Active players are not included in this list.
Williams was the first Black Quarterback drafted in the first round of the NFL draft and would rank much higher on this list if Bucs owner High Culverhouse would have just paid him. The Bucs won only two games in their first two seasons, but they gained almost instant respectability when Williams arrived and over William’s 5 years the Bucs would make the playoffs 3 times.
Gruber spent his entire career 1988-98 in Tampa and was a consistently great player who never got his just due. It’s a crime he never made a Pro Bowl, yet he was an All-Pro in 1991 and 1992. He could have signed for more money with other teams but stayed in Tampa.
Nickerson signed as a free agent after starting his career in Pittsburgh and immediately became a leader on Tony Dungy’s great defensive teams.
Five-time All-Pro and elected to five Pro Bowls, he was known for his 47 career interceptions and 28 sacks. He made the biggest play in Buccaneers’ history with the pick-six that put the Bucs in the Super Bowl, that play alone should earn anybody a spot in the top 10.
Very few Bucs players have attained the popularity of Alstott and with good reason, as his 71 touchdowns are #1 in Bucs history and nobody is even close. Watch the film and you will see how punishing as a runner Alstott was he set the tone, especially on a team that was known as a hard-nosed smash-mouth defensive team. Alstott offensively was a perfect complement to that defensive mindset.
Lynch was elected to nine Pro Bowls and another two-time All-Pro choice. To say Lynch was a hard-hitting safety would be a huge understatement. But, he wasn’t just a head knocker he was smart and almost always in a position to make the play.
The 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Sapp’s 2000 team record 16.5 sacks were unequaled until Shaq Barrett broke it last season. No doubt he was as dominant as any defensive lineman in pro football from 1997 to 2003. Sapp was a six-time All-Pro and made the NFL’s All-Decades teams in the 1990s and 2000s.
2)Lee Roy Selmon
Selmon was the first Buccaneer draft pick and first Buccaneer Hall of Famer. He was also the 1979 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Six Pro Bowls and even has an expressway named after him. I think it is safe to say that Selmon was the first great Bucs player and in my opinion, he is still THE most important player in Bucs history.
Nine-time All-Pro, 11 time Pro Bowler, and the 2002 NFL Defensive Player of the year. Brooks scored four touchdowns in that season including a pick-six in Super Bowl XXXVII. Brooks was a first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the greatest Linebackers to ever play the game.