Buccaneer Flashback: 8th Best Draft Pick in Tampa Bay History - James Wilder

As we steamroll toward the 2012 NFL draft, we take a brief look back into the annals of Buccaneer history to provide you the best and worst of the previous Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafts. These opinions are of the article's author and not intended to represent the consensus opinion of all the staff of Buc Nation.

List: Top Ten Buccaneer Draft Picks of All-Time

Previous Selections:

10. Mark Carrier, WR, 3rd round, pick 1, 1987

9. Warrick Dunn, RB, 1st round, pick 12, 1997

Player: James Wilder

Position: RB

Ranking: 8th

Draft: 2nd round, pick 6, 1981

Pro Bowl: 1984

Had James Wilder played for any franchise other than the horrible Tampa Bay Buccaneers he may have been one of the greatest running backs of all time. Mired in Tampa Bay as one of the few offensive weapons, Wilder was the epitome of the workhorse running back.

Looking at the Bucs' record books, you'll see Wilder's name at the top.

  • Most Rushing Yards in a season (1,544 in 1984)
  • Most Rushing attempts in a season (407 in 1984)
  • Most Rushing/Receiving Attempts in a season (497 in 1984, an NFL Record)
  • Most Rushing attempts in a single game (43 vs. Green Bay, 11/30/84, then an NFL Record)
  • Most touchdowns rushing in a season (13 in 1984)
  • Most Receptions by a running back in a season (85 in 1984)
  • Most Receiving yards by a running back in a season (685 in 1984)
  • Most rushing yards in a game (219 at Minnesota on 11/6/1983)
  • Most total yards in a season (2,229 yds in 1984)
  • Most total yards in a game (239 at Minnesota on 11/6/1983)
  • Most Rushing Yards as a Buccaneer, Career (5,957)
  • Most Receptions as a Buccaneer, Career (430)
  • 2nd in Team History for Rushing Touchdowns, Career (37)
Needless to say, James Wilder is one of the greatest players ever to don the creamsicle.
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