Recently ESPN did their roster ranking with the Bucs being 17th best in the NFL with two elite players. Both McCoy and Lavonte David were drafted by the Bucs. Some of the elite players on the other teams where drafted by their original team and some players were acquired through trade or free agency.The best drafting teams like the the 49ers, Seahawks, Bengals drafted their core players and get their supporting cast via free agency or through the draft. This teams have elite playmakers, high quality starters, quality starters, few average starters and few below average starter on their first team. So it isn't a surprise why this teams have been in the playoffs in the last few years. But it wasn't too long ago when these teams were in the bottom of the pile. I can remember people calling the NFC west the worst division in football like three years ago. Not anymore, it is so good now it has even produced the world champions.
But how did it happen so quickly? These teams hit the jackpot consecutively and everything changed. Seattle hit on three straight drafts and now they are now Super Bowl champions. How many times have we seen a hall of fame player in the 5th round? Not that often and it seems like they found one in Richard Sherman. In the previous draft they picked Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor in the first and fifth respectively. These two are probably the best safeties in the game right now. The draft luck.
If the Seahawks knew for a fact Sherman and Chancellor were going to be elite players, they won't wait so long to pick them. They would have picked them way earlier and not risk other teams picking them. It's possible at the time of the pick, they only thought of them as a special teams player or camp bodies. The draft luck.
Rick McKay was the Bucs GM for 1993 to 2003. He had 3 major draft(1995,1996,1997) that gave the Bucs the core players to win the Super Bowl. The other draft wasn't too good. Some of the players didn't even last a year on the roster but those terrible draft also produced few good players in Anthony McFarland, Brian Kelly, and the other supporting cast for the Bucs. Despite the failures in those drafts, it didn't matter because the Bucs already hit the jackpot they needed by drafting Sapp, Brooks, and Barber. It is unbelievable that the Bucs Might be having three hall of fame players just in three drafts with two already in.
These thirty-two General Managers work their tails off, invest tremendous amount into scouting every year and do everything they can to get the right players. After the draft GMs tell their fans confidently the reason they chose a player and how he is going to be a great pick. Years later they don't get their wishes. Rich McCay drafted two hall of famers or possibly three. Bill Polian drafted Peyton Manning, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Why didn't they continue to draft hall of famers or high quality players? We can't say they lost all their previously acquired scouting knowledge. The knowledge of being successful before should have propelled more successful drafts. But it didn't. It's simple, the draft luck went a different direction after serving them and granting them their wishes for a period. The NFL draft is so intriguing and complicated. No one knows how the draft works but when it's working and a GM looks like the most intelligent man on earth, just enjoy the ride and hopefully it will take the team to the promise land.
It sure looks like that draft luck is coming home with the Bucs again. The last two draft seems promising. Lavonte David, Mark Barron, Doug Martin, Keith Tandy in the 2012 draft. Johnthan Banks, Mike Glennon, Akeem Spence, William Gholston, Steven Means, and Mike James in the NFL draft 2013. Also Timothy Wright in the undrafted fee agency. If the recently concluded 2014 draft produces two or three quality starters, the Bucs might be lifting the Lombardi trophy pretty soon just like the Seahawks.