Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
The 2008 draft marks the last time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were selecting from a playoff position in the draft. Tampa Bay was coming off a 9-7 season in which they won the NFC South. Selection number 20 was the team’s first selection and they had one pick per round, totaling seven picks overall.
1st Round (20th overall) – Aqib Talib – CB – Kansas
Where do we start on this gentleman? After a career of issues at the University of Kansas, Talib’s first real impact with the Buccaneers organization was at the 2008 NFL Rookie Symposium. Talib was reportedly in a fist fight with fellow Buccaneer 7th round selection Cory Boyd. Talib went on to have multiple arrests off the field leading to multiple suspensions. I mention all of this first because aside from his idiocy off the field, Talib turned himself into an above average player on the field. Quickly ascending to the Bucs top corner, Talib recorded 18 interceptions for the Buccaneers and became the go to guy against opponents’ top receivers. All in all, Talib had a chance to have a huge impact in Tampa Bay, but he couldn’t keep himself from screwing it up at every turn. So now he’s Bill Belichick’s problem, and Bucs fans are crying good riddance.
2nd Round (58th overall) – Dexter Jackson – WR – Appalachian State
Dexter Jackson came to Tampa as the fastest wide receiver from the Combine. Most well known for his role in the Appalachian State monumental upset of #5 Michigan Wolverines. Jackson never caught a pass for the Buccaneers. Jackson was signed to a four year deal but was waived by the Bucs just a year later. Dexter most recently surfaced with the New York Jets prior to last season but did not make the 53 man roster.
3rd Round (83rd overall) – Jeremy Zuttah – G – Rutgers
Zuttah made an instant impact with the Buccaneers starting at guard in week one of 2008. He’s started in 60 games of the 74 that he’s played in since becoming a Buccaneer. Being a Rutgers alumn, he’s instantly become a leader under the Schiano regime. Zuttah has been a consummate pro with the Bucs being one of the most reliable linemen the team has. He’s been moved all over that line due to injuries to others and has fit right in and preformed week in and week out. Zuttah is still a member of the organization and is expected to be in the starting lineup on opening day this season.
4th Round (115th overall) – Dre Moore – DT – Maryland
Dre Moore was one of the unfortunate draft picks to not make the team out of training camp, however he was signed to the Buccaneer practice squad just days after being waived. He stuck around for a while before finally making his NFL debut in week ten of the 09 season. Moore made a total of five tackles in his career all with the Buccaneers in 2009. He was most recently spotted on the Jaguars’ practice squad in 2010.
5th Round (160th overall) – Josh Johnson – QB – San Diego
Josh Johnson was seemingly selected to be a career backup in Tampa Bay. Johnson backed up Byron Leftwich before he got his first chance in week three of the 2009 season. Johnson was never really able to blossom into a possible starter in Tampa but most believed he was a formidable backup. His career stats are underwhelming throwing just five TD’s in his 27 games played. He also threw ten picks while racking up a dismal 57.7 career QB rating. Johnson has since jumped around the league including stints with the 49ers, Browns, and he’s currently with the Bengals.
6th Round (217th overall) – Geno Hayes – LB – Florida State
Hayes always appeared as if he had the physical tools be be successful in the NFL, but never really stuck while in Tampa Bay. His best contributions usually came on special teams, but he did become a permanent member of the linebacker rotation from 2009-2011. Geno scored a TD on an interception return against the Cardinals in 2010. He racked up a total of 207 solo tackles while with the Bucs while collecting a total of four interceptions. Hayes was sent packing at the end of the 2011 season. He landed in Chicago where he had a minimal impact on their strong defense in 2012. He’s now competing for a position with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
7th Round (238th overall) – Cory Boyd – RB – South Carolina
Getting punched by Aqib Talib was how we got to first meet Cory Boyd, and it’s also really the only time he ever found his way into the Tampa Bay news cycle. Boyd was injured early in his professional career landing on IR before being released midway through the 2008 season. Boyd has bounced around professional football, but his most significant contributions came in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts. He was named a CFL All-Star after rushing for more than 1,300 yards.