The Tampa Bay Buccaneers began play in 1976, and a few months before their first game they took part in their first NFL Draft. They spent the first-overall pick in the 1976 draft on Oklahoma defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, who would eventually find his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was the first of 439 draft picks the Buccaneers have made in the 46 years since (not counting supplemental drafts or the USFL dispersal draft in 1984).
That number is about to go up, as the 2023 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 27. At the moment, Tampa Bay owns nine picks in this year’s version of what is officially titled the “Player Selection Meeting,” though trades during the proceedings could push that number up or down a little bit. Here is where those picks currently fall:
· Round One, 19th Overall
· Round Two, 50th Overall
· Round Three, 82nd Overall
· Round Five, 153rd Overall
· Round Five, 175th Overall
· Round Six, 179th Overall
· Round Six, 181st Overall
· Round Six, 196th Over
· Round Seven, 252nd Overall
When the Buccaneers first joined the league, the draft was 17 rounds long, but it was cut to 12 the next year. It was then shortened to eight rounds in 1993 and then to its current seven-round format in 1994. Over the next week, leading right up to the beginning of this year’s draft, we are going to look at those first seven rounds, one by one, and examine the Buccaneers history of selections in each one. We start today with Round Seven. Below you will find the full list of Buccaneer seventh-rounders followed by some notes about that collection of players overall.
(Since this format excludes players taken after the seventh round in the 1976-1993 drafts, here for posterity are some of the picks in Rounds 8-17 that worked out well: RG George Ragsdale, 12th, 1976; WR Larry Mucker, 9th, 1977; DT David Logan, 12th, 1979; LB Andy Hawkins, 10th, 1980; WR Gerald Carter, 9th, 1980; RB/KR Michael Morton, 12th, 1982; K Donald Igwebuike, 8th, 1985; DT Reuben Davis, 9th, 1988; S Marty Carter, 8th, 1991; FB Anthony McDowell, 8th, 1992).
2022 | Pick No. 248 | Andre Anthony | OLB | LSU
2021 | Pick No. 259 | Grant Stuard | ILB | Houston
2021 | Pick No. 251 | Chris Wilcox | CB | BYU
2020 | Pick No. 245 | Raymond Calais | RB | Louisiana-Lafayette
2020 | Pick No. 241 | Chapelle Russell | ILB | Temple
2019 | Pick No. 215 | Terry Buckner | DT | Missouri
2017 | Pick No. 223 | Stevie Tu’ikolovatu | DT | USC
2015 | Pick No. 231 | Joey Iosefa | FB | Hawaii
2012 | Pick No. 233 | Drake Dunsmore | TE | Northwestern
2012 | Pick No. 212 | Michael Smith | RB | Utah State
2011 | Pick No. 238 | Daniel Hardy | TE | Idaho
2011 | Pick No. 222 | Anthony Gaitor | CB | Florida International
2010 | Pick No. 253 | Erik Lorig | DE | Stanford
2010 | Pick No. 217 | Dekoda Watson | LB | Florida State
2010 | Pick No. 210 | Cody Grimm | S | Virginia Tech
2009 | Pick No. 233 | Sammie Stroughter | WR | Oregon State
2009 | Pick No. 217 | E.J. Biggers | CB | Western Michigan
2008 | Pick No. 238 | Cory Boyd | RB | South Carolina
2007 | Pick No. 246 | Kenneth Darby | RB |Alabama
2007 | Pick No. 245 | Marcus Hamilton | CB | Virginia
2007 | Pick No. 214 | Chris Denman | T | Fresno State
2006 | Pick No. 244 | Tim Massaquoi | TE | Michigan
2006 | Pick No. 241 | Charles Bennett | DE | Clemson
2006 | Pick No. 235 | Justin Phinisee | CB | Oregon
2005 | Pick No. 253 | J.R. Russell | WR | Louisville
2005 | Pick No. 231 | Hamza Abdullah | S | Washington State
2005 | Pick No. 225 | Paris Warren | WR | Utah
2005 | Pick No. 221 | Rick Razzano | FB | Mississippi
2004 | Pick No. 252 | Lenny Williams | CB | Southern
2004 | Pick No. 228 | Casey Cramer | FB | Dartmouth
2004 | Pick No. 206 | Mark Jones | WR | Tennessee
2002 | Pick No. 255 | Zack Quaccia | C | Stanford
2002 | Pick No. 254 | Aaron Lockett | WR | Kansas State
2002 | Pick No. 251 | Tracey Wistrom | TE | Nebraska
2002 | Pick No. 233 | Tim Wansley | CB | Georgia
2001 | Pick No. 234 | Joe Tafoya | DE | Arizona
2001 | Pick No. 223 | Than Merrill | S | Yale
2001 | Pick No. 205 | Dauntaé Finger | TE | North Carolina
2000 | Pick No. 234 | Joe Hamilton | QB | Georgia Tech
1999 | Pick No. 240 | Darnell McDonald | WR | Kansas State
1999 | Pick No. 233 | Autry Denson | RB | Notre Dame
1999 | Pick No. 226 | Robert Hunt | G | Virginia
1998 | Pick No. 212 | Chance McCarty | DE | TCU
1997 | Pick No. 209 | Anthony DeGrate | DT | Stephen F. Austin
1996 | Pick No. 221 | Reggie Rusk | CB | Kentucky
1995 | Pick No. 227 | Jeffrey Rodgers | DE | Texas A&M-Kingsville
1995 | Pick No. 215 | Steve Ingram | G | Maryland
1994 | Pick No. 200 | Jim Pyne | C | Virginia Tech
1993 | Pick No. 176 | Tyree Davis | WR | Central Arkansas
1992 | Pick No. 184 | Ken Swilling | S | Georgia Tech
1991 | Pick No. 174 | Calvin Tiggle | LB | Georgia Tech
1990 | Pick No. 171 | Donnie Gardner | DE | Kentucky
1988 | Pick No. 167 | Kerry Goode | RB | Alabama
1987 | Pick No. 190 | Harry Swayne | T | Rutgers
1987 | Pick No. 169 | Curt Jarvis | DT | Alabama
1985 | Pick No. 176 | Mike Prior | S | Illinois State
1984 | Pick No. 169 | Jay Carroll | TE | Minnesota
1983 | Pick No. 185 | Weldon Ledbetter | RB | Oklahoma
1982 | Pick No. 185 | Tom Morris | S | Michigan State
1980 | Pick No. 186 | Jim Leonard | C | Santa Clara
1976 | Pick No. 183 | Parnell Dickinson | QB | Mississippi Valley State
– Of the 61 players the Buccaneers have drafted with a seventh-round pick so far, 31 went on to play at least one regular-season game with the team. Of those 31, 15 also started at least one game.
– Florida State LB Dekoda Watson has tallied the most games played for the Buccaneers among the team’s all-time seventh-round picks, with 60. Watson played four seasons with the team (and another six with six other clubs) and was a core special teams player during his tenure. Stanford’s Erik Lorig, who was Watson’s draft mate in 2010, is next on the list with 56 games played for Tampa Bay, which is tied with Santa Clara center Jim Leonard from the 1980 draft for second.
– Virginia Tech C Jim Pyne, a 1994 seventh-rounder, leads this group of 61 with 38 starts as a Buccaneer. Alabama DT Curt Jarvis is just behind with 36 starts after he was taken in the seventh round in 1987. Lorig is third with 25.
– Lorig is one of two Buccaneers seventh-rounders who eventually switched positions while playing in Tampa. Lorig was drafted as a defensive end and played that position as a rookie but switched to fullback the next season and ended up making 23 starts over the 2011-13 campaigns. Harry Swayne, who the Bucs nabbed out of Rutgers in the seventh round in 1987, played two seasons as a defensive end before switching to offensive tackle. Though he remained in a reserve role for the Bucs for the next two seasons, he would go on to a 15-year NFL career that included 110 starts on the offensive line for four other teams.
– Houston ILB Grant Stuard was “Mr. Irrelevant” in the 2021 draft as the 259th and final player selected. He played for one season for the Buccaneers on special teams before being traded to Indianapolis.
– The Buccaneers made five seventh-round selections over the 2009-10 drafts combined – Lorig, Watson, S Cody Grimm, CB E.J. Biggers and WR Sammie Stroughter – and all five of them not only made the active roster but spent multiple seasons with the team, saw action in at least 23 games and made at least four starts. Those five combined to play in 217 games and make 71 starts as Buccaneers.
– In stark contrast, the Buccaneers made a whopping 20 seventh-round picks from 2001 through 2007 and only seven of them played even a single game for Tampa Bay. Only one of those 20 – Georgia CB Tim Wansley, taken in the 2002 draft – started a single game for the Bucs, as he opened six of the 13 games in which he appeared. Only two of those 20, Wansley and Tennessee WR/KR Mark Jones (2004 draft) played 10 or more games for Tampa Bay.
– The last player the Bucs drafted in the seventh round who eventually started at least one game for the team was Florida International CB Anthony Gaitor, taken in the 2011 draft.
– Cody Grimm, the Virginia Tech safety drafted in the seventh round in 2010, is the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Russ Grimm, who played on Washington’s vaunted offensive line for 12 years. Grimm, who notched a pick-six in a narrow Bucs win in Cincinnati during his rookie season, was also on the Buccaneers’ coaching staff from 2019-21.
– The only quarterback ever drafted by the Buccaneers in the seventh round to make a start for the team was Mississippi Valley State’s Parnell Dickinson, drafted in 1976. Dickinson appeared in eight total games and became just the second quarterback ever to make a start for Tampa Bay after veteran Steve Spurrier opened the first five contests of the 1976 season. Georgia Tech QB Joe Hamilton, drafted in 2000, played in just one game and didn’t throw a pass, but he was on the Buccaneers’ 2002 Super Bowl-winning roster, on injured reserve.
– The most common position on which the Buccaneers have used a seventh-round pick is cornerback, with eight selections. Running back, wide receiver and defensive end have all had seven each. The Bucs have yet to take either a punter or a kicker in the seventh round.
– Alabama and Georgia Tech have tied for the most players selected by Tampa Bay in the seventh round, producing three each. Kansas State, Kentucky, Stanford, Virginia and Virginia Tech have produced two each.
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