The Tampa Bay Buccaneers certainly don’t have the best draft history. While the franchise has absolutely drafted some great players, a lot of their draft misses tend to overshadow the great picks.
After all, there’s a reason the Bucs have only made the playoffs 10 times in their 46-year history and haven’t made the postseason in the last seasons.
5. Keith McCants
Sandwiched right in between two Hall of Famers in Cortez Kennedy and Junior Seau, the Buccaneers took a swing and a miss when they drafted Alabama linebacker Keith McCants with the fourth overall pick in 1990.
McCants would only start four games as a rookie. While he would record 10 total sacks in the next two seasons as Tampa Bay’s permanent starter at his new position of defensive end, McCants was cut during training camp in 1993 — ending his Buccaneers career after just three seasons.
4. Gaines Adams
Prior to the 2007 draft, the fact that Adams, a dominant defensive end out of Clemson, suffered from a serious heart problem was well known. Tampa Bay threw caution to the wind and selected him anyways with the fourth overall pick.
Adams certainly wasn’t terrible when he was on the field as he recorded 13.5 sacks in two seasons with Tampa Bay. However, in 2009, Adams was traded to the Chicago Bears for a future second-round pick that, after a few trades, would end up becoming Rob Gronkowski.
Adams’ NFL career was unfortunately cut short after he passed away in 2010 due to cardiac arrest.
3. Roberto Aguayo
This one is going to haunt Buccaneers fans for a while. Kickers don’t usually get drafted, and if they do, it’s generally in the sixth or seventh round. However, during his three seasons at Florida State, Aguayo had separated himself as possibly the best kicker in college football history.
While trading up into the second round to grab a kicker seems crazy, Aguayo was supposed to be as sure of a thing as they come. That did not end up happening.
Aguayo only lasted one season in Tampa Bay, where, despite being the most accurate kicker in college football history, he missed seven kicks and was released during the 2017 preseason.
2. Vinny Testaverde
Testaverde was an absolute star at Miami, which is why he went first overall in the 1987 draft with Tampa Bay, believing they had their QB of the future. And while Testaverde would actually become a two-time Pro Bowler and enjoyed a 21-year NFL career, his time in a Bucs uniform was poor, to say the least.
In six seasons as the Buccaneers’ starter, Testaverde completed 52.1 percent of his passes and 77 touchdowns compared to 112 interceptions. The former top selection’s 1988 campaign where he completed a mere 47.6 percent of his passes for 3,240 yards, 13 touchdowns, and a god-awful 35 interceptions remains one of the worst seasons for a QB ever.
1. Bo Jackson
This one comes with a bit of an asterisk as Jackson did end up carving out a solid NFL career before injuries ruined his athleticism. The kicker is that, despite the Buccaneers picking Jackson with the first overall pick in 1986, he never played a single game for the franchise.
Jackson, who has been voted the greatest athlete of all time by ESPN and won the Heisman Trophy at Auburn was a once in a generation type prospect, but due to issues with his baseball career and bad blood with the Tampa Bay front office, Jackson told the Buccaneers that drafting him would be a wasted pick.
The Bucs drafted Jackson anyways when if they had not interfered with his baseball eligibility, he could have been one of the best players in franchise history as he likely would’ve focused entirely on football.