Rotten Drafts

April 25th, 2016
A Hooters Calendar girl could have drafted as well as Chucky.

A Hooters Calendar girl could have drafted as well as Chucky.

The Bucs, at least twice in recent years, had quality drafts. Yes, really.

The grand slam last year by Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht may never be duplicated. And the 2012 draft of former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik was pretty impressive as well, with two Pro Bowlers and a third who should have been (knock it off haters, it’s not Dominik’s fault Lovie Smith couldn’t figure out how to use Mark Barron’s skillset. It’s one of many reasons Coach My Scheme is sitting in the middle of the Illinois cornfields at this very moment.)

The reason why the Bucs stink, types Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times, is that since winning the Super Bowl in 2003, Tampa Bay has been miserable with the draft until recent years.

Bassinger monitored all NFL draft picks since Chucky hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy aloft in victory to see how the Bucs stood up. It’s not pretty.

“… a list of names doesn’t do the problem justice. I wanted measurable proof. So I built a database of every player drafted in the NFL from 2003 to 2013. Then I analyzed the performance of those 2,806 players.

Teams don’t win the draft by finding role players. They win by finding high-impact starters. And the Bucs, it turns out, are among the worst teams in the league at doing just that — at least for the decade I reviewed.

I used “Approximate Value,” a Pro Football Reference statistic that represents a player’s share of credit for the team’s success. Texans defensive end J.J. Watt led the NFL with a 21 AV last season; quarterback Jameis Winston led the Bucs with a 13. It’s not a perfect metric, but it does give us an objective way to compare players across seasons and positions.

It is a pretty comprehensive if not exhaustive study by Bassinger. Props to him for putting in all the hours it took to dig up the information. Joe’s not going to spoil it, you’ll have to click on the link to read for yourself. It’s worth the time.

There are even graphics with the story!

But there was also something very interesting about the draft as a whole that Bassinger uncorked. Of the 2,806 picks he studied, damn near half were — Bassinger’s term; not Joe’s — Ahmad Black-like, meaning they were garbage and out of the league rather quickly.

Joe remembers Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian once said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that a good general manager “bats .330” in the draft, meaning if a general manager finds a third of his draft picks producing in the NFL, he’s doing fine.

40 Responses to “Rotten Drafts”

  1. Tampa Tony Says:

    Can’t give your boy Dom credit for Barron’s success with a competent coach but not give Allen credit for Talib. A player Dom traded away for virtually nothing.

    He was still awful at drafting no matter how you twist it Joe. Compared to Allen he was slightly better, but not by much.

  2. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this article,Joe.It also didn’t help that two of our
    better draft picks talent wise were head cases in Mike Williams and Aquib Talib who both wore out their welcome in Tampa bay.
    another pick Tannard Jackson couldn’t stay off the drugs.
    Hope Jason Licht learns from past mistakes of former GM’s.

  3. bee Says:


    No matter how you slice it, Dominik sucked dude. It’s borderline hilarious how you want to focus on the 2012 draft and ignore the other drafts he pissed away. And it’s also interesting the time frame of the research 03-13. Dominik was GM from 09-13 and we found what, maybe 5 starters from 5 drafts (I’m guessing). And we were at the bottom of the league in drafting impact players. Not a coincidence. Hell, the hooters girl you mentioned above could’ve drafted better than your BFF Mark. You make it seem like you want Dominik back instead of having Licht here. Do you think we would’ve found 4 starters in last year’s draft if Dominik was making the decisions? I think not.

  4. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Dom was so good that ownership from 31 other NFL teams saw his obvious talent and wanted to hire him.

    Wait, what. that never happened? So, a “pretty impressive” general manager is just sitting out there spraying White Rain on his hair, and no one is calling?

    Somebody better get the word out.

  5. CrustyCrab Says:

    I read this article yesterday and came to the conclusion that they should have hold on to Rich Mckay a little while longer instead of pleasing Jon Gruden.

  6. Waterboy Says:

    The biggest mistake the Bucs ownership ever made was letting Jon Gruden push Rich McKay out and bring in his guy (Bruce Allen). That’s 6-7 yr period of bad drafts and personnel decisions set the team back years.

  7. DallasBuc Says:

    I don’t need data metrics to tell me how miserable the Bucs draft history has been. This is why I think Bruce Allen is the worst GM we’ve had. Just threw high picks away.

  8. jb Says:

    If you look at Dominick’s picks, you can see that he gave his head coaches far too much influence on who he picked and why he picked them. Just look at the Josh Freeman pick. Raheem Morris knew him from his time as an assistant at KSU and Morris thought he would be an all pro, so who did Dom pick? The you look at the Darryl Revis trade……..that was all Schiano’s doing, and Dominick allowed it. While Dom may have made the trade, it was done at Schiano’s urging. Dominick was simply a very weak G.M.

  9. Miko Says:

    Yes, the Rich McKay fiasco was a horrible franchise move. The poor drafts of Gruden should prove how important drafting is. It’s the ONLY way to build a winner…

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Bob in Valrico Says:
    “I couldn’t agree more with this article,Joe.It also didn’t help that two of our
    better draft picks talent wise were head cases…”

    I liked Mark…but there were a lot more than two head cases that he drafted. Heck, Josh Freeman was one! Tanard Jackson had drug issues. I could go on.

  11. James Walker Says:

    Oh it is far worse than the article says: Since 2004 I can honestly say that only Davin Joseph, Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, and Doug Martin were not busts and the other 79 players were.

    That means only 5% of the players we have drafted between 2002 and 2014 were any good.

  12. James Walker Says:

    I exclude Cadillac Williams because he had only 1 good year.

  13. James Walker Says:

    The most egregious wasted pick has to be Arron Sears.

  14. Joe Says:

    I read this article yesterday and came to the conclusion that they should have hold on to Rich Mckay a little while longer instead of pleasing Jon Gruden.

    Totally get what you are saying. It was a massive personality clash between Chucky and McKay. Remember, the year before, Chucky pushed McKay to sign some offensive free agents. Virtually all of them proved critical in the Super Bowl win.

    Chucky got the job done and he became the golden boy. So when it got down to “either him or me,” it’s easy to see how Team Glazer sided with the guy who just won them a Super Bowl.

    In retrospect, it was a dumb move but totally understandable at the time.

  15. Joe Says:

    The most egregious wasted pick has to be Arron Sears.

    Well, if you have the crystal ball that predicted Sears to melt down mentally, you can make a ridiculous amount of cash. Both medical professionals and NFL types would pay a king’s ransom for similar information.

    Joe can’t hang any GM for injuries or someone going mental. The story of Sears is really, really sad.

  16. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ bonsai
    Josh Freeman was on domonicyou are right. Tannard Jackson who I mentioned was a bruce Allen pick.
    have a feeling that Licht will address character flaws due to his thorough background check on Winston.

  17. Joe Says:

    have a feeling that Licht will address character flaws due to his thorough background check on Winston.

    Licht was also responsible for the background checks/investigation on Honey Badger when he was with the Cardinals.

  18. The Buc Realist Says:

    Dominik on average during his tenure had one of the highest average draft positions!!! He was always drafting in front of every team!!!! and he still stunk out load!!!!

    I wish instead of the popstar making bad selections, that they just let fans spin “the wheel of fortune” to select draft picks and the Bucs would have done better!!!! I cannot even say if Rah and Coach Schiano are good or bad coaches because no one has a chance under the poop-star!!!! He will never work in the nfl again unless some one takes great pity on him and gives him a filing or mail room job!!!!!

    Its no coincidence that the higher the dominik was in the organization the worst the Bucs became!!!!

  19. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I’m a huge Jason Licht fan and I don’t think anybody will duplicate our draft success of last year for quite awhile.

    Likewise I agree that Chucky is better picking his nose than college talent. McKay saw the writing on the wall and bailed and it turns out McKay was right. This is why I like a true GM and not one “hired” by the coach.

    But guys we need to bring some perspective to all of this. First…no matter how you look at it Licht had an awesome draft last year…but he was selecting at the top of EVERY round not just the first! That’s not to demean Licht’s success…he saw the opportunity and seized it and he didn’t miss on his picks. But he took advantage of an opportunity that hopefully doesn’t come along for us again in my lifetime. I”m over picking first unless we’re so good we can dump enough picks to trade up. I do not like being the worst team in the league!

    OTOH…imagine how excited we’d be about Thursday night if we didn’t have a 1st or 2nd round pick!!!! How about if we not only were missing the top two picks Thursday but knew we wouldn’t have them next year either.

    Bassenger’s point about the need for IMPACT players not just role players from the draft is true. And while not even #1 picks are guaranteed to be impact…most of the impact players come from those top two rounds.

    I cringe to imagine what it would be like going forward if the Bucs were an old team and we didn’t have #1 and #2 picks for the next two years. It would be tough to survive and let’s face it…we simply never recovered from those lost draft picks….until now!!!! GO BUCS!

  20. Bob in valrico Says:

    10 years of bad drafting not just 5.both share the blame.

  21. James Walker Says:

    Mental illness that severe does not just appear out of nowhere one day. The warning signs had to be there that Sears had problems in HS and college, but no one did the research?

  22. Joe Says:

    The warning signs had to be there that Sears had problems in HS and college, but no one did the research?

    Never heard anyone say there were any red flags with Sears prior to the draft. Tanard Jackson? Yes (which is why he fell in the draft).

    Josh Freeman melted down awfully quick. Went from future star to virtually unemployable in a matter of months.

  23. Bucsfanman Says:

    The fact is that good football teams build through the draft. When you don’t draft well, you become one of the highest spending teams in free agency. It’s a culture that emanates from the top down. Good organizations know how to build and run a football team.
    My hope is that we’ve turned a corner with the new GM/regime.

  24. pick6 Says:

    @Bob in Valrico-

    that’s the flaw in the mindset of “i don’t care if he’s a choirboy, i just care if he’s good at football” crowd. there are alot of talented players who don’t have the interest level or self control to maximize their talent. bad teams like the bucs and browns (and raiders for most of the last 35 years) are too desperate or short sighted to give certain red flags their due weight. you can take a chance on a few of those guys, but you can’t count on a bunch of talented but self-destructive guys to make up your core. after clearing out gruden and a bunch of model vets (justifiably when you looked at individual and roster talent levels), the bucs anointed a bunch of guys whose talent-to-baggage ratio always made you wonder as their next generation of leaders under raheem. those were the guys who taught freeman, mccoy, mike williams, and a whole generation of bucs what the NFL was about, and it showed. schiano started to clean house (and dumped a gem or two in the process), and he and lovie skewed towards players more likely to make it as professionals, we are seeing the ones that have survived the roster rebuilds getting into their prime years and starting to fill out a core of responsible players. once we have that solid core and a little winning mojo, you can play with fire a little bit in the draft and FA

  25. BucTrooper Says:

    “And the 2012 draft of former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik was pretty impressive as well, with two Pro Bowlers and a third who should have been (knock it off haters, it’s not Dominik’s fault Lovie Smith couldn’t figure out how to use Mark Barron’s skillset. ”

    No, Joe. The 2012 draft was not impressive. Quit defending Mark Barron. He was drafted to be a safety, he couldn’t play safety. Your golden boy drafted a safety seventh overall. It was a reach. You don’t pick the safety that early unless you are SURE he ends up as Ronnie Lott. And passing the blame to the coach reeks of an attempt of you trying to pad Dominik’s already-thin resume.

    It is amazing to me that the one draft that you try to pass off as a success requires you to qualify and excuse the number seven overall pick in the draft as the result of bad coaching. That’s how BAD Dominik was. Even his (cough) best draft has excuses built in to it.

    I am firmly convinced Dominik was your confirmation sponsor when you were 13. No one can defend 5 years of vomit like this without an agenda.

  26. feelthepewterpower Says:

    this article is somewhat similar to the approximate value article that Scott Smith did a few weeks ago on of all the draft picks taken at that spot/draft number in the draft…and compared to the avg approximate value vs. the rest of the league.

  27. Bob in valrico Says:

    Think any player that can make 118 tackles should be recognized by
    Coach.Donald Penn and Jeremy zutah are other
    Examples of Lovie’s inability to judge talent.
    The tinkering with cornerbacks was comics.

  28. Bob in valrico Says:

    Meant comical

  29. Joe Says:

    No, Joe. The 2012 draft was not impressive.

    Ask any GM if they will be happy to land two All Pros and a third who should be in this week’s draft, and they will probably kiss you.

    But no, only the Dominik haters wear blinders. His draft sucked in 2012. smh

    Only in Tampa Bay. smh

  30. Joe Says:

    Examples of Lovie’s inability to judge talent.

    Two words sum this up: Mike Jenkins.

    Or Ghost Johnson.

    Or Anthony Collins.

    Or Stewart McClown.

    Good grief this guy was putrid.

  31. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    “Joe Says:
    April 25th, 2016 at 11:27 am

    His draft sucked in 2012. smh ”

    There’s one way that his 2012 draft looks good. And that’s when you look at his 2009, 2010, and 2011 drafts.


  32. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Excellent post. And thanks for coining a term I can now use with Tmax and 87 who love them some bad boys!

    Talent to baggage ratio!!! That’s it Pick6. We have a prime example on our team right now. #3!!! His talent was off the charts and everybody knew that.
    His baggage this time last year however was getting pretty heavy. But Licht and company sorted through it and realized #3’s baggage was actually artifically loaded and not really that heavy.

    But guys like Hardy and Incognito are simply scumbags who could not possibly bring enough talent to outweight their MASSIVE baggage. That’s not to say they won’t get a year here or there but why gamble?

  33. The Buc Realist Says:

    The Year before dominik’s best draft in his history, he was talking about how running backs have no value and how proud he was not to have a running back on the roster that was not even drafted by the team!!!!

    And if not for Butch Davis pounding the table LVD54 would not have been in Tampa!!!!!

    But no, only the Dominik FanBoys wear blinders!!!! His drafts did suck!!! and he would change organizational philosophy like the wind changes

    Anyone of thinks he was even remotely good is Only in Tampa Bay. smh

  34. Tampa Tony Says:

    Not sure if Dom gave the Joes Rachel Watson’s phone number or what that they both go to these lengths to defend him. I won’t debate his 2012 draft was good, Martin and David both got second contracts so they were good picks.

    Just don’t tell me Barron was a good pick at safety when he got traded to another team and excelled as a 2 down LB at pick #7. That was a bad selection and Dom was a bad GM. 1 good draft out of 5 is an awful percentage for success

  35. unbelievable Says:

    Joe your unending affair with the pop star is getting kinda sad.

    Your golden boy GM and his hand picked coach couldn’t use Barron effectively either. So you can’t say he only didn’t work out under Lovie Smith. Now you’re saying he should be an all pro bc Jeff Fisher got 1 productive season out of him as linebacker, despite the fact that he was drafted #7 overall to play safety.

    Give me a frickin break man. That draft was decent, but the ridiculous logic you’re using to say it was a great draft because of Barron is absolutely unbelievable.

  36. Bob in Valrico Says:

    the bad drafting started with bruce his 5 years the only building block player was Davin Joseph.
    I don’t count talib or tannard Jackson because they were head cases or repeat drug offenders. Zutah was a good starter.ruud and trueblood were average starters.
    gaines adams,sabby Piscatelli and Micheal clayton were notable busts.
    Impossible to build a team with this kind of drafting.

  37. Tampa Tony Says:

    Bob, some of those busts you listed by Allen got a second contract from Dominik!!! Another showing of how bad he was at his job

  38. Bob in Valrico Says:


    not aware of any but Michael clayton,but that was an inept decision.we became a bad team because of bad drafting,and you don’t add blue chip players every year you become worse every year.But only one blue chip player in 5 years is should get you third prize.

  39. Pickgrin Says:

    Mark Dominic was a bad General Manager. This is self evident. If Dom was not a bad GM he would still be here as GM. If Dom was not a bad GM, then the Bucs would not have such an atrocious record during his 5 year tenure. If Dom was not a bad GM, then he wouldn’t have flushed 7 premium top 50 picks down the toilet in 5 years. If Dom was not a bad GM, then he would have had an NFL job offer doing SOMETHING for an NFL team at some point since being fired 3 years ago….

    To Summarize:
    Dom = Bad GM = Self Evident

  40. Bob in Valrico Says:

    and Bruce allen dismantled a super winning defense in dumping Sapp and Lynch.only had one quality premium pick in 5 years.No denying Bruce Allen was also a bad GM and started the downward spiral of this team.Pewter report rated the 5 best drafts and they all were under Mckay.the sixth was in 2012
    and they thought it might supplant no. they also thought Licht’s draft would jump over some of Mckays drafts and dominics 2012 easily.