Buccaneers Sign Third-Round Pick McMillan


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed their third-round draft pick Jalen McMillan per the team’s website. The team announced the deal Wednesday, leaving just two draft picks left to be signed.

Jalen McMillan, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rookie wide receiver, took part in the team’s OTA practice on Wednesday morning, then headed upstairs at the AdventHealth Training Center to take care of some additional business. There, McMillan put pen to paper on his first NFL contract, becoming the fifth of Tampa Bay’s seven 2024 draft picks to get his rookie deal done.”

Head coach Todd Bowles feels McMillan can push for the WR3 spot behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

“He’s very competitive, extremely smart, very heady football player, which is what we thought going in,” said Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles via the team’s website. “I really can’t wait to get the pads on him, get him acclimated and see him play in the summer.”

Here’s JT Olson’s Post-Draft Grade for McMillan

Jalen McMillan – A+

The sad reality is that Chris Godwin and Mike Evans will both probably be gone two years from now. The Buccaneers had to add a wide receiver who could potentially be the future of their pass catching room. McMillan was the perfect fit to be that guy.

At Washington, McMillan thrived as their slot receiver. Even in a high flying dynamic passing attack with two other receivers who went ahead of him in the draft, it was easy to see his game changing ability on tape. It’s no shock that he was the one to score the Huskies only touchdown in their national championship game loss to that lockdown Michigan defense.

This is the perfect player to fill the Cooper Kupp/Puka Nacua role in this Bucs McVay offense. McMillan has great hands and plus route running ability. Expect him to catch a lot of passes and consistently keep the chains moving over the middle.

Can Buccaneers Jalen McMillan Establish Himself as WR3?

Even in a very good draft class, there is one player that stands out to me above the rest. That is Washington Wide Receiver Jalen McMillan. We knew the Bucs would be targeting a pass catcher as Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are closer to the end of their careers than the beginning, but it’s hard to ask for a better match than this one.

McMillan will now have a chance to come in and contribute as a rookie. His first gaol will be to establish himself as the third wide receiver in this offense. However, this is a title that he will have to take away from last year’s rookie wide receiver, Trey Palmer.

This projects to be a very interesting training camp battle. Two promising young players going toe to toe for playing time in an offense that needs to be improved from last year. Here’s how I think it shakes out.


Last year was very successful for Trey Palmer. As a rookie he had 385 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He could have had more if not for some off target throws while he was open down the field. He proved that even as a 6th round pick that he can be a legitimate weapon for the Buccaneers.

McMillan had a very different experience last year. While there is no doubt that he played well, an injury took him off the field for several games. This left his stat totals underwhelming and him being the third wide receiver of note in the explosive Washington offense that went to the national championship game.

With that said, let’s keep some perspective. There is a reason that McMillan was a 3rd round pick and Palmer was a 6th. I trust McMillan more as a rookie in terms of route running and catching the ball. They are very different skill sets, but I have a hard time not seeing McMillan as the better player, even as a rookie.


Palmer and McMillan are two very different styles of wide receiver. Palmer’s game is based on pure speed as someone who ran a 4.33 40-yard dash. He is at his best stretching the field and forcing defenders to try to keep up with him.

McMillan is more of a quicker than fast type of guy. He did most of his damage from the slot in college and was very good as a route runner and at making difficult catches. He is really the perfect guy to fill the Puka Nacua role in this McVay style of offense.

This is to say, that these two really do different things. Palmer is more of an outside wide receiver who can play some inside, where McMillan is the opposite. So really, they should take much away from each other in terms of snaps due to where they are lining up.

The one reason this might lead to more playing time for Palmer next year is that the Bucs already have an elite slot receiver. Liam Cohn has said that the team will use Godwin more in the slot next season. This means more opportunity for an outside type guy such as Palmer.


Considering who these players are and the situation they are in, I believe that McMillan will emerge as the third option for this Bucs offense. I believe he is the better overall player and an incredibly natural fit in the offense. I believe he will absolutely thrive in Tampa Bay.

Even if Palmer does get more opportunity due to Godwin’s presence in the slot, there are going to be a lot of four wide receiver sets and times the Godwin lineup outside as well. This will give McMillan a chance to establish himself and once he does I think it will be difficult to take him off the field.

When it all comes down to it, the offense is set up for someone like McMillan to thrive. There isn’t any reason why Palmer can’t either (and I think he will to a degree), McMillan to the Buccaneers is one of the best fits of the entire draft. Don’t be surprised to see him have between 70 – 80 catches as a rookie and flirt with around 750-800 receiving yards mark.

Real Bucs Talk: Jalen McMillan Film Study

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