As the 2010 regular season winds down and we reflect on what has been a successful season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you have to wonder if perhaps the 2010 draft of the Buccaneers wasn’t the best in team history. It generally takes several seasons to analyze a draft, but this season, rookies from the 2010 made a major impact on the team this season. Each of this year’s draft selections made the active roster at some point and contributed. That is an amazing feat.
Sure, the Buccaneers have had successful drafts in the past. 1995 the team selected DT Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks. In 1996, there was RB Mike Alstott and Donnie Abraham. In 1997 the Buccaneers selected RB Warrick Dunn and Ronde Barber, but I don’t believe there has ever been a more complete draft where every player which was selected contributed to the team.
Let’s look back at the 2010 draft class.
Rd 1- DT Gerald McCoy. McCoy grew up idolizing former Buccaneers DT Warren Sapp and came into Tampa with high expectations. While he started out slow, McCoy was starting to figure the game out before his season ending injury which landed him on injured reserve.
Rd 2 (1)-DT Brian Price-Price showed a few flashes of why he was picked in the second round. Price also landed on IR after week 6, and figures to be a mainstay on the Buccaneers defensive line for years to come.
Rd 2 (2)-WR Arrelious Benn- Benn also struggled early on in the season, but showed what he is capable of doing on the field in week 14 with his first career 100 yard game against the Washington Redskins. Benn also landed on IR with a torn ACL. Hopefully he will be able to regain his speed when he returns.
Rd 3-CB Myron Lewis- Lewis struggled with injuries through training camp and part of the season. He has found his role in the Buccaneers defense increased due to injuries and figures to play a bigger role in 2011 with the club.
Rd 4- WR Mike Williams- Williams is proving to be one of the steals of the 2010 draft. It took little time for QB Josh Freeman to make Williams his favorite target and he responded by scoring a rookie record 10 touchdowns with a game remaining.
Rd 6- P Brett Bowden-The only serious disappointment for the Buccaneers. I did not like the selection of Bowden here, I wanted the Buccaneers to draft RB LeGarrette Blount (it worked out anyway) Bowden started the season with Tampa but was eventually released.
Rd 7 (1)- S Cody Grimm- Grimm made significant strides in the secondary before being lost to a season ending injury. Grimm figures to be an inetrgal part of the Buccaneers secondary for several seasons.
Rd 7 (2)- LB Dekoda Watson- The speedy linebacker has contributed significantly for the Buccaneers in his rookie season recording 26 tackles in limited play.
Rd 7 (3)- DE Erik Lorig- The athletic Stanford player was switched from defense to offense where he contributes as a blocking tight end.
These players have made a splash for the Buccaneers this season. It is a shame that so many of them suffered season ending injuries. These rookie will have all had a regular season under their belt in 2011, and when they are all healthy, it will be exciting to watch this team. As the years progress, we might just look back at 2010 and consider this the best draft class in Buccaneers team history.