Winning the award for worst mistake in draft day history for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is quarterback Vinny Testaverde.
After Tampa Bay quarterback Steve Young finished the 1986 NFL season with a record of 2-12, eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions, the Buccaneers deemed Young a bust and traded him to the San Francisco 49ers for two draft picks. The Buccaneers then went on to use the first overall pick of the 1987 NFL Draft to draft Testaverde from the University of Miami, FL.
Testaverde played for the Hurricanes for four seasons finishing with a completion percentage of 61 percent, 6,058 passing yards, 48 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. Additionally, Testaverde would win many awards in 1986 with the most notable being the Heisman Trophy.
In retrospect when it comes to the quarterbacks, Testaverde was the best choice for a team looking for a quarterback with the only other recognizable names from that quarterback class being Jim Harbaugh (26th overall), Rich Gannon (98th overall) and Steve Beuerlien (110th overall).
When considering the draft as a whole the Tampa Bay missed the chance to upgrade their defense by drafting Rod Woodson. Woodson played 10 years for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and seven years between Baltimore, Oakland, and San Francisco , where he went to the Pro Bowl 11 times and was eventually elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
While Young's (3-16 starting record, 11 touchdowns and 21 interceptions) and Testaverde's (24-48 starting record, 77 touchdowns, 112 interceptions) careers were similar in Tampa Bay their careers took different paths after each left Tampa Bay.
Young would go onto San Francisco and spend 13 seasons with the 49ers compiling a regular season starting record of 91-33, 29,907 passing yards, 221 touchdowns and 86 interceptions. In post-season play Young would compile a passing percentage of 62 percent, 3,326 yards, 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and led the 49ers to a 49-26 win over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX where he also threw for a Super Bowl record six touchdowns.
Young won several awards over his career most notably 1992 AP MVP, 1994 AP MVP, and Super Bowl of XXIX. Additionally, Young went to the Pro Bowl seven times, was named a First-Team All-Pro three times, was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005 and had his number "8" retired by the San Francisco 49ers.
Testaverde would go on to play in the NFL for 15 more seasons with six different teams. His overall career saw him lead the league in interceptions four times and finish his career with a regular season starting record of 90-123-1, 46,223 passing yards, 275 touchdown passes and 267 interceptions (which is still fourth most all-time).
Testaverde would go to two Pro Bowls, but never won any major NFL awards, and never got a chance to play in a Super Bowl.
Tampa Bay really screwed this one up by being so quick to judge Young as a bust. While some might say that it was the atmosphere and coaches in San Francisco that turned Young around, I am sure Tampa Bay would have stuck with Young if they knew how disastrous Testaverde would turn out.
Tampa Bay has never really recovered from the Testaverde fiasco, as they won a Super Bowl title behind the play of their defense and are having serious questions about their current "franchise" quarterback.