The Bucs traded a fourth- and sixth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks to move up to pick 129 in the fourth round and selected North Texas WR Jalen Darden.

With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson all still present on Tampa Bay’s roster, Darden adds speed to an already deep position group. With 4.46 speed Darden is explosive in space and broke out for 1,190 yards in 2020 with a wild 19 touchdowns. He is a true slot receiver, could make an immediate impact in the screen game for Tampa Bay and start his career as a special teams player and rotational player in a specific role for the Bucs.

This is what Pro Football Focus wrote about Jaelon Darden in their 2021 NFL Draft Guide:

“With 74 catches for 735 yards in 2019, Darden wasn’t on a lot of draft boards or watch lists heading into this season. That changed after back-to-back 200-plus yard performances midway through this season. Even though he’s only listed at 5-foot-9 and 174 pounds, Darden has developed a ton physically since showing up to North Texas at a listed 157 pounds. That added muscle has brought a level of speed and burst few possess. He simply moved at a different speed than the guys guarding him in Conference USA. Darden has the kind of vertical slot skills so many offenses covet nowadays.”

Watch Darden’s North Texas highlight video below’s 2021 draft coverage and the 2021 LIVE Draft Show are presented by Edmonson Electric & Security – the official smart home and security company of

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About the Author: Taylor Jenkins

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The Wall
6 days ago

I really like this pick. Very smart to move up. Finally, a return guy- yes!

Reply to  The Wall
6 days ago

me too, ya can’t teach speed.

6 days ago

Arians said he wanted to add speed on special teams and Darden brings that. He can be our punt and kick returner which he did a lot of in college, and he can potentially find a spot in the top 4 WR over time. For the people clamoring for someone who can help this year hopefully this pick makes you happy.

6 days ago

As he said in an interview… “slow feet don’t eat” lol

6 days ago

Every WR in the room can run this fast except for maybe Evans. You guys are idiots.

Reply to  drdneast
6 days ago

If strait line speed determined how good a receiver is, track stars would be football stars. Acceleration, cutting ability is what you look for, this kid has it.

Reply to  drdneast
6 days ago

This is a solid pick. We don’t have a return man on the current roster and Mikens had a recent run in with law enforcement – besides, he never did much anyway.

6 days ago

Great production at receiver over the last two years, not so much as a return guy. Fast and shifty, something the Bucs don’t have. Like # 11 on the Saints found out in the playoffs, it takes only one good hit from a defensive stud and it’s time for bed. Trading up for overall # 314 is a reach. But as we have seen over the years, the Bucs fall in love with somebody and are fairly locked in on their guy. Most of the time it works, finding a guy that fits.

Last edited 6 days ago by Theydidwhat
6 days ago

Special Team play is being address. My guess is we will pick a player who can help on Special Teams too.