Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How Not To Draft

Hindsight is always 20/20.  This is the motto of the NFL draft.  You really don't know if you have had a good draft until at least three years afterwards.  Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen were fired for one main reason.  They sucked at drafting.  Since the Glazers, owners of the Buccaneers, will not spend money on free agents, the draft is the only way the Buccaneers can be competitive.

The worst two drafts in Buccaneers history came back to back in 2007 and 2008.  Let's look back on them.

The 2007 draft.
1 Gaines Adams DE Clemson  - Couldn't even make it as a full time starter despite being the first defensive player taken in the draft.  Traded to Chicago Bears, and then Dead.  Really.  Died of a heart problem.  Final call:  Dead.

2 Arron Sears G Tennessee - A good player, but a complete head case.  Just stopped showing up for work, and went back home.  The Bucs tried to hang onto him as long as they could, but eventually were forced to cut him.  Final call:  Cut.

2 Sabby Piscitelli S Oregon State - Also known as "The Goat."  Couldn't even make it as a backup much less a starter.  Took bad angles to the ball, and was a loudmouth with the coaching staff.  Was cut, and signed with Cleveland.  Final call:  Cut.

3 Quincy Black LB New Mexico - Has been a good special teams player, and after a few years an ok starter.  Final call:  Still with team.  Starter at Linebacker.

4 Tanard Jackson S Syracuse  - Probably the best player chosen in the draft by the Bucs.  Came in and started every game for two years.  Unbelievable talent, but has been suspended twice for smoking the hippie lettuce.  Final call:  Coming off suspension.

5 Greg Peterson DT North Carolina Central 
- Played as a backup for a bit.  Final call:  No longer with team.
6 Adam Hayward LB Portland State   - Like Quincy Black, has been good on special teams, and started a few games.  Final call:  Still with team.

7 Chris Henman T Fresno State  - Never played with team.

7 Marcus Hamilton CB Virginia  - Never made much of an impact.

7 Kenneth Darby RB Alabama - Played a few games with the Bucs as a backup.  Final call:  No longer with team.

The Wrap-up:  The first three picks are no longer with the team.  That's not good.  The two linebackers have spent most of their time on special teams, and only became starters because the Bucs wouldn't spend money on free agents.  The best pick was by far Tanard Jackson if he would only put down the hippie lettuce.

The 2008 Draft.

1 Aqib Talib CB Kansas  - Amazing talent, but a complete headcase.  So far, punched a taxi cab driver, punched a teammate with a helmet, cussed out the head coach, smoked the hippie lettuce, and pulled a gun on a man.  Again, a great talent, but with this draft pick the Bucs could have drafted USF CB Mike Jenkins who became a Pro Bowler but without the attitude of Talib.  Final call:  On the edge of being cut due to actions/ attitude/ trouble with law.

2 Dexter Jackson WR Appalachian State  - Known as the "Bad" Dexter Jackson.  This pick was a bit of a stretch.  There was a run on WR's and the Bucs took the next one in line.  However, even the Bucs knew he wasn't a 2nd round talent.  He lasted only one season before being cut.  Final call:  Cut, no longer in the NFL.

3 Jeremy Zuttah G Rutgers  - A versitile guard, but the coaches keep trying to replace him.  Final call:  Still with team as a backup.

4 Dre Moore DT Maryland  - Was considered a 1st round prospect, but work ethic had him slide down the board.  The Bucs took a gamble on him in the 4th.  He was cut after training camp, and signed to the practice squad.  He made the team as a backup.  Final call:  Still with the team, but may no longer be due to the drafting of new players.

5 Josh Johnson QB San Diego  - Called a career backup by the Head Coach.  A good backup for a 5th round selection.  Has also been used as a WR in certain situations.  Final call:  Still with team as a backup.  A good pick for this spot.

6 Geno Hayes LB Florida State  - Considered too small to play in the NFL, Hayes made his way into a starting position.  Not bad, but not a Pro Bowler.  Good value for this pick.  Final call:  Still with team.

7 Cory Boyd RB South Carolina - Final call:  Never made the team.

The Wrap-up:  When healthy, Zuttah has been a good player.  Hayes may have been the best selection for value in the draft.  Talib is a Pro Bowler but may have cut himself with his actions.  Picks in the 2nd and 4th round were completely wasted.

Again, hindsight is 20/20.  Not everyone that is drafted is going to make the impact that a team wants.  You win some, you lose some.  At the end of the day you want more wins than loses.  Maybe this draft wouldn't have been such a big deal for another team that spends money on free agents.  However, for the Bucs it is as important as it gets. 

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