The Top 10 Draft Hits In Buccaneers History - #7 James Wilder

James Wilder sometimes seems like a forgotten name, but this running back was probably the best skill player the Bucs have ever had. He played 10 years for the Bucs, making just one Pro Bowl and being selected All-Pro just once, but that underrates his skill. Wilder worked both as a fullback and a running back, sharing the backfield in most seasons. At 6'3", 225lbs he was a very big guy, especially for the time, and he took a lot of punishment. This was especially obvious in the 1984 when he had a mind-boggling 407 carries for 1544 yards and 13 touchdowns, both single-season team records. Those 407 carries don't mark an NFL record, as Larry Johnson in 2006 and Jamal Anderson in 1998 carried the ball 416 and 410 times respectively. But James Wilder added 85 receptions for 685 yards and a touchdown pass in that season, which makes for an NFL record 493 total touches. And as if that kind of punishment wasn't enough, he got another 418 touches for 1641 yards from scrimmage in 1985. It seemed that John McKay and Leeman Bennett were intent on giving James Wilder the ball until his legs would pop off, and unfortunately that's basically what happened. Wilder would get just 2,892 yards from scrimmage over the next 4 seasons as he moved back to fullback. And all that as a second-round pick. 

James Wilder was a big, tough, punishing running back, but more elusive and faster than Mike Alstott. He was a multi-dimensional running back who was a genuine threat in the passing game as well. A complete running back and a great player who has not had quite the exposure his skills deserved. 

The list so far:

10. Warrick Dunn

9. Doug Williams

8. Mike Alstott

Are You Smarter Than The Experts?
Correctly predict the first 32 picks of the 2011 NFL Draft and you’ll win $10,000,000!
BEST ROUND EVER IN PRIMETIME
Enter at 
facebook.com/BudLight
Here We Go

Enjoy Responsibly ©2011 Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Bud Light® Beer, St. Louis, MO. ©2011 NFL Properties LLC. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League. No Purchase Necessary. Contest open to U.S. residents (except CA) 21+. Contest begins 12AM CDT on 4/1 and ends 5:59:59PM CDT on 4/28. See Official Rules for complete details. Void where prohibited.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bucs Nation

You must be a member of Bucs Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucs Nation. You should read them.

Join Bucs Nation

You must be a member of Bucs Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucs Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker