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Buccaneers trade up, select WR Jaelon Darden in the fourth round

After a trade with Seattle, the Buccaneers pick 129 overall

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 11 UTEP at North Texas Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added Jaelon Darden to their squad with their first pick of day three. After adding to edge depth with Joe Tryon, offensive line depth with Robert Hainsey, and potentially finding a quarterback of the future to groom in Kyle Trask their focus shifted to wide receiver - more specifically, special teams - with the North Texas star. The Bucs liked him so much, they made a deal with the Seattle Seahawks to jump eight picks while giving up a sixth-rounder;

Darden is only 5’8”, 174-lbs but runs with speed, running a 4.47 40 yard dash. He was first team All-Conference USA and was second in FBS with nineteen touchdowns in 2020. He was also a second-team All-American and voted by coaches as the Conference USA Most Valuable Player.

Darden leads North Texas in all time receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and receptions with a career total of 230 receptions for 2,782 yards and 38 touchdowns. As a punt returner, Darden has 35 career returns for 310 yards (8.9 yards per return) and one touchdown while also amassing 299 yards on 17 career kick returns (17.6 yards per return).

Darden will immediately compete as the Bucs’ much needed special teams ace, an area where Tampa Bay couldn’t find a guy they could count on consistently throughout the 2020 season.