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
10. Mark Carrier, WR, 3rd round, pick 1, 1987
9. Warrick Dunn, RB, 1st round, pick 12, 1997
8. James Wilder, RB, 2nd round, pick 6, 1981
7. Mike Alstott, FB, 2nd round, pick 5, 1996
6. Paul Gruber, LT, 1st round, pick 4, 1988
5. John Lynch, S, 3rd round, Pick 26, 1993
4. Ronde Barber, CB, 3rd round, pick 6, 1997
3. Warren Sapp, DT, 1st round, pick 12, 1995
2. Derrick Brooks, LB, 1st Round, pick 28, 1995
Player: Lee Roy Selmon
Draft: 1st Round, 1st overall, 1976
Pro Bowl: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984
The first draft pick in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history remains their very best. Lee Roy Selmon - NFL Hall of Famer, humanitarian, father of the USF football program and beloved citizen of the bay area was the best player ever to don a Buccaneer jersey and he remains the measure all future Bucs draft picks are graded against.
Selmon was drafted 1st overall by the expansion Buccaneers of the 1976 draft. His brother Dewey would join him in Tampa Bay becoming a dynamic duo that the early Bucs built their defense around.
Selmon even after his career ended in 1985, Selmon still sits atop the team record books in quarterback sacks with 78.5. A six time Pro Bowl selection, he was named First team All-Pro three times, second team All-Pro twice and All-NFC six times. He was the 1979 NFL Defensive Player of the year and was named to the 80's All-Decade team.
He is the only Buccaneer in franchise history to have his number retired and he was the inaugural enshrinee of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium.
In addition to his career with the Buccaneers, Selmon was instrumental in bringing football to the University of South Florida.
On September 4th, 2011, Selmon died from complications brought on by a severe stroke. He was only 56.
Selmon's death devastated the community, who turned out in mass at his funeral. He was honored during the 2011 season by both the Buccaneers and the Bulls football team with a number 63 patch.
While others have played longer careers, earned more Pro Bowl nominations and have a Super Bowl ring, Lee Roy Selmon remains the team's only Hall of Fame enshrinee in Canton.
As long as that remains the case, he has to be the number one draft pick in the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.