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The Top 10 Draft Hits In Buccaneers History - #2 Derrick Brooks

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With Warren Sapp the third best draft pick, Derrick Brooks becomes the second best. Both these guys were drafted in 1995, which makes that Buccaneers draft the best draft they've ever had, and one of the best drafts any organization has ever had. It's not every day you find two (future) Hall of Famers in one draft. While Warren Sapp's talent was never in dispute coming into the draft, the same couldn't be said for Derrick Brooks. He was seen as undersized coming out of Florida State, and some teams talked to him before the draft about moving to safety. Brooks said he would only play linebacker, and the Bucs saw a steal there. And when a year later Tony Dungy got to Tampa, he knew exactly what to do with Brooks: build a defense around him. 

Derrick Brooks was the first weakside linebacker around whom a defense was built. The Tampa Two put Brooks in position to make plays. He was the motor that made the defense go, he would roam sideline to sideline, knowing where to go because of instincts and hours and hours of painstaking film study. Brooks didn't miss a single game as a Buccaneer, and was the one constant throughout every year of Tampa Two defense. 

Derrick Brooks was a Buccaneer for 13 years, making 11 Pro Bowls, being named first-team All-Pro 6 times and second-team All-Pro 3 times. He is on the 2000s All-Decade Team. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2002, the Bucs' Super Bowl year. That was the year he scored five defensive touchdowns, a record for a linebacker. Brooks started 208 consecutive games for the Buccaneers, a stunning record, and tied for the 8th longest streak in NFL history with Peyton Manning. Brooks was named Co-Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2000, "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year in 2003 and Bart Starr Man of the Year in that same year. Derrick Brooks is a great person and was a great player, one of the best Buccaneers ever to play the game. 

10. Warrick Dunn

9. Doug Williams

8. Mike Alstott

7. James Wilder

6. Paul Gruber

5. Ronde Barber

4. John Lynch

3. Warren Sapp

2. Derrick Brooks


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