Ranking every Tampa Bay Buccaneers first round draft pick since 2014

A power ranking of every first-round draft pick made during the Jason Licht era.
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Throughout Jason Licht's tenure as general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he has had some big hits and big misses in the NFL Draft. Licht has drafted multiple future Hall of Famers, several major busts, and many players who fall somewhere in between.

This list will explore every pick Jason Licht has made in the first round since taking over as Buccaneers GM back in 2014, starting with the most disappointing pick and finishing with his best draft pick.

Every Tampa Bay Buccaneers first round since 2014, ranked

9. Vernon Hargreaves, CB/Florida - 2016 NFL Draft - Round 1, Pick 11

Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves earns the honors of being Jason Licht's worst first-round draft selection. The team had a glaring hole at the cornerback position and looked to finally create stability in the secondary with the investment of a first-round draft pick in 2016.

He flashed some potential throughout his Bucs tenure, but his development quickly plateaued, and he became a constant liability in the secondary. There was a growing frustration with Hargreaves' lack of improvement in coverage, but the final straw was when head coach Bruce Arians noticed a lack of effort from Hargreaves and saw him avoid making a tackle against the Arizona Cardinals in a 2019 regular season matchup, causing Arians to bench Hargreaves and then release him immediately after the game.

Hargreaves is a particularly disappointing case because he was a local prospect from the University of Florida and became a very popular draft choice within the fanbase. He even wore custom "Tampa" cleats to his Pro Day before the draft, leading to speculation that he hoped to play for the Buccaneers. His status as a hometown talent, mixed with his fun-loving and expressive personality made him a generally likable player in the eyes of many fans.

Hargreaves was selected in the first round with the expectation of becoming a core piece for a secondary that had consistently been among the league's worst. Instead, the team had to invest in the position even heavier in the following years due to Hargreaves' lack of improvement. He had a lot of upside as a prospect, but his development ultimately fell short, and he stands out as the most disappointing selection made during Licht's tenure.

8. O.J. Howard, TE/Alabama - 2017 NFL Draft - Round 1, Pick 19

O.J. Howard was ranked as one of the top offensive prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft, and when he unexpectedly fell to the Bucs at pick 19, Jason Licht had to pounce. Many Bucs fans had mixed feelings about the pick, as it felt like a large chunk of the fanbase had their hearts set on Dalvin Cook, the explosive running back out of the local Florida State University.

Howard showed promise in his first two seasons, following up a respectable rookie campaign with an even better sophomore season where he caught 34 passes for 565 yards and five touchdowns in only ten games. His demise was largely due to injuries, having only one season in his career where he has played in every game.

After suffering a torn Achillies after playing only four games in the 2020 season and has never truly bounced back in terms of production.

He also never lived up to his freakish athletic profile and played a bit softer than his size and speed would indicate. Howard looked to be a legitimate downfield weapon at times, but he was inconsistent, and he was only average at best as a blocker. His inconsistencies paired with several significant injuries led to the end of Howard's tenure as a Buccaneer and made him one of Licht's most disappointing draft picks.