The best player ever drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Ehrmann

Harry Swayne? Who is that?

The best player ever drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is Harry Swayne. No, not Lee Roy Selmon. No, not Warren Sapp. Not Derrick Brooks, nor John Lynch, nor Mike Alstott nor Warrick Dunn. Not even Steve Young, if you want to count the USFL draft, or Bo Jackson. Instead, the best player ever drafted by the Buccaneers was an offensive tackle who started just three games in four years for Tampa Bay.

Why? Super Bowls.

Harry Swayne was drafted out of Rutgers in the seventh round of the 1987 NFL draft. He stuck on the Bucs' roster as mostly a backup for four seasons, before leaving for San Diego in Plan B free agency. There, he became a regular starter and suddenly, he experienced success. The San Diego Chargers made it to the Super Bowl in 1994 with Swayne starting at left tackle, but they then lost to the San Francisco 49ers in a blowout.

That was just the start for Swayne, though, as he turned out to be pretty lucky in choosing his teams. He went to the Denver Broncos in 1997, spending most of the season on the bench. He played in the Super Bowl, though not as a starter, and watched his Broncos beat Brett Favre and Reggie White. That was Swayne's second Super Bowl and his first win. The very next year he would be a starter at right tackle and started in the ensuing Super Bowl, which the Broncos won over some outmatched Atlanta Falcons.

In 1999, Swayne moved to the Baltimore Ravens, where he spent two years. He started both seasons at right tackle and appeared in his final Super Bowl in 2000, as his Ravens beat the New York Giants in what was probably the ugliest Super Bowl ever to be played. He did a good enough job protecting Trent Dilfer, another former Buccaneer, to win the Super Bowl. Finally, Swayne moved to the Miami Dolphins for one season -- where he didn't make it to the Super Bowl.

Swayne played in four Super Bowls and won three of them, and no other Bucs draftee ever won as many according to -- although Russ Hochstein came close with the Patriots. By one standard, that makes Swayne the best player the Buccaneers ever drafted. Not by most sane standards, though.

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