1. Bo Jackson, RB, Auburn (first overall pick, 1986)
The most bizarre story in NFL history, which leads to the biggest bust in Tampa Bay history, is when the Buccaneers decided to draft Bo Jackson first overall in the 1986 draft. Jackson was coming off of a Heisman winning campaign, while the Buccaneers were coming off of a 2-14 season; it seemed like the stars had aligned; only one problem: Jackson did not want to play in Tampa Bay.
In his ESPN 30 for 30 Documentary You Don’t Know Bo, Jackson recalls the events:
"“I told [Buccaneers’ owner] Hugh Culverhouse, ‘You draft me if you want… You’re going to waste a draft pick. I promise you that.’” (via ESPN)"
Jackson kept his word as he never played a down in a Buccaneers uniform, but thinks Culverhouse made the pick in order to sabotage his chances of playing baseball as he would be deemed ineligible if drafted into the NFL after he told the team he was looking to play baseball instead.
"“I think it was all a plot now, just to get me ineligible from baseball because they saw the season I was having and they thought they were going to lose me to baseball” (via ESPN)."
Well, the Buccaneers did not just lose him to baseball, but Jackson also went on to play four years in the NFL as well, but not with the Buccaneers. In his football career, Jackson tallied nearly 2,900 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Los Angeles Raiders, while the Buccaneers had nothing to show for the most valuable asset there is in the NFL, the first overall pick in the draft.