clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Back when the Buccaneers drafted two busts in a Hall of Fame draft

Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The 2011 NFL draft was amazing. Von Miller, J.J. Watt, Cam Newton, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones, Tyron Smith, Richard Shermon, Justin Houston, A.J. Green, Robert Quinn, Cameron Jordan -- Pro Bowler after All-Pro after future Hall of Famer. It was perhaps one of the best drafts the NFL has ever seen. Matt Williamson brought back those memories by performing a re-draft.

Here's who the Bucs actually drafted that year:

Round one: Adrian Clayborn - 13 sacks in 36 games before leaving in free agency. 
Round two: Da'Quan Bowers - 7 sacks in 53 games before being cut, and then returning briefly as a backup defensive tackle.
Round three: Mason Foster - okay starter for four season before leaving in free agency
Round four: Luke Stocker - blocking tight end only, but at least he's good at that.
Round five: Ahmad Black - didn't make it out of training camp, eventually played a few games primarily as a backup. 
Round six: Allen Bradford - drafted as a running back, played all of one game before being cut. Other teams then converted him to linebacker, where he's still playing as a backup. 
Round seven: Anthony Gaitor and Daniel Hardy. Former played a few games as a slot cornerback, latter didn't make it out of training camp.

Luke Stocker and Da'Quan Bowers are the only two players from that draft to still be on the roster, and Bowers is only there because the Bucs needed a street free agent backup at defensive tackle at the end of last year.  What a haul from one of the best drafts in living memory.

A few players the Bucs could have picked, instead of the players they did: Richard Sherman (fifth-rounder), All-Pro cornerback. Cameron Jordan (24th overall pick), Pro Bowl defensive end. Muhammad Wilkerson (30th overall), Pro Bowl defensive end. Randall Cobb (second-rounder), Pro Bowl wide receiver. Jurrell Casey (third-rounder), Pro Bowl defensive tackle. Justin Houston (third round), All-Pro edge rusher. Julius Thomas (fourth round), All Pro tight end. Jodan Cameron (third round), Pro Bowl tight end.

Of course, you can play the "what if" game in every draft. There will always be players a team could have drafted to change its fortunes. But to come out of that draft with that collection of players is criminal.