Round 2 has been bumpy for the Bucs, too

by Gary Shelton on April 17, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

David has been superb as second-round pick./JEFFREY S. KING.

David has been superb as second-round pick./JEFFREY S. KING.

Monday, 4 a.m.

If it wasn't for the quicksand in Round One, you would probably roll your eyes about the lava in Round Two.

Round One is starvation. Round Two is thirsting to deal.

Round One is earthquakes. Round Two is wildfires.

You get it. For the fans of the Tampa Bay Bucs, the only thing that is uglier, more wasteful and that has cost more brain cells than the second round of the NFL is the first. Yes, the opening round has bigger headlines, and a farther fall. It wastes more money and squanders more hope.

But the second round is almost as bad.

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Aguayo didn't live up to his price tag last year./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Aguayo didn't live up to his price tag last year./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

At least, around here it is.

Ah, you say. But the first round had Charles McRae and Eric Curry and Kenyatta Walker. It had Josh Freeman and Regan Upshaw and Trent Dilfer. It had Gaines Adams and Vinny Testeverde and Reidel Anthony.

On the other hand, I'll see your Charles McRae and raise you a Booker Reese. I'll nod my head at the first round misses, and I'll add Brian Price and Danny Peebles and Brad Morinz. I'll talk about Dexter Jackson, the receiver who couldn't catch, and Sabby Piscatelli, the safety who couldn't cover and Keith Browner, the linebacker who couldn't stay awake. (He fell asleep on the bench in 1986).

So what should concern you as this year's draft approaches?

Well, all of it.

Okay, okay. By now, 500,000 people have produced 9 billion mock drafts, and it's pretty plain that they're throwing darts at a spinning wheel when it comes to the Bucs' No. 1 pick. So far, the guessers have said Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey and John Rose and Corey Davis and O.J. Howard and David Njoku and Obi Melifonwu and Jabrill Peppers and Taco Charleton and Cam Robinson.

If the top pick is such a mystery to the mockers, well, what kind of chance do we have at No. 59?

(For instance, the picks include Chris Godwin and John Jones and Budda Baker and Demarcus Walker).

It probably shouldn't surprise you. The same dunderheads that pick in Round One are, however illogical, still employed by Round Two. And if the Bucs get lucky in the first round, they'll probably gag it away in Round Two.

Want a for instance? With their first-ever draft pick, the Bucs picked the wonderful Lee Roy Selmon.

Marpet has been solid on the Bucs line all along../ANDREW J. KRAMER

Marpet has been solid on the Bucs line all along../ANDREW J. KRAMER

Pretty smart, right? But they came right back with Jimmy DuBose, who started only 15 games in three seasons and gained a total of 704 yards.

How about the team's best draft ever. It picked Warren Sapp in the top half of the first round and Derrick Brooks in the bottom half. But it was if the Bucs took the rest of the draft off. Fifteen picks after Brooks, it took Melvin Johnson, who started 26 games in three years and then was gone.

Trading the pick hasn't worked out very well, either. In that first draft, the Bucs shipped a second-round pick for Steve Spurrier, who went 0-12 in his first season. In 1982, the year the Bucs traded so they could take Booker Reese, they sent a No. 2 pick to Miami for Gary Davis and Norris Thomas. Davis rushed seven times for 21 yards as a Buc, and Thomas started two whole games.

So who are the all-time second-rounders for the Bucs?

1. Mike Alstott, fullback: In 1996, the Bucs tried very hard to draft a defensive lineman. They picked end Regan Upshaw and tackle Marcus Jones (who had one very good year). But the prize was Alstott, the bruising running back from Purdue. Alstott became one the Bucs' most popular players.

2. James Wilder, running back: Wilder gained more than 6,000 yards in his career, including back-to-back seasons where he rushed for a combined  2,844 yards. A solid, versatile back.

3. Lavonte David, linebacker: David has become a tackling machine as a Buc, a swift linebacker who has added toughness to the Tampa Bay defense.

4. Ali Marpet, guard: Marpet has been solid since the Bucs drafted him. Might move to center this year.

5. Donovan Smith, tackle: The critics don't care for him, but he's done a good job blunting the best pass rusher for the opposition.

6. Errict Rhett, running back: Rhett gained more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons, but he was unable to sustain it. An ill-advised holdout cost him his spot with the Bucs.

7. Reggie Cobb, running back: Cobb was a tough running back who had more than 3,000 yards as a Buc, including 1,171 in 1992.

8. Randy Grimes, center: Grimes was a rugged, durable lineman for the Bucs. An anchor in the years when Tampa Bay needed one.

9. Dewey Selmon, linebacker: Selmon wasn't the player his brother was, but he was second team all-NFL in 1980.

10. Brian Kelly, cornerback: A solid corner opposite Ronde Barber for years. He started in the Super Bowl. Sadly, he's mainly remembered for being a victim to Ricky Proehl's winnning touchdown catch in '99 NFC Title game.

And the 10 worst No. 2 picks. Be careful of horrid flashbacks. You might wake up screaming:

1. Booker Reese, defensive end: The Bucs actually botched the pick of Reese, who they wanted in the first round in '82. They should have thanked heaven. The Bucs traded their first-round pick the following year to take Reese, who they thought was the next Lee Roy Selmon. Instead, he had two sacks in his career. The next year? They could have used the pick for Dan Marino.

2. Dexter Jackson, wide receiver: The Bucs desperately needed a wide receiver in 2008. Despite that, Jackson never caught a pass for Tampa Bay. Oops.

3. Brad Morintz, guard: Morinz was the 41st pick of the draft by a team that had won two games in two years. But he couldn't play a lick. He never started and played in six games as a special teamer. Bye.

4. Sabby Piscitelli, safety: He was lost.He had 20 starts in four years, and he made fans regret every one of them.

5. Brian Price, defensive tackle: He was the third pick in the second round, and the Bucs thought they were onto something with Gerald McCoy and Price. But Price was a bust. He was gone after two seasons.

6. Keith Browner, linebacker: Browner was the player who fell asleep on the bench in the last game of the '86 season. He really wasn't that alert when he was playing, either.

7. Don Smith, running back: Smith started three games in his two seasons here. A bust before his troubles with the law.

8. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, tight end:  Seferian-Jenkins was supposed to be a dynamic receiving tight end. Instead, he caught 42 passes before the team washed its hands of him.

9. Roberto Aguayo, kicker: It's amazing that Aguayo didn't cost the Bucs a game with his kicking. He had the worst average in the league despite his high price.

10. Demetrious DuBose, linebacker: When John Lynch first joined the Bucs, he was certain that DuBose would be a star. Intead, DuBose started only five games in four years.


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