ESPN did a cute little thing: they listed and ranked the worst draft class every NFL team has ever produced, looking only at the value the teams got out of that draft for themselves.
Brian Burke and Tony Moss used AV as their key metric, which mostly looks at Pro Bowls, All-Pro’s, team success and a few statistics to get some vague, overall approximation of a player’s value for his team.
Conclusion: the worst draft the Bucs ever had came in 1989, right in the middle of the Bucs’ historic streak of 12 consecutive double-digit losing seasons. The Bucs were terrible, so one more terrible draft wasn’t about to change things up.
No. 6 overall pick Broderick Thomas had a solid career as a linebacker and accounts for nearly all of the AV the Buccaneers harvested from this 14-player draft. Punter Chris Mohr (sixth round) had a 15-year career, but never provided much value in Tampa, lasting just one season.
The rest of the draft looks incredibly bad. The infamous Danny Peebles was the team’s second-round pick, and the former NC State receiver lasted a whole two seasons and 17 catches with the Bucs. The rest of the draft was just a long, long list of complete unknowns who contributed nothing.
One tiny, tiny bright spot: undrafted free agent Ray Seals, who played five years for the Bucs after they found him in the Empire Football League. He actually started two seasons in the mid ‘90s for the then dominant Pittsburgh Steelers defense, played in five playoff games with them and got a sack in the 1996 Super Bowl. Too bad that wasn’t with the Bucs.
As awful as that draft was, it wasn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. ESPN estimates that 28 NFL teams have had a worse draft class. Let’s hope the Bucs won’t ‘improve’ on that ranking any time soon.