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June 14, 2011 @ 3:33 pm
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Bucs 2005 NFL Draft Review

Written by Charlie
Charlie Campbell


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Here the Bucs’ 2005 draft class is reviewed. Who could the Bucs have taken instead of Cadillac Williams? 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 2005 NFL Draft and how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fared. Check back as Pewter Report will review other previous drafts of the Bucs.  

Tampa Bay was coming off a 2004 season that featured a last place finish in the NFC South with a 5-11 record. They had the fifth overall pick in the first round. The draft was conducted by then general manager Bruce Allen, head coach Jon Gruden and director of college scouting Ruston Webster.

First Round
Bucs pick: running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams– 5th overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Dallas DE/OLB DeMarcus Ware- 11th overall
San Diego DE/OLB Shawne Merriman- 12th overall
New Orleans LT Jammal Brown- 13th overall
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers- 24th overall
Atlanta WR Roddy White- 27th overall

Other Quality Options
Carolina LB Thomas Davis-14th overall
San Diego DE Luis Castillo- 28th overall
Pittsburgh TE Heath Miller- 30th overall
New England G Logan Mankins- 32nd overall

Analysis: Williams started out with a fabulous rookie campaign where he was the NFL’s Rookie of the Year. He helped lead the Bucs to 11 wins and a division championship that year. Since then, Williams had a down year in 2006 followed by massive knee injuries that ate up most of the 2007 and 2008 seasons. In 2009, Williams was second in Comeback Player of the Year voting. In 2010, he didn’t perform well until he was placed in a backup role. Ware is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL and Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. If Gruden had drafted Rodgers he probably never would have been fired. Passing on Ware is painful. Most of the other players listed have had better careers than Williams as well. Mankins is one of the top two or three guards in the NFL. White is one of the top receivers in league. At this point, Williams has little left in the tank – maybe another couple of years as a third-down back – but he is no longer starting material. Like Williams, Merriman and Brown look to be winding down their NFL careers also.

Second Round
Bucs pick: linebacker Barrett Ruud 36th overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Seattle LB Lofa Tatupu- 45th overall
Green Bay S Nick Collins- 51st overall
San Diego WR Vincent Jackson- 61st overall
San Francisco RB Frank Gore- 65th overall

Other Quality Options
St. Louis CB Ron Bartell- 50th overall
Atlanta DT Jonathan Babineaux- 59th overall

Analysis: Ruud has led the Bucs in tackles the past four years and has been the leader of their defense. Ruud has some sharp critics and some staunch defenders. His future in Tampa Bay is in doubt as he enters unrestricted free agency. Tatupu has been a more prolific linebacker for Seattle and has already been signed to a lucrative, long-term extension while Ruud has been forced to be patient while the Bucs have taken a wait-and-see approach with him. Collins is one of the best safeties in the NFL. Jackson is a very good wideout. At times, Gore has been dominant. Babineaux has produced a lot of quality games against the Buccaneers, while Bartell has turned into a quality corner. Ruud will go down as a good pick by Tampa Bay, but some of these other players the Bucs passed on have topped out at a higher level.

Third Round
Bucs pick: tight end Alex Smith- 71st overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
New York DE Justin Tuck- 74th overall

Other Quality Options
Oakland LB Kirk Morrison- 78th overall

Analysis: Smith started off well in 2005, but never turned into the quality well-rounded tight end the Bucs thought they were getting. Passing on Tuck hurts. If Tampa Bay had drafted him, or Ray Edwards or Elvis Dumervil in the fourth round of the 2006 draft they would not have needed to draft Gaines Adams with the fourth-overall pick in the 2007 draft, and potentially Adrian Clayborn this past April.

Bucs pick: tackle Chris Colmer- 91st overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Pittsburgh OT Trai Essex- 93rd overall
Chicago QB Kyle Orton- 106th overall

Other Quality Options
Seattle LB Leroy Hill- 98th overall
Denver CB Dominique Foxworth- 97th overall

Analysis: Colmer was a massive disappointment and never made an impact on the field. He was a risk on draft day after he missed the 2003 collegiate season due to Parsonage Turner Syndrome. Colmer, who recently passed away, was one of the biggest busts of the Gruden and Allen drafts. None of the players above have been all-world, but they all would have been massively better than Colmer.

Fourth Round
Bucs pick: guard Dan Buenning- 107th overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Dallas RB Marion Barber- 109th overall
New York RB Brandon Jacobs- 110th overall
San Diego RB Darren Sproles- 130th overall

Other Quality Options
New York S Kerry Rhodes- 123rd overall
Indianapolis S Matt Giordano- 135th overall

Analysis: Buenning also had a good start to his Bucs career when he was the starting left guard and a leading run blocker for Cadillac Williams in 2005. He lost his starting spot to injury in 2006 and never regained it. Barber, Jacobs and Sproles have all been excellent pro running backs that have had better career production than Williams. Rhodes would have definitely been a better pick also.

Fifth Round
Bucs pick: safety Donte Nicholson- 141st overall and wide receiver Larry Brackins- 155th overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Philadelphia DE Trent Cole- 146th overall
Atlanta LB Michael Boley- 160th overall

Other Quality Options
Jacksonville DB Gerald Sensabaugh- 157th overall
Atlanta T Frank Omiyale- 163rd overall

Analysis: The Bucs blew two picks here. Nicholson was on and off the Bucs roster while Brackins couldn’t make the jump from community college to the NFL. Cole has averaged 11 sacks a season the past four years for the Eagles. Like Tuck, Dumervil and Edwards, this is a mid-round mistake that led to the Buccaneers making more draft mistakes as a result. Boley was a good linebacker for Atlanta before signing with the Giants, while Sensabuagh has been a starter for Dallas the past few years. Omiyale developed into a starter with the Bears the past two seasons, but is probably best as a backup. Passing on Cole is unforgivable.

Sixth Round
Bucs pick: defensive tackle Anthony Bryant- 178th overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Tennessee TE Bo Scaife- 179th overall
Chicago S Chris Harris- 181st overall

Other Quality Options
Carolina DT Jovan Haye- 189th overall

Analysis: Bryant never made an impact in Tampa Bay, but the Bucs claiming Haye mitigated the blown pick on Bryant. The Buccaneers got a good season out of Haye in 2007. He left the team after the 2008 season. Scaife has been a quality starter for Tennessee and has had some bad quarterback play around him. Harris has bounced around between the Bears and Panthers but has been a good starter and could have been a good fit in the Bucs defense.

Seventh Round
Bucs pick: fullback Rick Razzano- 221st overall and wide receiver Paris Warren- 225th overall and defensive back Hamza Abdullah- 231st overall and wide receiver J.R. Russell- 253rd overall

Top Players the Bucs Passed On
Dallas DT Jay Ratliff- 224th overall
New England QB Matt Cassel- 230th overall

Other Quality Options

Analysis: Cassel has been a huge surprise and turned into a Pro Bowl quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs, while Ratliff is an undersized but excellent nose tackle in the Cowboys 3-4 defense. None of the Bucs' seventh-rounders were able to make it in the NFL except for Abdullah, who was cut by Tampa Bay after training camp.

Final Results: The Bucs got an immediate impact from this draft class in Williams, Smith and Buenning serving roles on the Buccaneers 2005 NFC South Division championship season. Williams was a solid contributor in 2009 and 2010, but Ruud is really the only player from this draft class to have an annual impact. The Bucs' passing on Ware, Tuck and Cole came back to bite them when they selected Adams to fill a need with the fourth-overall pick a few years later. Adams didn’t work out and the defensive end position has been a need for the past six seasons leading up to the Bucs using their top two picks on the position this April. Aside from those players, Tampa Bay passed on some franchise quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. It was another draft that led to Allen and Gruden’s undoing in Tampa Bay.


Bucs 2008 NFL Draft Review

Bucs 2007 NFL Draft Review

Bucs 2006 NFL Draft Review
Last modified on Friday, 17 June 2011 06:49

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  • avatar

    If I had been in charge, I would have drafted Roddy White. The combo of White and Freeman would have been one to be feared for the next decade. Instead, we wasted our pick on Williams.
  • avatar

    SMH this draft was Loaded with Studs and We missed on every pick Even Caddy Yeah I said it ! dont get me wrong I love Caddy and I turely believe that if he doesnt get hurt he would be right up there with Gore jacobs Sproiles but Sh@t happens. and please dont get me started on passing Tatapu! are you kidding ME! im not even going to Comment about that one So glad Allen and Gruden are gone! I get sick everytime I look at this draft! The Talent we missed out on is very painful to look at
  • avatar

    Ah the good ol' days. I hadn't seen nothin' yet; (Coach Gruden told me so) the Bucs' were propping up never-was players at QB, and I was locked in a heated debate with PR subscribers about who should be the 6th receiver kept on the roster; Paris Warren or J.R. Russell. The Bucs' kept them both. Warren had a drop against Washington in the first playoff game since the Superbowl, and J.R.--he didn't do much. Yes those were simple times. On 3rd & 3, you executed a play that only got you 2. A dollar went a lot farther in those days; which is good because you smashed a lot of remote controls in frustration back then.
  • avatar

    On the other hand, if we still had Gruden, we wouldn;t have drafted Freeman or Williams. Ironic isn't it?
  • avatar

    After the first season this draft looked to be a good one. It quickly fizzled into average at best. I remember the outcry when Alex Smith was traded. He is nowhere to be found now. Want to know why the payroll is low? Drafts that turn out like this. Star players in their 6th year would garner huge raises. Average players like these are lucky to stick around at a bargain rate.
  • avatar

    Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda. I don't know if looking back serves any real purpose. I know all the cliches like "hindsight is 20/20" and "past is prologue", but Satchel Paige said "Don't look back because they may be gaining on you". Just a thought!
  • avatar

    It just doesn't seem to make much sense drafting a running back high in the first round anymore. There always seems to be good value in the mid rounds and the running backs have a shorter career, not to mention most teams use more than one back now.
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