as well.

  17. Stanglassman Says:

    Good Post Dude. JMac can do it all. If Chris is not resigned then we can start the talk about him moving primarily to the slot. We will see how he does at the NFL level inside and out.
    It was a travesty to only give Godwin 34 balls his rookie year lets not make that mistake again. Palmer on the other hand got about the right amount. Players develops at different rates. Palmer came in much more raw than Godwin and JMac. I would put JMac much closer to Godwin as far a NFL readiness.

  18. RamblingRhino Says:

    The “Run & Shoot” Dave!
    If our Oline and the running game comes together we could use that very effectively.
    Evans, Godwin, Palmer, McMillan, any of our RB. Be tough to defend

  19. Bucs4EverMore Says:

    McMillan has All the Tools, Plus A Great Additude! What A Great Draft Choice, GO BUCS!

  20. Larrd Says:

    Seems like “slot” receiver has become a less meaningful distinction.

  21. garro Says:

    I think we have a very talented team with very few spots open Joe. To project a rookie at WR as anything at all is a bit premature. I am sure he will get some oportunity to show what he has. Beyond that? He has to beat out some pretty good players to get any game snaps. Also I think they will have to drag CG off the field with a tow hook for any “resting” LOL.

    Go Bucs!