Buccaneer Flashback: 6th Best Draft Pick in Tampa Bay History - Paul Gruber

As we steamroll toward the 2012 NFL draft, we take a brief look back into the annals of Buccaneer history to provide you the best and worst of the previous Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafts. These opinions are of the article's author and not intended to represent the consensus opinion of all the staff of Buc Nation.

List: Top Ten Buccaneer Draft Picks of All-Time

Previous Selections:

10. Mark Carrier, WR, 3rd round, pick 1, 1987

9. Warrick Dunn, RB, 1st round, pick 12, 1997

8. James Wilder, RB, 2nd round, pick 6, 1981

7. Mike Alstott, FB, 2nd round, pick 5, 1996

Player: Paul Gruber

Position: LT

Ranking: 6th

Draft: 1st round, pick 4, 1988

Pro Bowl: None

Few players were victimized by the anonymity of playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the decade of disgust than Paul Gruber. Had he played on any other franchise in the league, the rock of the Bucs offensive line for over a decade would have gone to a number of Pro Bowls and likely had been considered a Hall of Fame candidate.

He was one of the few high draft picks during this period to pan out for the Bucs.

Unfortunately for him, he played in the wasteland that was the Buccaneers at that time and didn't taste an appearance in the playoffs until he was nearing the end of his fantastic NFL career.

A dependable rock on the QB's blind side, Gruber played 5 years without missing a single snap. He would miss his final opportunity to reach the Super Bowl in 1999, breaking his leg in a game against Chicago and effectively ending his NFL career.

The Bucs would go on to win the Super Bowl three years later.

While the NFL may have turned a blind eye to his NFL career, we recognize the great Paul Gruber for what he was - the greatest offensive lineman in Buccaneer history and number 6 in our Top Ten Buccaneer Draft Picks of All-Time list .

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