The Bucs’ 10 Best Draft Picks: #8 – Paul Gruber

Gruber actually appeared at #7 on my initial list, but due to a certain player's triumphant return to the Bucs, Paul was bumped down a spot.

8. Paul Gruber – T – 1988 – 1st Round (4th Overall)

Paul Gruber was drafted out of Wisconsin to help what for years was the Bucs’ awful offensive line. Although it wasn’t until his career started to wind down that the team experienced success, he more than lived up to his potential.

For 12 seasons from 1988 to 1999, Gruber only missed 9 games. He started every game he played in (183 – at the time a Bucs' record) and over his first 5 years in the league didn’t miss a single offensive snap.

During the Bucs long tenure as one of the league’s least successful franchises, Gruber was consistently regarded as Tampa Bay’s best player. He was never fully recognized outside of the area because of the team’s poor record, but was one of the best offensive tackles of his time.

9. James Wilder – RB – 1981 – 2nd Round (34th Overall)
10. Doug Williams – QB – 1979 – 1st Round (17th Overall)

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