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Top 5 Worst Draft Picks- Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Updated on April 29, 2015

These guys were brought in to help the team win, but couldn't accomplish anything on the field. Today I rank the top five worst draft picks by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

5. Ricky Bell

He played for a poor team and was unable to perform at a high level.

While at USC, Ricky Bell gained a reputation as a great blocker and between the tackles runner. In 1975, Bell led the Trojans to a 7 - 0 start to their season and he led the nation in rushing gaining 1,875 yards as he finished third in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. In 1976, he led the Trojans team to an 11 - 1 record crowned by its victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl. That year he set the USC single game rushing record of 347 yards against Washington State.

Bell was the first overall pick in 1977 by Tampa Bay. He signed a five year contract for a reported $1.2 million. It was by far the richest contract ever signed by an NFL rookie at that time. This draft choice was somewhat controversial because Pittsburgh running back Tony Dorsett was being projected as an arguably better back than Bell. He only rushed for 1,000 yards once in his career in 1979. Not what you would want from a draft's first pick. In the meantime, Tony Dorsett played on a perennial playoff team, was on a Super Bowl winner in his rookie year after gaining 1,007 yards in a 14-game season. Dorsett retired at number two behind Walter Payton on the all time rushing list and is currently number eight all time. In five seasons in Tampa Bay, Bell rushed for just over 3,000 yards and 16 touchdowns

4. Keith McCants

He was a college standout but didn't have the strength for the pro game.

As a junior at Alabama in 1989, Keith McCants led the Crimson Tide with 119 tackles and 4 sacks. That year, he was named the national defensive player of the year. He then decided to forego his senior year and enter the NFL draft.

McCants went on to be taken fourth overall in 1990. Thought to stabilize the Bucs' linebacker corps, he was short lived in that position with Tampa Bay. He only started four games as a rookie with two sacks before he was converted to a defensive end for the 1991 season. struggled to become the physical wrecking ball most thought he would be after a noteworthy college career. He finished with 156 tackles and 12 sacks in parts of three seasons with Tampa Bay. He went on to spend time with the Houston Oilers and Arizona Cardinals before his NFL career fizzled out after the 1995 season. This pick is even more painful when you think the guy selected after him, Junior Seau, went on to 12 consecutive pro bowls.

3. Gaines Adams

He was supposed to be the team's replacement for Simeon Rice, but couldn't live up to expectations.

As a junior at Clemson, Gaines Adams had a breakout season recording 56 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and forced three fumbles. In his senior year, he started all 12 games, recording 12.5 sacks, forcing two fumbles, and recovered three fumbles. He finished his college career as Clemson's all time sack leader with 28 and was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year as senior.

Adams was the drafted fourth overall in 2007. He was supposed to make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks but instead frustrated the Bucs with his lack of production. He totaled six sacks as a rookie, but he only combined for 7.5 the rest of his career, which ended after a short stint with the Chicago Bears in 2009. He had the appearance of someone formidable, but the physical tools didn't translate to the field. The Bucs' trade with the Bears, in which Tampa Bay received a 2010 draft pick, was made five games into the 2009 season. Adams died unexpectedly in 2010 from a previously undetected heart condition.

2. Bo Jackson

He took less money to play a sport he loved more.

During his time at Auburn, Bo Jackson rushed for 4,303 career yards which ranks sixth all time in SEC history. In 1985, he won the Heisman trophy after rushing for over 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was seen as the best SEC running back since Herschel Walker.

The first overall pick in 1986, Jackson refused to play for the Buccaneers after he discovered he couldn't play his final season of college baseball after being drafted. He waited to enter the NFL until the 1987 draft, where he was selected in the seventh round by the Los Angeles Raiders. He became a two sport star in the NFL and Major League Baseball after overcoming the Bucs' incompetence.

1. Vinny Testaverde

He was brought in to make the team a contender, but made them even more of a joke.

In two years as a starter for Miami, Vinny Testaverde established a dynasty at the quarterback position for the Hurricanes. As a senior he set the school record with 48 career touchdowns and won the Heisman trophy.

The first overall pick in 1987, Testaverde's start with the Bucs wasn't anything special. In his six years with team, Tampa never won more than six games a year. In that same time he accounted for 112 interceptions to just 77 touchdowns. He went on to have a long, notable career at a number of stops, but he never became what the Buccaneers thought he could be.

People's Poll

Who is Tampa Bay's worst draft pick?

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    • profile image

      Kevin Goodwin 

      3 years ago

      He was a good backup but not a starter.

    • Ty Tayzlor profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Anywhere

      It's a real shame. It's not that he was untalented, he just played in the wrong era for Tampa

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Bucs have had so many missteps over the years. Ricky Bell was a whale of a player. A shame he died of cancer so young.


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