The 1984 Buccaneer draft review
The Bucs drafted No.1 throughout the rounds of this draft. The Bucs gained three additional fourth round picks,
the first from the David Lewis trade back in 1982 with San Diego, the second again from San Diego from LB
Dewey Selmon. and the other from the Raiders for Charley Hannah. The Lewis pick was used in the deal to net
Steve DeBerg from the Denver Broncos. Their own 4th round pick was traded to San Francisco a year earlier for
a 1983 6th round selection on draft day. A 5th round pick was sent to Dallas for LB Danny Spradlin. The 1st
pick was of course traded to Cincinnati in 1983 for QB Jack Thompson.
DRAFT ANALYSIS - An absolutely appalling draft. The chance for the first overall pick was traded away,
Browner and Acorn were busts and not a single player was still on the roster five years later. Leeman Bennett
may have been a bad coach but he got no help from John McKay's final draft for the Buccaneers.
1 - traded to Cincinnati for QB Jack Thompson
The Bucs needed a quarterback bad after Doug Williams left. What they got was a bad quarterback. Thompson had been a bust with the Bengals
for four years and gleefully accepted the first-round pick the Bucs offered for him. The Bucs proceeded to go 2-14 under Thompson and Cincinnati
wound up with the first overall pick in the 1984 draft.
2 - LB - Keith Browner - USC
Browner had great pedigree in that his two elder brothers were both first round picks and good players and that he looked good at USC. But his
three years in Tampa were far short of that and he wound up playing in the Arena League.
3 - CB - Fred Acorn - Texas
Played one season in Tampa and was then cut the following season. He was part of the entire Texas Longhorn secondary that was drafted in the
first five rounds that year, one of whom, Craig Curry, also went on to play for the Buccaneers.
4 - RB - Micheal Gunter - Tulsa
Never played a down for the Buccaneers. Did rush 15 times for 12 yards in four late-season appearances for the Chiefs that year. The unusual
spelling of his first name is correct and not a misprint.
4 - T - Ron Heller - Penn State
A real solid hard-working tackle who would have been a fixture in Tampa if it hadn't been for Ray Perkins' pig-headedness. Heller went on to play
several more years in Miami and Philadelphia.
4 - traded to Denver for QB Steve DeBerg
DeBerg started for most of 1984 and led the Bucs to what remained their highest offensive ranking in their first 35 years. He was with the Bucs
through 1987 and was a lot better value than the first round pick that was given up for his predecessor Jack Thompson.
5 - traded to Dallas for LB Danny Spradlin
Never broke regularly into the starting line-up and remained the same sort of player he was in Dallas, a special teamer. Did rank second on the
team in special teams' tackles in both of his two seasons and did make two starts when the Bucs were decimated by injuries.
6 - LB - Chris Washington - Iowa State
Played five seasons in Tampa and was a starter for three of them. Always more a pass-rush specialist than a coverage guy but a really solid pick
in the middle of the draft.
7 - TE - Jay Carroll - Minnesota
Made the roster and played in every game as a rookie, albeit as the No.3 tight end behind Jimmie Giles and Jerry Bell. Was beaten out of the job
by Calvin Magee the following season and never played in the NFL again.
8 - DE - Fred Robinson - Miami
Never played a down for the Buccaneers. Played three seasons in the NFL, two in San Diego and one in Miami, recording 14.5 sacks in his 46
game NFL career. Had eight sacks in his senior year at Miami and helped them win the national title in the memorable Orange Bowl game v
9 - G - Rick Mallory - Washington
Worked his way into a starting role for two seasons but then retired from football in 1988 to run his own construction company. Missed his entire
rookie season through injury and now coaches offensive line at the University of Memphis.
10 - K - Jim Gallery - Minnesota
Never played a down for the Buccaneers. Did play for the Cardinals for a time in the NFL however and also saw action in 1989 with the Bengals
and two games in Minnesota the following year.
11 - QB - Blair Kiel - Notre Dame
Saw playing time only as a holder on kicks in the NFL. Made the team following a great pre-season and also served as the Bucs' back-up kicker
and punter that year. Was a friend of Jon Gruden in college as his father Jim Gruden was coaching at Notre Dame in the early 1980s.
12 - WR - Thad Jemison - Ohio State
Never played football in the NFL at all. Only had 43 career receptions in college, 27 of which came as a senior. Was drafted on the back of his
Fiesta Bowl performance v Pittsburgh when he caught eight passes for 131 yards and the winning touchdown.