The Expansion Draft This took place on 30-31 March 1976 in which Seattle and Tampa Bay could select 39 players each, a maximum of three from the other NFL teams. Seattle won a coin toss to have the first overall selection with the Bucs taking the first pick in the college draft. The list of exposed players was released less than 24 hours before the draft and many players made available were either injured or tenuously connected with the NFL team involved. The order of selection has been lost in the passage of time but the Bucs’ first selection was TE Bob Moore. There were some building blocks and future stars in the Buccaneer selections - here are details of all 39.
Surname Forename Pos Team Notes Ball Larry LB DET Played 13 games in 1976 and had one interception as a back-up LB. Also played for the perfect 1972 Miami Dolphins. Blahak Joe CB MIN Started the first game and played the next one before being released. Was originally an 8th round pick of the Oilers in 1973. Bridges Bubba DT BAL Training camp cut. Had played three years in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos. Only played the first pre-season game. Broussard Bubba LB CHI Training camp cut. Former Viking draft pick signed by Chicago off the street for the purpose of the expansion draft. Carter Louis RB OAK Played the first three seasons and led the 1976 Bucs in rushing. Also threw the first TD pass in franchise history too. Colavito Steve LB PHI Training camp cut. Played four games for the Eagles in 1975. Did play the first three pre-season games for the Bucs. Cotney Mark S TEN One of the great successes of the expansion draft. Nine seasons with the Bucs, 92 starts and a real fan favourite for many years. Current Mike T DEN Started all 14 games at right tackle before being traded to Miami the following year. Played 169 games in his NFL career. Davis Anthony RB NYJ College standout who played in the CFL in 1976. Was then traded to Houston and his pro career was what might have been. Davis Ricky DB CIN Played 11 games on special teams and completed one pass on a fake punt for -7 yards to remain last in Buc passing stats. Douthitt Earl DB CHI Training camp cut. Had played nine games for the Bears in 1975 on special teams. Was released after first pre-season game. Elia Bruce LB MIA Traded to San Francisco as part of the Steve Spurrier trade the day after the expansion draft. Played three more years in SF. Ely Larry LB CHI Training camp cut. Played in the CFL and WFL before playing the 1975 NFL season with the Bears. Fest Howard G/T CIN Started every game at guard in 1976. Saw action in one game in 1977 before being injured and retired after that season. Gordon Ira G SD Veteran offensive lineman who was expected to be a starter but turned up to camp overweight and unfit and was released. Gunn Jimmy LB NYG Played 13 games with 11 starts in 1976 at both outside linebacker positions. 1976 was his only year with the Bucs. Hart Harold RB OAK Injured in the pre-season and missed the entire year. Was cut in camp in 1977. Once scored a 102-yard KR on MNF in 1974. Kearney Mike DB KC Was inactive for one game in 1976 and was then released. Was traded in June 1976 to New Orleans and then re-signed. Keeton Durwood DB NE Training camp cut. Played 12 games for New England in 1975 having been in the WFL in 1974 having not signed with St.Louis. Kendrick Vince RB ATL Played just one game before being released but his only carry was the very first one in franchise history. LaGrand Morris RB NO Played with both the Chiefs and Saints in 1975. Was released in the final roster cutdown. McGee Willie WR LA Former 5th round pick of the Chargers in 1973 who was part of the first franchise trade the day after the expansion draft. McKay John WR CLE Son of Coach McKay who had played in the WFL. Spent three seasons with the Bucs starting 30 games over that time. Moore Manfred RB SF Played in 10 games before being released and ended the year winning a Super Bowl ring with the Oakland Raiders. Moore Bob TE OAK Was the first player the Bucs selected in this draft and started 12 games over the next two seasons before being traded. Oliver Frank DB BUF Played the first four games on special teams before being released. Originally a 4th round 49ers pick in 1975 traded to Buffalo. Pear Dave DT BAL Started all but one game over the first three seasons and was the Bucs’ first Pro Bowler after the 197i8 season. Peterson Calvin LB DAL Started the first four games. Came back from injury against Denver but was hurt returning an interception that ended his year. Reavis Dave T PIT Started nearly 100 games at right tackle for the Bucs having been a defensive lineman with the Steelers. Rudolph Council DE STL Started every game for the first two seasons having been a 7th round pick of the Cardinals in 1972. Ryczek Dan C WAS Started 21 games across the first two seasons at center and even had a reception on a deflected pass in 1976. Smith Barry WR GB Played 13 games with one start in 1976 having been a former 1st round pick of Green Bay in 1973. Was then traded to Miami. Stone Ken S WAS Started every game in 1976 before being cut the following year. Went on to play four more NFL seasons with the Cardinals. Swift Doug LB MIA Did not even attend camp. Miami exposed him in the draft knowing he was quitting the game and did not tell anyone else. Thompson Dave OL NO Had been a 2nd round pick of the Lions in 1971 and a five-year NFL veteran who played pre-season games but was then cut. Toomay Pat DE BUF One of the most well-known members of the expansion Bucs. Started every game in 1976 and was an accomplished author. Ward John C MIN Started the first three games in franchise history. Played one further game before being released. Was a former 1st round pick. Williams Lawrence WR KC Training camp cut. Was with New England, New Orleans and Kansas City in 1975 but never actually appeared in a game. Yochum Dan T PHI Did not even attend camp. Was originally a 2nd round pick of the Eagles who never even played in the NFL.