Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup

Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Super Bowl LIV Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers pretty much had their season go exactly as they wanted. It makes sense, then, that they essentially ran back the same squad for the 2021 NFL season. That gives a bit of predictability to prognosticating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2021 game plan; it also makes it so that the newest Buccaneers enter a crowded—and talented—room of players. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took two fantasy football-eligible players in the 2021 NFL Draft. What can we expect from Kyle Trask and Jaelon Darden in their first year in the NFL?

Rd Pick NFL team Player Pos. College
1 32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Joe Tryon DE Washington
2 64 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kyle Trask  QB Florida
3 95 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Robert Hainsey OT Notre Dame
4 129 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jaelon Darden  WR North Texas
5 176 Tampa Bay Buccaneers K. J. Britt LB Auburn
7 251 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Chris Wilcox CB BYU
7 259 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Grant Stuard LB Houston


Round 2, Pick 64 Overall: Kyle Trask, Quarterback, Florida
Depth Chart:
QB1:      Tom Brady
QB2:      Blaine Gabbert
QB3:      Kyle Trask

Trask is difficult to evaluate as a prospect. His ball placement and accuracy are great when he can muster enough arm strength to get the ball downfield enough for it to matter. He would do best in an offense like the Broncos or the Raiders, who use a lot of intermediate and short passes to set up the long bomb. He has lots of trouble when things go off-script or the pocket collapses, but if he can stand upright and fire strikes, he finds success. Otherwise, he’s a mess back there when things break down. He has trouble anticipating pass rush angles and usually ends up drilling his feet into the ground waiting for a hit. His rushing skills are not really up to snuff to be a high-end starter in today’s NFL. He gives me strong Nick Mullens vibes. Oh, and he loves to fumble.


He’s Tom Brady’s backup. If Tom Brady gets hurt, Bruce Arians won’t turn his offense over to a rookie when he has a perfectly cromulent veteran in Blaine Gabbert in the room. Don’t count on seeing Kyle Trask this season; his pick was a developmental move for the future because Tom Brady is 273 years old.


Unless you are in a garbage time-only league, don’t bother with Trask. He won’t sniff the field outside of the preseason unless things really fall apart in Tampa Bay. If he gets a crack at starting, you want him in 2QB leagues, since he’s basically Nick Mullens.

Round 4, Pick 129 Overall: Jaelon Darden, Wide Receiver, North Texas
Depth Chart:
WR1:     Mike Evans
WR2:     Chris Godwin
WR3:     Scotty Miller
WR4:     Justin Watson
WR5:     Jaelon Darden
WR6:     Ty Johnson

This dude is Darnell Mooney 2.0, and he is extremely shifty. I am talking capital S H I F T Y. Darden is unstoppable on bubble screens in the ten zone. He just deftly weaves his way through for touchdowns. He’s unlikely to have sustained fantasy value but he is going to hit some absolutely tasty home runs in the receiving game. He is a speedster and a shifty YACboi. He is a decent sleeper this season given his skillset.


By the team the season rolls around, Darden should shove aside the flotsam and jetsam on this roster and assert himself as the WR3 in this offense, behind the two big boys, Evans and Godwin. That gives him plenty of opportunities to produce as Tom Brady’s #3 option. It’s pure speculation at this point, but worth noting that departed wide receiver Antonio Brown led the Buccaneers in receptions per game after his arrival. So, that means the squad needed a shifty yards after catch monster to soak up those targets in case Antonio Brown didn’t pass a physical. Unfortunately, he did, which crushes Dardon’s value.


Here’s the only problem: if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took Darden to emphasize him in year one, they would have taken him inside the top-100 picks. Instead, he is likely just a depth guy for the Buccos, at least in 2021. Fewer than 2% of wide receivers drafted outside of the top-100 picks end up turning in a top-36 wide receiver season their rookie year. I don’t see a world (outside of a random 13 touchdown effort) where Darden is the breakthrough player this season. You can safely ignore him in your redraft leagues, barring extreme injury in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver room.

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About Jeff Krisko

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