The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one representative on the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie team: cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, playing opposite Jalen Ramsey.
Vernon Hargreaves didn’t have the best season, but he did play a lot. A whole lot. His 1114 snaps were fourth on the entire team, and his 1,036 defensive snaps were second by only five snaps to only Lavonte David. That’s really impressive for a rookie, especially given the fact that his playing time wasn’t handed to him: he got competition from veteran Alterraun Verner, and impressive second-year player Jude Adjei-Barimah.
Less impressive: how he fared with those snaps, especially early in the season. He had just one interception and ten passes defensed, despite being by far the most-targeted player on the team. He managed 76 total tackles, but that was largely a consequence of how often he was thrown at — and how often he allowed completions.
Still, Hargreaves’ place on the All-Rookie team is probably deserved, and there’s a lot of precedent for even the best cornerbacks to struggle a little as rookies.
A little more disappointing: the fact that Hargreaves is the only rookie on this All-Rookie team. No Noah Spence, who was hampered by a shoulder injury for most of the season, and no Roberto Aguayo, who is best not talked about. Though it is pretty embarrassing to spend a second-round pick and not have him be the best kicker from his own draft class, at least as a rookie.