Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Trade Up, Select Jaelon Darden with the 129th Pick

Tampa Bay started the third and final day of the 2021 NFL Draft with a bang, taking the North Texas standout by trading up with the Seattle Seahawks.

(Photo by Manny Flores)

Head Coach Bruce Arians said the Buccaneers' focus on Saturday would be role players who could be core special teams players for the Bucs headed into 2021 and fittingly, with their first pick of Day Three, they took wide receiver Jaelon Darden out of North Texas - and they executed a trade up with the Seattle Seahawks to do it.

Darden has experience not only as a slot receiver but as a kick returner as well. In the 2020 season, he was the Mean Green's featured pass catcher, nabbing 74 passes for 1,190 yards and 19 touchdowns. In 2019, he returned 16 punts for 108 yards. As a freshman, he took one to the house, returning 10 total kicks for 119 yards.

He finished as the Mean Green's all time leader in career receptions with 230, receiving yards with 2,782 and receiving touchdowns with 38.

The 5'9, 170-pound Houston, Texas native will now join a wide receiver corps that includes another Texas native in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller, Justin Watson and will likely compete with Jaydon Mickens for kick return duties.

View pictures of North Texas WR Jaelon Darden, who Tampa Bay selected in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

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