All-Time Favorite Bucs First Round Pick

For this weekend’s Pewter Report Roundtable, the crew tackles one other robust query. This week’s immediate: who’s every workers member’s favourite first-round decide in Bucs historical past?

Scott Reynolds: Sapp Is My Favourite For A Multitude Of Causes

The Bucs franchise, which got here into the league in 1976, is coming into its forty sixth 12 months of existence. I’m coming into my twenty seventh 12 months of overlaying the Bucs, so I’ve seen greater than half of the staff’s first-round picks throughout that span. Whereas there have been some actual clunkers over practically 5 many years, there have been some absolute hits. Corridor of Famers Lee Roy Selmon, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks come to thoughts instantly for me. As do future Corridor of Famers Mike Evans and Tristan Wirfs. However my favourite first-round decide by Tampa Bay must be Sapp. Overlaying the mercurial Professional Bowl defensive sort out from 1995, which was first 12 months on the Bucs beat, to his departure after the 2003 season was wild.

Scott Reynolds, Bucs legend Warren Sapp and Mark Cook dinner

Sapp might go from humorous and charming to surly and imply right away throughout a single interview. He was a nasty ass who dominated the locker room with an iron fist. But Sapp was beloved by two fully completely different sort of coaches in Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden. Each appreciated Sapp’s hard-working, no-nonsense strategy and his demand for greatness – simply as a lot as his elite expertise as a defensive sort out. He held others accountable. Together with Hardy Nickerson, Sapp actually willed this franchise to develop into a winner. Beneath Sapp – with the assistance of others like Nickerson, Brooks, Ronde Barber, John Lynch and Mike Alstott – he remodeled the staff from the Yuccaneers to the Buccaneers.

Sapp and I butted heads a number of instances over what I wrote about him in Buccaneer Journal/Pewter Report. He tried to intimidate me a number of instances, which is his nature. However I held my floor and earned his respect. There was mutual respect between us because of this. We’re nonetheless associates to at the present time and can catch up and speak concerning the glory days, which is enjoyable. Sapp even helps me with scouting stories on D-line draft prospects annually. His persona was bigger than life – identical to his on-field play was. Sapp is not any angel. However as I’ve informed individuals earlier than, you’ll be able to depart him Monday by Saturday, however you’ll take him each Sunday. Sapp was a fully transformative participant for the franchise and a dominant defensive sort out with 77 profession sacks. That’s second all-time behind Selmon (78.5) in franchise historical past.

Matt Matera: Mike Evans Is The Best Offensive Participant, And Even Higher Off Of The Discipline

What can I say about Mike Evans that hasn’t already been stated? He’s the best offensive participant in franchise historical past. Evans was drafted seventh total in 2014 and has been nothing wanting a slam dunk. The Bucs didn’t have numerous profitable seasons till two years in the past, however individually Evans has performed a Corridor Of Fame profession.

Together with being a Tremendous Bowl champion, Evans holds the NFL file of most consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to begin a profession with eight. He additionally holds a number of franchise information together with most profession receiving yards (9,301), most receiving yards in a playoff sport (119) and most touchdowns with 76. On high of that, Evans has at all times confirmed to be a staff first man. He realized underneath the tutelage of the late Vincent Jackson and has been a incredible mentor to youthful receivers on the roster, together with Chris Godwin. Evans always restructures his contract so the Bucs can open up extra cap area to signal different free brokers. In all honesty, although, once I consider Mike Evans, I don’t even consider the participant on the sector. I consider the particular person he’s off of it. You gained’t discover one other one like Evans.

Alongside together with his spouse Ashli, the couple began the Evans Household Basis, which focuses on empowering the youth, taking a stand in opposition to home violence and awarding scholarships to college students.There are numerous tales of Evans donating cash out of the kindness of his coronary heart. Evans gave cash to a teammate that wasn’t going to make the roster after a hearth occurred by his residence. He donated $11,000 to a household whose father was killed and was simply awarded $4 in a lawsuit. One fan even recalled Evans shopping for Recent Kitchen for them and everybody within the retailer after taking an image collectively. Evans goes out of his approach to assist others with out ever in search of any type of consideration or publicity. For as nice of a participant he’s, he’s a fair higher particular person off of it. Merely put, we should always all try to be the individual that Mike Evans is.

Jon Ledyard: Mike Evans Reworked Bucs Offense, Franchise

The Bucs have drafted a ton of nice defensive gamers in franchise historical past, however offensive expertise has been rather a lot more durable to return by. Again in 2003, Tampa Bay gained their first Tremendous Bowl on the power of these defensive picks. In that period, nice offenses weren’t as frequent as they’re now. That’s why Mike Evans was such an necessary decide when the staff made it in 2014. The very best offensive participant in franchise historical past was chosen proper on the cusp of offensive explosion within the NFL.

Bucs WR Mike Evans

Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Evans has been always nice for the Bucs. Eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to start his profession is a jaw-dropping accomplishment. That’s by no means been performed earlier than by any participant in league historical past. And no extensive receiver has put extra factors on the board since 2014 both, with Evans scoring 75 touchdowns since being drafted. Davante Adams is the one different receiver to even hit 70! Outdoors of the quarterback place, Evans has been essentially the most optimistic transformative power within the Bucs changing into an important offensive staff over the previous a number of years.

There may be principally nothing to be disillusioned about in Mike Evans’ first spherical choice. He’s always obtainable, persistently beats high competitors, gives big-play and scoring worth in each sport and is a frontrunner on and off the sector. In some ways, Evans has led the transformation of the Bucs franchise from a league laughingstock filled with questionable characters, into one of many hardest, most excessive character organizations within the NFL. Not solely is Evans clearly the most effective offensive participant in franchise historical past by a rustic mile, however he has additionally been a franchise-altering participant. Only a few non-quarterbacks drafted prior to now ten years have had that type of all-around affect.

J.C. Allen: Tristan Wirfs, Nice Participant, Higher Particular person

The offensive line by no means will get sufficient love. Properly, I’m going to pour it on right here. I’ve been in Tampa Bay now for 3 years and my favourite first rounder in that timeframe is correct sort out Tristan Wirfs. Now I might return into the annals of historical past and title gamers like Warren Sapp or Derrick Brooks. And even latest draft picks like Mike Evans or Vita Vea. However since I’ve been watching intently and overlaying the staff, there’s nobody I’ve loved watching or overlaying greater than Wirfs.

Bucs RT Tristan Wirfs and RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn

Bucs RT Tristan Wirfs and RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

As a participant there’s no denying Wirfs’ expertise. Popping out of the NFL Scouting Mix, he placed on a clinic. His athleticism was off the charts, and it has translated onto the sector. Wirfs’ rookie season was dominant, permitting only one sack all season. All whereas going through a murderers’ row of cross rushers. Robbed of Professional Bowl and All-Professional issues, Wirfs made the league acknowledge him his sophomore season. Wirfs was named to the first-team All-Professional roster and was rightfully elected as a starter for the Professional Bowl. He allowed two sacks and posted an 84.6 total grade from PFF.

The place Wirfs actually shines is as an individual. He’s simply one of the likable gamers on the roster. He’s unintentionally humorous and unapologetically good. You’ll be able to inform by speaking to him how a lot he loves the sport of soccer. He provides nice detailed solutions to questions and has been a absolute pleasure to cowl. Whereas there are clearly extra adorned gamers within the franchises historical past, I count on Wirfs to achieve that degree together with his supreme play and I’m thrilled to be alongside for the experience.

Josh Queipo: Bucs LB Derrick Brooks Re-Outlined A Place

Bucs LB Derrick Brooks

Bucs Corridor of Fame LB Derrick Brooks – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

“Who’s your favourite participant? Mr. Derrick Brooks.” In case you adopted the NFL within the early aughts, you must keep in mind this iconic line. It was being sung by a gaggle of youngsters in a college bus for an NFL business. Brooks is my favourite participant and simply my favourite Bucs first spherical decide of all time. Together with Warren Sapp, who was taken earlier in that exact same draft, Brooks helped create the spine for Tony Dungy’s “Tampa Two” system that may assist vault the Bucs into NFL relevancy.

A number of the premier linebackers over the previous ten years comparable to Luke Kuechly, Lavonte David, Fred Warner and Bobby Wagner can all hint their enjoying types as elite protection linebackers to the position that Brooks pioneered. He was an 11-time Professional Bowler and 5-time first-team All-Professional. He capped off these accolades because the 2002 Defensive Participant of the Yr. Brooks was considerate, sensible and candid, each on the sector and off.

What units him aside for me is how Brooks represented himself off the sector, in addition to on it. Brooks has been a pillar of the Tampa Bay neighborhood because the day he was drafted. He’s the epitome of a first-class one who has invested numerous hours in serving to others. Mixed together with his position-defining play, Brooks simply stands as my favourite first spherical decide in staff historical past.


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