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 of all the staff of Buc Nation.
Throughout the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there have been just some terrible misses in the NFL draft. Many of these occurred between 1980-94 when the franchise was mired in one of the worst runs in sports history. A lot of them occurred in the 2nd or 3rd round - which is as far back in the draft as we wanted to go to consider a bust (after all, if a 5th round pick doesn't amount to much, it's not really a bust - just a waste).
Of all of these bad apples, these are the ten I feel have been the worst picks in Franchise history.
List:10 Worst Draft picks in Buccaneers History
10. Kenyatta Walker, 1st round, pick 14, 2001
9. Dexter Jackson, WR, 2nd round, pick 27, 2008
8. Dan Sileo, DT, 3rd Round, Supplemental, 1987
7. Charles McRae, T, 1st round, pick 7, 1991
6. Rod Jones, CB, 1st Round, pick 25, 1986
5. Gaines Adams, DE, 1st round, pick 4, 2007
Player: Bo Jackson
Draft: 1st Round, 1st Overall, 1986
Bo Jackson isn't on this list because he was a terrible player. In fact, quite the opposite, Bo excelled in both football and baseball, becoming a national phenom with his "Bo Knows" Nike marketing campaign during the late 80's and early 90's.
No, Jackson is on this list to represent the lowpoint in the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Where the arrogance and miserly nature of then owner Hugh Culverhouse continued to brand the franchise as the laughingstock of the NFL.
The story goes like this: The Bucs flew Bo Jackson in on a private jet to Tampa to work out for Bucs. This one act made Jackson ineligible for the remainder of the college baseball season, infuriating the two-sport star. On top of that, Culverhouse, who had promised Jackson he'd make him the highest paid NFL rookie in league history was concerned about setting a precedent and his position on the league's finance committee. In typical Hugh fashion, he lowballed Jackson and ticked him off even more.
Jackson complained about the Bucs offensive line and said he would never, ever play for Tampa Bay.
The Bucs ignored Jackson's threats and made him the 1st overall pick of the 1986 NFL draft. Jackson directed his agent to not even speak to the Bucs and after he was drafted in the 4th round of the baseball draft by the Kansas City Royals, he immediately signed a contract with them (reportedly for significantly less than what the Bucs were offering).
So the Bucs knew that Jackson wasn't going to be a member of their team - the logical move would be to trade away his rights, right? Indeed, there were plenty of suitors including the San Francisco 49ers who attempted to blow the Bucs socks off by reportedly offering Ronnie Lott, Wendell Tyler, a first round and a second round pick for Jackson's rights. Culverhouse in his pig-headed stubbornness, refused all trade requests. He was going to make Bo Jackson play in creamsicle.
On April 28th, 1987, Culverhouse had a memorable press conference to announce that the Bucs had allowed their rights to Bo Jackson expire with no compensation. During the presser, Culverhouse even quoted a Dionne Warwick song when asked what the team would do now? His response, "Keep Smilin', keep shinin'".
The team would finish 2-14 that season and fired coach Leeman Bennett. They wouldn't return to the playoffs for another decade.
What did you think of the Bo Jackson draft fiasco?
They should have took him at his word and picked someone else. (73 votes)
They should have knocked his socks off with a huge money offer. (67 votes)
They should have traded his rights away as soon as he left for baseball. (212 votes)
What could they have done? They took their best shot at one of the best athletes in sports. (22 votes)
374 total votes