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The Top 10 Draft Hits In Buccaneers History - #3 Warren Sapp

Jumping in at #3 is Warren Sapp, the man who changed a position and the motor of the Bucs' defense. Coming out of college, Sapp had the talent to go first overall in the 1995 NFL Draft. Rumors of weed and cocaine use kept him out of the top of the first round, even though at least the rumors of cocaine use seemed to be false. Sapp's draft-day fall was fortuitous for the Bucs and they snapped him up as soon as they could, at the 12th overall pick. There's some infamous footage of Jets fans chanting "WE WANT SAPP" at the draft event, but the Jets instead picking tight end Kyle Brady, who never amounted to much in the NFL. The drug rumors didn't come back to haunt Sapp in his professional career, although he was fined a number of times by the NFL for various incidents, none of them related to drugs. Sapp would play for the Buccaneers until 2004, when he left in free agency for the Raiders. While he wasn't as succesful in Oakland as he had been with the Bucs, he did still have a 10-sack year in 2006.

Sapp didn't start off quickly in his NFL career, notching 3 sacks in his first year. His second year went better as he got to the quarterback 9 times, but his real coming-out party was the first game of the 1997 season. Sapp would knock two future Hall of Famers out of the game that day. On the first drive of the game, he chased down former Buccaneer Steve Young after a scramble, and Hardy Nickerson's knee concussed Steve Young. He would be out for most of the game. Later in the first half he would tackle Jerry Rice in the backfield, and Rice tore up his knee on the play. Rice would be out for most of the season. These plays showed off Sapp's incredible athleticism: chasing down Jerry Rice and Steve Young from behind would be a tough task for most defenders, let alone a defensive tackle. 

Warren Sapp was a pass-rush specialist at defensive tackle and the prototype 3-technique. In his prime he was unstoppable, and teams had to double team and keep a back in pass protection to stop him - and he'd still get through at times. He had 77 sacks as a Buccaneer, went to 7 Pro Bowls, was selected a first-team All-Pro four times and a second-team All-pro twice. He was elected to both the 1990s and the 2000s All-Decade Team and won NFL Defensive Player of the Year for his 16.5 sacks - as a defensive tackle. Sapp was without a doubt one of the best defensive linemen to ever play the game, and certainly one of the best draft picks the Bucs ever made. 

10. Warrick Dunn

9. Doug Williams

8. Mike Alstott

7. James Wilder

6. Paul Gruber

5. Ronde Barber

4. John Lynch

3. Warren Sapp

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