Notebook: Day 2 of Buccaneers 2021 Rookie Mini-Camp

A couple of takeaways and notes from day two of Buccaneers 2021 rookie mini-camp.
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Photo: Buccaneers wide receiver Jaelon Darden and cornerback Cameron Kinley; Credit: Zach Goodall, AllBucs.com

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have wrapped up their second of two rookie mini-camp practices, taking the field for about an hour and a half on Saturday.

With 26 players, primarily compiled with rookies but including some NFL experience, it was tough to extend practices for too long. For example, Kyle Trask was the only quarterback over the past two days, meaning he made every throw in practice instead of the reps being split up as usual.

Still, with 16 reps of team drills (seven-on-sevens and 11 vs. 11) and a post-practice media availability with head coach Bruce Arians, there were certainly some interesting points to take away from the second day of camp. 

QB Kyle Trask was accurate in team drills

It's safe to assume Kyle Trask's arm was a bit tired after making each and every throw in the Buccaneers' rookie camp. His passing script in practice was pretty indicative of that as Trask threw the ball down the field only a handful of times in team drills.

Trask was nearly perfect in seven-on-sevens, completing 7-of-8 passes with his lone incompletion being a drop on a short crossing route that was thrown in stride. On the third throw of this set of reps, Trask made an impressive tight-window throw on a dig route 10-to-15 yards down the field which was caught by wide receiver Amara Darboh.

Across eight 11 vs. 11 throws, Trask completed five passes, all of which were short and rather rhythmic instead of taking time to develop. His first rep, which was an incompletion, would have ended in a sack against a live defense.

"I thought he did fantastic," Arians remarked about Trask. "He's got three guys coaching the [expletive] out of him every play, so they need to calm down and let him go. Really pleased with him and where he's at right now."

Undrafted CB Cameron Kinley will be worth monitoring

If any prospect has truly stood out at Buccaneers mini-camp thus far, it's cornerback Cameron Kinley. The Navy product has made several plays on the ball during team drills to this point with an interception on day one and a pass breakup on day two.

Kinley fits the Buccaneers mold as a cornerback with a 6-foot-2 frame, and he appears plenty agile to play the position despite his stature. Kinley mirrored fourth-round pick wide receiver Jaelon Darden, who stands at just 5-foot-8, about as well as he could've been asked to in man coverage on Saturday given their vast difference in size.

Kinley will compete for the top depth role at outside cornerback throughout the remainder of the offseason, along with seventh-round pick Chris Wilcox, 2020 undrafted free agent Herb Miller, and newly-signed two-year veteran Nate Brooks. Keep in mind, Ross Cockrell is the Bucs' No. 4 corner but he primarily plays in the slot.

 If he continues to perform this way in organized team activities, mandatory mini-camp, and training camp, there's a very real chance that Kinley could find himself on the Buccaneers' 53-man roster.

WR Jaelon Darden is " a little thicker" than Arians imagined

Speaking of Darden, although he didn't stand out much on day two, it's worth noting that all of his reps that AllBucs could watch saw the wide receiver lining up on the outside of the formation. Many believed Darden would strictly play in the slot at his size, but that doesn't appear to be the case in Tampa Bay. 

Arians made mention of Darden's size after camp wrapped up, noting that Darden is "a little thicker than I thought he was going to be," in terms of muscle. Darden is listed at 173 pounds on the Buccaneers roster and, as previously mentioned, is pretty short, but the thickness that Arians pointed to is certainly there.

"He's super quick. Super quick and fast," Arians said of Darden. "He catches punts very easily and catches the football extremely easily, so he can be very explosive.

"I think of [Buccaneers wide receiver] Scotty [Miller] coming in," Arians continued. "He wasn't quite as thick, he is now, but he got bounced around by bigger, stronger corners. You know, I don't see Jaelon having quite that difficulty just because the body type is different." 

So long as Darden is able to take NFL hits at his size, which we'll find out in training camp when the pads are on, Arians is excited to get the football into the North Texas alum's hands. 

Stay tuned to AllBucs for coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offseason workouts and other news and analysis.