Back in 2010, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the third overall pick in the draft. They needed a defensive tackle, and they got one in Gerald McCoy -- who's since turned into one of the very best at his position in the NFL, despite an injury-marred start to his NFL career.
After McCoy, the Bucs set out to improve the rest of their team. They picked Brian Price in the second round, but he saw his career ruined by a gruesome congenital injury that involved his hamstrings pulling his pelvic bone apart. Second-round receiver Arrelious Benn also saw his career ruined by constant injuries, while third-rounder Myron Lewis never managed to turn his athletic talent into quality cornerback play. Fourth-rounder Mike Williams looked like he'd be good, before he signed a contract extension and collapsed. Sixth-round punter Brent Bowden didn't even make it out of training camp, and the team did get some decent value out of seventh-rounders Cody Grimm, Erik Lorig and Dekoda Watson.
Overall, that draft was terrible. With a third overall pick and two high second-round picks, the Bucs managed just one impact player. Pro Football Focus in their 2010 draft recap certainly agreed.
Cumulative grade (nine picks): +83.6
Best pick: DT Gerald McCoy (round 1, pick 3, +115.2 cumulative grade)
As the third-highest graded player in the entire draft (behind Rob Gronkowski and Geno Atkins), the third-overall pick was certainly a sound investment. McCoy was one of PFF's top-two graded DT's for three years straight (2012-2014).
Yes, that means the rest of the draft was purely negative for the Bucs. Despite picking the third-best player in the draft, the Bucs had just the eleventh-best draft in the group. Even though this draft looked solid initially, it turned out to be a disaster in the long run -- just like almost every other Mark Dominik draft.
That appears to have changed under Jason Licht, though that may just be short-term variation too. The 2014 draft was okay, with Mike Evans looking like a future star and Austin Seferian-Jenkins still having the potential to develop into a quality player. But last year was amazing, with four quality starters in the first four picks. Licht has to improve on his late-round picks, but it doesn't look like he'll be producing drafts like 2010 again.