First franchise quarterback in Buccaneers history?


TAMPA, Fla. -- The Bucs could come out of this year's draft with something they've never had before.

They could come away with a franchise quarterback for the first time in team history. The Bucs hold the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft and Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Florida State's Jameis Winston are sitting there.

Take either one and the expectations will be high. But maybe Tampa Bay fans should temper their enthusiasm just a little bit.

Their history with highly-drafted quarterbacks isn't great. Let's take a look:

Doug Williams gets tons of credit for taking the team to the NFC Championship Game after the 1979 season. But the fact is Williams, who was taken with the 17th pick in the 1978 draft, wasn't really a franchise quarterback. He wasn't around long enough to qualify for that and his career record was only 38-42-1.

The guy that came in with the most attention was Vinny Testaverde. He was selected No. 1 overall (the last time the Bucs had the top pick) in 1987. Testaverde had good talent, but a sub-par supporting cast. His record with the Bucs was 90-123-1.

Trent Dilfer was supposed to be a franchise quarterback when he was selected No. 6 overall in 1994. Never a fan favorite and perhaps a benefactor of the talent around him, Dilfer actually had a winning record. He was 58-55.

Tampa Bay's last shot at a franchise quarterback was Josh Freeman, who was taken No. 17 in 2009. Freeman had tons of ability, but some intangibles obviously were missing. With Freeman, the Bucs were 24-36.

All that history shouldn't scare the Bucs away from Mariota and Winston. Instead, it should provide more motivation to get the pick right.