Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Hargreaves Playing Key Role Early in Career

Vernon Hargreaves has played nearly every snap for the Buccaneers' defense this season.

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Whenever a player is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, there are expectations that that player will immediately be able to contribute to their team. For some of this year's rookies, including Buccaneer cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, that has been the case.

Hargreaves has played 333 snaps through the first five games of his career, according to Football Outsiders. That number accounts for 96.3 percent of the Bucs' total defensive plays. That number is especially high when comparing him to players selected in the top 10 of the 2016 draft.

On average, the top 10 picks in this year's draft have played 242 snaps for their respective teams, nearly 100 less than Hargreaves. That same group of top-ten picks play an average of 57.9 percent of their team's snaps.

The No. 1 overall pick, Jared Goff, has yet to play a down, so his stats certainly weigh those numbers down. But just three players selected in the top ten – Carson Wentz (100%), Jalen Ramsey (99.2%) and Jack Conklin (99.3%) have played a higher percentage of snaps for their respective teams that Hargreaves.

The Buccaneers needed help at cornerback after struggling at the position a year ago. In addition to Hargreaves, the Bucs brought in free agent Brent Grimes, who has played 98.8 percent of the Bucs' defensive snaps. No other Buccaneer cornerback has played more than one-third of the team's plays.

While it's still early in his career, it's clear that the Buccaneers trust their rookie cornerback. 

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