Boom or bust: Plenty of big first-round hits and misses over the years for Bucs

The Buccaneers nailed it with their first draft pick in franchise history, taking Lee Roy Selmon No. 1 overall in 1976. Focus on Sport/Getty Images

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had plenty of hits and misses in the first round of the NFL draft. As current general manager Jason Licht said, "A lot of times when you’re picking high, if you go back and study it, there’s a lot of high-ceiling, but also low-floor players up there -- a little boom or bust."

Here's a look at the biggest "Booms" and the "Busts" among the franchise's 37 first-round picks since 1976:


Lee Roy Selmon*+, DE, Oklahoma, 1976, taken at No. 1: The "Gentle Giant" was a six-time Pro Bowler, the 1979 Defensive Player of the Year and the franchise's only Pro Football Hall of Famer until 2013. His 78.5 career sacks remain a franchise record.

Doug Williams+, QB, Grambling, 1978, taken at No. 17: Williams led the Bucs to the 1979 NFC Championship Game, the first time the franchise had ever been to the playoffs, and he led them to the playoffs three times in four years. He later became a Super Bowl MVP with the Washington Redskins.

Paul Gruber+, OT, Wisconsin, 1988, taken at No. 4: Gruber was named an All-Pro twice and started 183 games, which was a team record until Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber surpassed it. Gruber is now third on the franchise's all-time starts list.

Warren Sapp*+, DT, Miami, 1995, taken at No. 12: A seven-time Pro Bowler and the 1999 AP defensive player of the year, he played an integral role in the Bucs' Super Bowl XXXVII win. His 77 career sacks are second-most in franchise history.

Derrick Brooks*+, LB, Florida State, 1995, taken at No. 28: His 2,198 career tackles remain a franchise record.

Warrick Dunn, RB, Florida State, 1997, taken at No. 12: His 4,986 career rushing yards are third-most in franchise history.

Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma, 2010, taken at No. 3: A five-time Pro Bowler, McCoy is currently regarded as one of the best 3-techniques in the league. His 35.5 career sacks are fifth-most in franchise history.

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M, 2014, taken at No. 7: This past season, Evans became just the fourth player in NFL history to record at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons in the league.


Keith McCants, LB, Alabama, 1990, taken at No. 4: Defensive coordinator Floyd Peters turned McCants into a defensive end and he struggled. In his two best seasons (1991-92 ), he registered five sacks apiece. He was waived after the 1992 season and struggled with injuries, substance abuse and legal issues.

Rod Jones, CB, SMU, 1986, taken at No. 25: He was infamously dubbed "Toast Jones," which is pretty much all you need to know. His career in Tampa was that bad.

Charles McRae, OT, Tennessee, 1991, taken at No. 7: His NFL career began unceremoniously with a 26-day holdout that put him behind the eight-ball his rookie season. They moved him from left tackle to right tackle and eventually to guard. He started just 38 out of 83 career games in Tampa.

Eric Curry, DE, Alabama, 1993, taken at No. 6: Curry managed just 12.5 sacks in five seasons, which is pretty bad for an edge rusher who had finished ninth in Heisman Trophy voting and was a key part of Alabama's top-rated defense that won the national championship in 1992.

Kenyatta Walker, OT, Florida, 2001, taken at No. 14: He was responsible for produced an astounding 459 penalty yards in six seasons.

Michael Clayton, WR, LSU, 2004, taken at No. 15: He recorded 1,193 receiving yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie but never came close to reaching those numbers after.

Cadillac Williams, RB, Auburn, 2005, taken at No. 5: Like Clayton, he couldn't replicate the magic of his 1,178-yard rookie season. What's worse? They could have had Aaron Rodgers.

Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson, 2007, taken at No. 4: Adams managed to produce 12.5 sacks his first two seasons but his career never lived up to expectations. He was traded to the Chicago Bears in 2009 and tragically passed away at the age of 26 due to an enlarged heart.

* = Pro Football Hall of Famer

+= Buccaneer Ring of Honor member