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Former Buc Chidi Ahanotu.
Notable picks from the fifth round on:
DT Chidi Ahanotu, No. 145 overall in 1993; 109 starts over nine seasons; his 34.5 sacks are fifth-most in team history.
G Ian Beckles, No. 114 overall in 1990; 81 starts over seven seasons
DT Santana Dotson, No. 132 overall in 1992; 36 starts and 23 sacks over four seasons.
*S Jermaine Phillips, No. 157 overall in 2002; 74 starts and 11 INTs over eight seasons.
DT David Logan, No. 307 overall in 1979; his 39 sacks are fourth-most in team. history, while his 624 tackles are 10th-most; played eight seasons in Tampa Bay.
WR Gerald Carter, No. 240 overall in 1980; his 239 receptions are 10th-most in team history.
*Denotes member of 2002 Super Bowl championship team
By looking back at the draft classes of the last 40 years, one thing jumps out: the lack of quality mid-round picks over the last decade. Of the 23 players listed, only four were drafted after 2000.
So, what does that mean?
Well, for starters it explains why the Bucs have struggled as much as they have over the last few seasons. Without the quality depth needed to succeed, the Bucs have been dead in the water, so to speak.
Compare that to the 14 players listed who were drafted between 1990 and 1999. Is it any surprise then that the Bucs began to turnaround their franchise when they started drafting better?
The results speak for themselves.
All stats and records used are courtesy of Buccaneers.com. Draft year and positions courtesy of NFL.com.
You can also reach J.J. by e-mail at BRJJRodriguez@gmail.com