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May 19, 2011 @ 9:13 am
Current rating: 4.43 Stars/7 Votes

Bucs 2008 NFL Draft Review

Written by Charlie
Campbell
Charlie Campbell

Charlie
Campbell

Editor-In-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Here the Bucs' 2008 draft class is reviewed. Who should the Bucs have taken instead of Aqib Talib? What late-round gems did the Bucs pass over? Find out right here.
Obviously it is foolish to judge a draft immediately afterwards because nobody knows how the players are going to turn out at the NFL level. With that being the case Pewter Report looks back at the 2008 NFL Draft and how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faired. Check back as Pewter Report will review other previous drafts for Tampa Bay.  

Tampa Bay was coming off winning the NFC South in 2007 and had the 20th overall pick in the first round. It was the final draft for general manager Bruce Allen and head coach Jon Gruden while director of college scouting Dennis Hickey has remained in his role under general manager Mark Dominik.

First Round
Bucs pick: cornerback Aqib Talib 20th overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson- 24th overall
Kansas City CB Brandon Flowers- 35th overall
Dallas CB Mike Jenkins- 25th overall
Philadelphia WR DeSean Jackson- 49th overall

Other Quality Options
San Diego CB Antoine Cason
Dallas RB Felix Jones
Green Bay RB Jordy Nelson
Atlanta RB Curtis Lofton
Chicago RB Matt Forte

Analysis: The Bucs could have gotten a better player than Talib in Johnson. Flowers is comparable to Talib on the field, and a massive upgrade off the field. While Talib is a better player than Jenkins, the USF product could be labeled a better pick due to his ability to stay on the field compared to Talib’s propensity to get in fights and consistent trouble off the field. If Talib could have stayed out of trouble and focused on football he could arguably be one of the best players in this group. Considering Talib could be facing a lengthy suspension with his future in the NFL in jeopardy, you could easily argue that the Bucs should have gone in a different direction, especially when it was clear that Talib was a character risk entering the draft.

Second Round
Bucs pick: wide receiver Dexter Jackson 58th overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Baltimore RB Ray Rice- 55th overall
Kansas City RB Jamaal Charles- 73rd overall

Other Quality Options
Dallas TE Martellus Bennett- 61st overall
Carolina S Charles Godgrey- 67th overall
Chicago WR Earl Bennett- 70th overall

Analysis: The Bucs traded down from pick 52 to select Jackson. Drafting a bag of footballs would have been a better pick. Charles and Rice are two of the best backs in the AFC and are Pro Bowlers. Jackson was a bust of massive proportions so just about any player in the late second or third round before the Bucs selected again would be a better pick than Jackson.

Third Round
Bucs pick: guard Jeremy Zuttah 83rd overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Detroit DE Cliff Avril- 92nd overall
Green Bay TE Jermichael Finley- 91st overall
New York Giants WR Mario Manningham- 95th overall

Other Quality Options
Cincinnati WR Andre Caldwell- 97th overall
New York Jets CB Dwight Lowery- 113th overall

Analysis: Zuttah is a quality depth player that may have the ability to be a starting center in the NFL. He flopped as the starting left guard in 2009, and showed improvement in 2010 while filling in at guard and center due to injuries. While Zuttah isn’t a complete bust, passing on Avril hurts. He had 8.5 sacks last year and a total of 19 sacks in three seasons for Detroit. The 25 year old looks like a long-term starter and a good player for the Lions. Finley and Manningham are also definitely better than Zuttah.

Fourth Round
Bucs pick: defensive tackle Dre Moore 115th overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Indianapolis TE Jacob Tamme- 127th overall
Kansas City CB Brandon Carr- 140th overall
Arizona RB Tim Hightower- 149th overall

Other Quality Options
Denver RB Ryan Torain- 139th overall
Falcons DE Kroy Biermann- 154th overall
Dallas RB Tashard Choice- 122nd overall

Analysis: Moore spent time on the Bucs practice squad in 2008 and 2009 before being cut for good at the end of training camp in 2010. All of those players would have been better picks than Moore. Carr especially could be valuable right now given Talib’s uncertain status heading into the 2011 season.

Fifth Round
Bucs pick: quarterback Josh Johnson 160th overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
New Orleans G Carl Nicks- 164th overall
Kansas City G Barry Richardson- 170th overall

Other Quality Options
None

Analysis: The Bucs did well to land a quality backup quarterback at this point of the draft. Nicks and Richardson are both starters. Nicks has been dominant at times for the Saints. He fell in the draft because of character concerns. Long-term, Richardson or Nicks could yield more because Johnson will likely leave in free agency, but at the time of drafting Johnson the Bucs didn’t know they would land a franchise quarterback a year later.

Sixth Round
Bucs pick: linebacker Geno Hayes 175th overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Buffalo WR Steve Johnson- 224th overall
Cleveland RB Peyton Hillis 227th overall
Indianapolis WR Pierre Garcon- 205th overall

Other Quality Options
Green Bay QB Matt Flynn- 209th overall

Analysis: Considering where they got him, Hayes is the best pick in the draft for Tampa Bay. He was a quality special teamer as a rookie, had a good debut as a starter in 2009, but regressed as a starter in 2010. Still, drafting Flynn would be on a par with drafting Johnson in that the team would have a quality backup for a few years. Flynn probably has greater trade value than Johnson. Garcon has been a solid player for the Colts when healthy. Johnson and Hillis had breakout years in 2010 and could be excellent pros. They are the only players that the Bucs passed on that you could say are a better pick than Hayes.

Seventh Round
Bucs pick: running back Cory Boyd 238th overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Washington S Chris Horton

Other Quality Options
None

Analysis: Horton ended up becoming a starter for the Redskins as a rookie. He hasn’t held onto the job and is a backup. Boyd never made it onto the Bucs roster and his claim to fame is taking a punch from Talib at the NFL’s Rookie Symposium.

Final Results: When you add this draft to 2007’s first three picks of defensive end Gaines Adams, guard Arron Sears, and safety Sabby Piscitelli and one can see why 3-13 happened in 2009 and why Gruden and Allen were let go. Talib would be a dynamite player if he could stay out of legal trouble and work on getting better on the field. Johnson and Hayes were good picks where they were selected, but overall the Buccaneers could have had a much better draft.
Last modified on Thursday, 19 May 2011 11:39
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    I was wondering was there any RED FLAGS on this player. There was other player available that Tampa would have been better off. NOW LOOK AT TAMPA BIG MESS IN THAT CORNER AND THAT OTHER DB THAT HAS PROBLEMS. I THINK I COULD HAVE DONE A BETTER JOB. But now we will see if this draft class is better just like a few years when we got SAPP, BROOKS,LYNCH.
  • avatar


    I would have to agree that Rich McKay was not the great GM that everybody has put on a pedestal. Sam Wyche drafted Buc immortals Lynch, Brooks, & Sapp. McKay gave us immortals Alstot & Barber. His shortcoming was evaluating and acquiring the correct offensive players to run the type of ball control offenses that Dungy wanted. He drafted and signed FA WR like Reidel Anthony, Jacquez Green, & Bert Emanuel that were small and didn't excel or like blocking. He did good by trading for Keyshawn Johnson because he was an excellent blocker, but gave up too much to get him. He was a good, but not great receiver. I won't rule out the Glazers infuencing that deal based on what they gave up for Gruden. I always thought we could have gotten him for half the picks since he was a lame duck coach. On a positive note, this regime seems to be acquiring players that fit the systems on both offense & defense.
  • avatar


    @4bucs what is your relationship with dominik? and did he give you other inside info?
  • avatar

    mccay took yatta and traded up for him ...a rt only 3 years to play lt even though the whole staff pleaded with him not to....dominik told me this years ago......mccay was not the gm everybody thinks he was...by far.
  • avatar

    ahhh excuse me but sapp,brooks and lynch were taken by sam wych who had it in his contract to be the man picking.
  • avatar


    Good points jonnyg. McKay had some successes, in particular some of the draft day maneuvering and the trade of Erickson for a 1st round pick, but he also had numerous failures like the ones you mentioned. McKay wasn't the GM when Lynch and Dilfer were drafted so he gets no credit/blame for those two. I'm not so critical of a drafting a player who was good (Cadillac Williams) but not great as I do for a player who had no chance from day one (Lance Nemo). Our overall drafting history for the past 36 years has got to be considered one of the worst in the league. We were especially adept at trading away picks for the likes of Jack Thompson. I became a Bucs fan when they started in 1976 but you became a fan in the mid-80's when it was just brutal. That's like having your eye on a pretty girl to take to the prom but you wait until she has an acne breakout to ask her.
  • avatar


    It is easy to look back and see players we should have drafted. They should also show players who were drafted who were terrible too. That being said, the drafts were pretty bad in those days. And I also think it is one thing to take a character risk in the 4th round, but you shouldn't do so in the 1st.
  • avatar


    Good Article. I like Gruden, but if he was really the one calling the shots on draft day then he needs to hang his head in shame. I was always very optimistic about the draft classes and I've always taken the view that the couch/gm are there because they know what they are doing...but looking back at the JG/BA drafts now...it is amazing how absolutely terrible they were... I think Dom is kicking @$$ and I'm very excited about the future.
  • avatar

    Jongruden here j/k Let me be the first to say I wasn't a great talent evaluator but is it my fault Caddy wins rookie of the yr and blows out both knees and Clayton is runner up to rookie of the yr and then forgets how to get open and catch the ball? Well in the end it is my fault and thats the way the draft is you win some you lose some. Dominick had a great draft the last two yrs so we will see in the next three yrs how those guys turn out. Mckay built his legacy with Alstott, Sapp, Lynch, Brooks, and Dunn but also drafted Kenyatta, Reidel, Jaquize Green, Jerry Wunsch, Marcus Jones, Regan Upshaw, Dilfer, King and Mcfarland. So i would say he was so so at drafting. As far as looking back at any draft in the past any team can say woulda shoulda coulda Talib is a great player and was on the rise to being one of the best cb in the NFL and at the time we desperately needed a corner we didn't know he would punch teammates, a cab driver shoot a gun in public attemting to kill someone. Dominick took risks on Blount and Mike Williams and sometimes these guys payoff and sometimes not thats the risk in getting these players.
  • avatar

    i can see why we passed up on AP and CJ the Buccs were to Loyal to Caddy! plus when you have Gurden and Allen Drafting Yikes... I was on Buc power looking at all of the Talent these two bozo's passed on we should have atleast 3 rings by now smh...I hate looking back on the pass but that's what makes me a die hard buccs fan.I think we are headed in the right direcation now that rah and Dom are in charge and for the record I do not support the Fired Coaches Asst LMAO they were fired for a reason! Go Buccs
  • avatar


    It's clear to me that the homework that is being done by Dominik's staff now was not being done in the Gruden/Allen years. Their drafts were reminiscent of the Kenny Herrock days when the choices were made more by a whim and a perception than knowledge of actual data. It's obvious that the team went in decline due to the high draft choices given up for Gruden and Key Johnson followed up by horrendous player evaluation and a little misfortune (Sears and Adams). The lack of quality being gathered and developed is why the payroll was so low.
  • avatar


    I will always be grateful for Gruden getting us the offense to win a Super Bowl. But the majority of the Gruden/Allen drafts shows just how bad a combination those 2 were at picking players. Dennis Hickey and his staff have proven under Rah and Dominik that they were not the problem in drafting when Gru/Allen were here
  • avatar

    I really don't see the point in looking back and playing the what if game with the draft. None of that helps the here and now. That was 3 years ago with a different coaching staff and front office.
  • avatar


    If Allen & Gruden were good talent evaluators they'd still be in Tampa. In Gruden's next job the owner needs to get him a strong GM with very good talent evaluation ability and limit Gruden's authority to being a head coach ONLY. Of course guys like Gruden think unrealistically high of themselves and he probably won't accept any limitations of his authority in his next job. God help that franchise if that happens.
  • avatar

    That about sums up every Gruden/Allen draft.
  • avatar

    man gruden really sucked at drafting
  • avatar

    Jenkins sucks. Cason is a much better CB
  • avatar

    we passed on AP in 07' and CJ in 08'. Damn just imagine that backfield.
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