Buccaneers’ Darden Tabbed as Potential Breakout Player

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Second year Buccaneers’ wide receiver Jaelon Darden is poised to have a breakout season in 2022. This according to Heavy.com’s Matt Lombardi in his article, “NFL 2022 Breakout Stars: 6 Players Executives & Scouts Say Will Shine”

Per Lombardo,

“He really dove into the playbook this offseason and is playing really fast,” a Buccaneers’ official stated per Lombardo.

Lombardo went on to report that “multiple members of the Buccaneers’ coaching staff and front office” pointed to Darden as “among the standouts during 2022 OTAs and minicamp. He’s the type of player who could make a rapid improvement in Year two.”

“Don’t be surprised if Darden pushes for the Buccaneers’ fourth wide receiver job,” Lombardo stated on his video. “At least that’s the feeling based on optimism surrounding him inside the building in Tampa Bay for Brady.”

“If Darden, who showed flashes of being a dynamic playmaker at North Texas takes that next step in his development this season, the Buccaneers offense must [might] level up in 2022,” Lombardo continued. “Especially when Chris Godwin back on the field later on this fall.”

Darden didn’t exactly light it up in his rookie season. Posting six catches for 43 yards, and averaging 19.9 yards on kick returns and 7.5 yards on punt returns. Not exactly the impact most prognosticators predicted. To be fair, Darden did deal with some injuries his rookie year. Starting with a concussion, then a broken fibula and finally a high ankle sprain. So these numbers are somewhat skewed.

Look for Darden to get his chances to show his improvement in training camp as he battles for a place on the depth chart.

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