The 1983 Buccaneer draft review
2
Randy
Grimes
3
Jeremiah
Castille
4
Kelly
Thomas
5
Tony
Chickillo
6
Gene
Branton
6
Ken
Kaplan
7
Weldon
Ledbetter
8
John
Samuelson
9
Hasson
Arbubakrr
10
Darius
Durham
11
Mark
Witte
12
John
Higginbotham

RdSelectionPos
1traded to Chicago for 1982 second-round pick
2Randy GrimesC
3Jeremiah CastilleCB
4Kelly ThomasT
5Tony ChickilloNT
6(from San Francisco) Gene BrantonTE
6Ken KaplanT
7Weldon LedbetterRB
8John SamuelsonLB
9Hasson ArbubakrrDE
10Darius DurhamWR
11Mark WitteTE
12John HigginbothamNT
Click here to review the entire 1983 NFL draft
The Bucs drafted alternatively 18, 17, 16, 15 and 19th through the 12 rounds of this draft. The additional 6th round pick came in return for a 4th round pick the following year from the 49ers.

1 - traded to Chicago for 1982 second-round pick - terrible trade
The Bears took Willie Gault with this pick - he merely led their receiving corps through their glory years. We had Booker Reese. Nuff said.

2 - C - Randy Grimes - Baylor - Great pick
Succeeded Steve Wilson as the starting center in 1984 and held the role for the next eight seasons. A solid dependable pro and an excellent draft pick.

3 - CB - Jeremiah Castille - Alabama - Good pick
Even 30 years ago, the Bucs were picking good cornerbacks in the 3rd round (Abraham, Barber and Smith to follow). Castille started for several seasons for some terrible Buc defenses.

4 - T - Kelly Thomas - USC - Good pick
Two year starter on both ends of the offensive line but was nothing really special though.

5 - NT - Tony Chickillo - Miami - Wasted pick
Sat out the 1983 season having been injured in the third pre-season game that year. Did not make the 1984 team out of camp. Played all four seasons for the Hurricanes having suffered a crushed pelvis in his senior year at high school when pinned against a wall by a truck whilst working in construction. Saw brief playing time in San Diego in 1984 and 1985 and then wound up playing two games on offense for the New York Jets during the 1987 players' strike games.

6 - TE - Gene Branton - Texas Southern - Poor pick
The Bucs traded a 1984 4th round pick for the chance to take Branton. Whatever one of the scouts saw in college, never materialised in the pros. He was always injured and never caught a single pass in his Buccaneer career.

6 - T - Ken Kaplan - New Hampshire - OK pick
Spent a couple of seasons with the Bucs as a back-up lineman having missed his entire rookie year through injury.

7 - RB - Weldon Ledbetter - Oklahoma - Wasted pick
Never played a down for the Buccaneers. Gained 585 yards on 111 carries in his senior year as a Sooner but did not make it in the NFL. Never played football in the NFL at all.

8 - LB - John Samuelson - Azusa Pacific - Wasted pick
Never played a down for the Buccaneers. Played at a very small college and despite picking off nine passes in his final two years, did not have what it took to play in the pros. Never played football in the NFL at all.

9 - DE - Hasson Arbubakrr - Texas Tech - Average pick
Played one season for the Bucs mainly on special teams but did earn one start on the defensive line. Started for two seasons in college having transferred from junior college at a sophomore. Was originally a wide receiver in high school.

10 - WR - Darius Durham - San Diego State - Wasted pick
Never played a down for the Buccaneers. Had nearly 2,000 yards receiving in four seasons for the Aztecs but it was not enough to take his game to the next playing level. Never played football in the NFL at all.

11 - TE - Mark Witte - North Texas State - Good pick
Any time you get mileage from a late round pick you have to be happy, and Witte spent three seasons as the leader of the Buc special teams.

12 - NT - John Higginbotham - NE Oklahoma - Wasted pick
Never played a down for the Buccaneers. Played three years in college having transferred from Oklahoma after his freshman year. Did not make it through his rookie camp. Never played football in the NFL at all.

Summing up 1983
The grade has to go down as terrible because of the effects of the ghastly Reese selection from 1982. Grimes and Castille were good choices but pretty much the rest of the draft was a complete washout.