clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Buccaneers' worst draft move since 2011

New, comments
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN evaluated the worst and best draft moves every NFL team has made since 2011. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the best decision was easy: Jameis Winston, though you could make an argument for Lavonte David as well. The worst decision's a lot more difficult: the Bucs haven't had any truly massive busts over the passive five years, so Mike DiRocco went with 2011 second-rounder Da'Quan Bowers.

Defensive end Da'Quan Bowers was the team's second-round pick in 2011, but he never lived up to expectations as a first-team All-American, Bronko Nagurski winner and ACC Player of the Year at Clemson. Bowers was bothered by injuries, including a torn Achilles tendon, and had just 7.0 sacks in 53 games (10 starts) in five seasons with the Bucs. -- Mike DiRocco

Bowers was a disappointment, but let's be realistic: mid-second-round picks bust really frequently. You could make an argument for Adrian Clayborn, but he was at least okay for his four years in Tampa. I'd go with selecting Mark Barron with the seventh overall pick in 2012 -- a move I liked at the time, but one that was widely seen as overvaluing Barron and passing up a terrific talent in Luke Kuechly. Barron proved to be a good NFL player, but only fit for a specific scheme -- which is why he's now playing in Los Angeles. For the Bucs, he proved to be a waste of as seventh overall pick, even if that wasn't entirely his fault.

You could also make a valid argument for the Darrelle Revis trade, here. The Bucs gave up a 2013 first-rounder and a 2014 fourth-rounder for Revis, robbing them of two quality players. It also cost them $16 million for a single year, came with a significant opportunity cost in free agency, and they cut him a year later -- to sign another series of free agency busts. But can we call that trade really a draft move?

The Bucs have made some bad decisions in the draft in the past, that much is obvious. But the truly horrendous ones -- those have been pretty much absent for a while.