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NFL Draft: Buccaneers can't make successful first-round picks

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Quick, list all the successful first-round picks the Buccaneers have made over the past five years! You done already? Because the answer is Gerald McCoy. That's it. No one else. And they've had five first-round picks over that period.

Gil Brandt for NFL.com pointed out that the Bucs were one of 16 teams to have two first-round picks in a single year. In the Bucs' case, they drafted Mark Barron and Doug Martin in 2012 -- Barron after trading back, and Martin after trading up. And both players looked like they'd have outstanding futures after their rookie seasons: Martin put up nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage and looked like a feature back. Barron struggled a little more, but flashed a lot of talent -- especially in man coverage on tight ends.

And then both players stopped developing. Worse yet: Martin's production completely collapsed, while Barron never took that next step. He was subsequently traded when Lovie Smith took over, because he really couldn't adapt to the Tampa 2-style defense. Two first-round picks, horrible results. As has been the case for the team's first-round picks outside of Gerald McCoy for pretty much a decade -- arguably a lot longer. Davin Joseph and Carnell Williams are the highlights -- that's nothing to write home about.

This contrasts nicely with another weird fact: the Bucs have had fewer picks than all but five teams over the past four drafts.

That's a pretty stunning fact, given that both of the team's past two front offices talked incessantly about building through the draft, but somehow ended up trading a lot of picks away every year anyway. Which has left the Bucs with a consistent lack of young talent, caused in part by some terrible choices in players and multiple turnovers leading to poor fits for players.

So here's a lesson for the Bucs: don't make terrible decisions in the draft. Accumulate more picks. This has to stop. Go fix it.