Buccaneers rookie wide receiver says he’s the ‘smartest receiver in this draft class’
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Kade Warner is preparing for training camp with a chip on his shoulder after going undrafted out of college.
Warner, the son of NFL legend Kurt Warner, was signed by the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent after failing to be selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.
And he’s taking notes on every perceived slight.
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“I take everything personally,” “Warner said, via Pewter Report. “Like I was saying, from that undrafted, that walk-on mentality, every little thing. Like if the coaches pick somebody else before me, I write that down, if somebody gets more reps than me in this walk-through, I write that down. It’s kind of like that chip on your shoulder. I think just that expression is said a lot, so I don’t like saying it, but I just take everything personally.”
Warner will have to earn his spot on the 53-man roster, which will not be an easy task with a wide receiver core in Tampa Bay consisting of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage.
“So, I’m competitive like that, and I’m the smartest receiver in this draft class,” Warner said. “I’ve said it before. They’re going to get a good slot receiver out of me, and I’m going to know exactly what to do on every play.”
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The Bucs are entering the first year without Tom Brady after the seven-time Super Bowl champion called it quits for good in February.
Tampa Bay went out and signed 2018 first-overall pick Baker Mayfield in March, who will be competing with third-year QB Kyle Trask for the starting job.
“It gives us competition,” Bowles said in March of the Mayfield addition, per NFL.com. “It gives us another warrior. It gives us a guy that’s gone to the playoffs before. At least you have a proven guy, someone to compete with Kyle that will still make sure we haven’t dipped too low.”
Bowles has also been complimentary of Warner, hinting at a special team role for the wide receiver.
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“[He’s] a solid football player,” Bowles said after Warner’s first practice, according to ESPN. “He can catch the ball, he can play special teams, he can do a lot of things that we need, and we’re always looking for special teams players.”
“[He’s] coachable, very coachable, [and] fundamentally sound, it looked like in individual drills,” Bowles said. “One day is hard to get a gauge on it, so we’ll see how it progresses from there.”
Warner spent the first three years of his career with the Nebraska Cornhuskers before transferring to Kansas State.
In his senior season, Warner experienced his best year, catching 46 passes for 456 yards and five touchdowns.