1st Round (4th overall) – Gaines Adams – DE – Clemson
Gaines Adams was planning to enter the NFL draft after his sophomore season, but due to a low ranking from the underclassmen panel, chose to finish out his college years. This was wise, as he posted admirable stats his next two seasons, being named to all five All-America teams after his senior year, and tying the Clemson record for career sacks with 28. After coming to Tampa, Gaines played in every game his rookie season, starting in half. He came around getting his first sack in week 11 en route to season stats of 36 tackles, a forced fumble, and led all rookies with 6 sacks (plus 1 in the playoffs). 2008 also started off with promise as Adams had 2 sacks and 2 INT’s (1 pick six), as well as 12 total tackles through four games. However his production tailed off in the weeks to follow and he only added 4.5 sacks and 26 more tackles on the season. These numbers were close to his rookie season, but having twice as many starts. 2009 brought Gaines new hope with a regime change. In his first five games under Raheem Morris, Adams achieved 1 sack, 1 FF (and recovery), and 17 total tackles. Not outstanding numbers though, and in October, the Chicago Bears traded a 2nd round pick for Adams. He filled in with them in a situational role. Though his totals were not astronomical, Adams did prove to have more promise than most DE’s in the 2007 draft. The only others with better stats, are the likes Charles Johnson, LaMaar Woodley and Brian Robison (who we could’ve had, but more on that later) and they have had double the career length. In January of 2010, Gaines Adams’ life was cut short. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead after suffering cardiac arrest that was caused by an enlarged heart. There were no previously known health issues. May he rest in peace.
2nd Round (35th overall) – Arron Sears – G – Tennessee
Arron Sears was a great offensive guard for the Bucs. In his first two seasons, he had 31 starts and played commendably, being listed on the All-Rookie team in ’07. Arron left the team in 2009 and asserted it was due to neurological problems, caused by head trauma suffered in his career. Since then Arron’s health has declined. He has lost some daily function and operation, independence, and has had anger issues which led to an arrest. He was one of a few players named in a lawsuit against the NFL and the Buccaneers, which claim his deteriorated health and head trauma was caused by his football career, and being uninformed of the risks that came with such a lifestyle. We wish Arron all of the best in life. Though hindsight is 20/20, this was still the smartest pick at the time. Of the Guards selected behind Arron in this draft, only a handful are still active and maybe 2 are starters.
2nd Round (64th overall) – Sabby Piscitelli – S – Oregon State
Sabby Piscitelli was a fairly good safety at Oregon State and stood out in his senior year, receiving First Team All-Pac 10 honors and an invitation to the NFL Combine. Piscitelli’s draft stock rose fast, due to a great showing at the combine. After coming to Tampa Bay, Sabby broke his foot three games into his first season and was placed on IR. He played in all but 1 game over the next two seasons, starting 20 total (15 in 2009). That year, he had quite serviceable numbers of 80 total tackles, 2 INT’s and a FF. In 2010, our safeties were a mess with most of the bright spots coming from backups and rookies. Cody Grimm had already taken over at Strong Safety, but more than mid-way through the season was injured. Piscitelli filled in, but after a blown coverage that resulted in a TD, the coaches had seen enough and released him. The browns immediately scooped him up but he was seldom used, posting just three tackles and being released following the season. He signed on with the Chiefs for 2011 and again put up very sub-par stats. Currently he is a free agent, and has been sighted working out with Ray Lewis in attempt to fuel his next opportunity in the NFL. Not including Tanard Jackson, other Safeties taken behind Piscatelli include Chinedum Ndukwe and Eric Frampton, who did record some decent stats but are not currently on a roster, and Dashon Goldson. (Yea, I know, imagine we just took him then instead of signing him now.)
3rd Round (68th overall) – Quincy Black – LB – New Mexico/Harper College
Quincy Black started out at Harper College, but after a great season that included 16.5 sacks, he switched to New Mexico. He was a promising player showing flashes of brilliance as the second best pass rusher in ’05 and, leading the conference for tackles in ’06. Once coming to the Bucs, Quincy was a fill-in in the 2007 and 2008 seasons. In 2009, he was thrust into a starting role, mostly due to the departure of Cato June and Derrick Brooks. This would prove statistically to be his best season. Aside from 75 total tackles, he had 1.5 sacks and an INT. He would never start a full season, nor would he match those numbers (2 sacks in 2010 but 18 less tackles). In 2012, Black was placed on IR after suffering a nasty collision that left him with nerve damage in his neck and upper arm. In January of this year he had nerve-graft surgery in hopes to repair any lasting effects, however, the success will not be known for several months. This surgery, his inflated salary, and the fact that he didn’t fit in Greg Schiano’s defense (evident by his 33 total tackles over 9 games in ‘12) called for his release this past March. Currently Quincy is trying to rehab and hopes he can still prove himself with a chance elsewhere in the NFL. This pick wasn’t a complete disaster, at this point we were in a crapshoot. Stephen Nicholas is one of few linebackers that were still on the board whose stats are better. Other comparable players left were Stewart Bradley, Clint Session and Antwan Barnes (mainly a rush specialist, has alot of sacks but not close to the tackles). Even after we took Adam Hayward 3 rounds later, Desmond Bishop and Nick Roach were still not drafted.
4th Round (106th overall) – Tanard Jackson – S – Syracuse
SIDE NOTE: The Bucs traded down from the 102nd overall pick to 106th, in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings. They also received an additional 6th round pick. The Vikings selected DE Brian Robison.
In college, Jackson was a CB, but converted to Safety after being drafted by Tampa. He was a starter right from the beginning, collecting 56 tackles, 2 FF and 2 INT’s in his rookie season. In 2008 he had 2 more tackles than his rookie season, accompanied by 2 FF’s, a sack and an INT. His bright on-field play was interrupted in 2009 by his dark off-field behaviour. He began 2009 with a four-game suspension. Jackson was a hard character to judge as upon returning he recorded 5 INT’s 2 FF’s and 70 tackles in 12 games. Then, 2 games into his 2010 campaign, he received another suspension, this one being indefinite as it was a second offense with banned substances. Returning in the 2011 season after a year off football, Jackson made two picks in his first two games back. The rest of the season, however, we did not see the splash plays Tanard had become known for. Although Jackson was a bright player, it seemed he couldn’t keep out of trouble long enough to finish a season anymore. Tampa released him after that season citing a failed physical. He quickly found a home with the Redskins as Raheem Morris (his former head coach) was in charge of the DB’s. In August of that year, before seeing a regular season snap, he was suspended indefinitely for, yet again, violating the substance abuse policy. He is eligible for reinstatement this August and is still under contract to the Washington Redskins. Sadly, Dashon Goldson was STILL on the board. At least we have him now.
5th Round (141st overall) – Greg Peterson – DE – North Carolina Central/Hinds Community College
Greg Peterson was voted a Division II All-American. He finished his college career with 10.5 sacks, 3 FF and an INT. Upon coming to the Bucs, Peterson recorded his first sack just a month into the season. He wouldn’t go on to do much else though, never starting a game in his career. He was released to make room for needed players on the roster, but received an injury settlement. Peterson signed with the Jaguars seeing time in two games and recording a tackle, and a stint in Washington that didn’t even last a full off season. If you want to see what he is up to now, click here.
6th Round (182nd overall) – Adam Hayward – LB – Portland State
SIDE NOTE: This is the Bucs 6th round pick from the 4th round trade-up with the Vikings. Tampa Bay’s original 6th round pick (177th overall) went to the Jets the previous season for TE Doug Jolley. The Jets used it to select OL Jacob Bender.
Adam Hayward has been a career backup and special teamer for the Bucs. Since being in Tampa Bay he has seen time in all but 5 games, but has never started more than a handful in a season. Most people may remember Hayward as the guy that shoved Bryan Cox.
He is still on the roster and will, again, back up Lavonte David, meaning we hope NOT to see Hayward getting regular playing time as it usually means there was an injury (unless he wins the job at strongside linebacker, which is a discussion for another time).
7th Round (214th overall) – Chris Denman – OT – Fresno State
After being drafted, Chris Denman did not see a snap for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent his entire rookie season on IR and right before the 2008 season he was a victim of the team’s final cuts. Aside from being signed to the Bills practice squad a couple times, he was never able to materialize an NFL career.
7th Round (245th overall) COMENSATORY PICK – Marcus Hamilton – CB – Virginia
The Bucs took a late-round flier on Marcus Hamilton, more to add depth to a position that was getting old. He was signed to the practice squad and finally saw time in his second season. Elbert Mack was suspended for one game in 2008 after a helmet to helmet hit on Matt Ryan. Hamilton was called up, and after failing to record a stat, was waived the next day. Chicago claimed him, and he went on to see time in 8 games, recording 3 tackles. At the end of the ’08 season, the Bears placed an exclusive rights free-agent tender on Hamilton, which he signed, only to be released at the beginning of the ’09 season. The Bucs re-signed him for a couple weeks, but also, would waive the CB. The three tackles he recorded with Chicago were his only career NFL stats. He did play with the 2009 champion Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL, but wasn’t much of a contributor to that team either. Now Marcus is a teacher, assistant High School Football coach and an athletic trainer in the Washington area.
7th Round (246th overall) COMPENSATORY PICK – Kenneth Darby – RB – Alabama
Kenneth Darby began college as a backup, but due to injury and a starter graduating, he finally saw decent playing time in 2004 and never looked back until leaving for the draft in ‘07. Over those three years, he averaged 4.8, 5.2 and 4.0 yards per carry, finishing second in career rushing yards to Shaun Alexander. After entering the NFL, he spent most of his rookie season on the Bucs practice squad, but due to a season ending injury to Cadillac Williams he saw playing time in a game late in the season. Though not getting much of an opportunity behind a few more experienced backs, Kenneth showed he was capable, and The Bucs kept him on during the offseason to further evaluate. Prior to the regular season, however, the Bucs released him, and Darby landed on the Falcons practice squad. History repeated itself though, and after an injury to Brian Leonard, the Rams signed Kenneth to their active roster, where he saw playing time behind Steven Jackson. Darby had averages of 4.4 and 5.6 yards per carry over ’08 and ’09 respectively, and he played in 40 games with the rams even starting 1, filling in for an injured Steven Jackson. In 2010 Darby’s avg. dropped to 3.15 and he wasn’t resigned for the 2011 season. He has failed to catch on anywhere else. Now you would figure that being a compensatory pick and The Bucs last one in the ’07 draft, they are scraping the bottom of the barrel in picking Kenneth Darby right? Well Pierre Thomas, Selvin Young and D.J. Ware were all undrafted once it was all said and done.
It looks like this draft class was seriously affected in 2009. Gaines Adams was traded, Arron Sears left, and Tanard Jackson saw his first suspension of what would become a trend of trouble off the field. At the same time, Piscatelli got his most starts as well as Quincy Black was thrust into his starting role, and even former Bucs benefited as Darby saw his highest rushing average of his career and Greg Peterson was a UFL champ. Either way, there were a few decisions we wish we could have back, but this draft class DID have an impact in Tampa (whether it was immediate but short, or part-time but lengthy). If everything works out though, two of the best defensive players in this draft (Goldson and Revis) will soon be in the Pewter and Red, and, for this season at least, that’s all that matters.