The 1996 Buccaneer draft review
Throughout the rounds of this draft, the Bucs drafted alternately 12th, 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th and 13th. The additional 1st round pick came from
the Indianapolis Colts in return for QB Craig Erickson. The extra 4th round pick came from the New York Jets for DT Marc Spindler and WR
Charles Wilson. The Bucs traded their original 2nd round pick to San Diego in return for a No.1 the following year, but gained a 2nd round
pick from the Cleveland Browns in return for TE Harold Bishop.
DRAFT ANALYSIS - A great return with the tremendous selections of Alstott and Abraham, lynchpins of the Buccaneer revival under Tony Dungy. Only Regan Upshaw could be considered anything
below average from the top five picks and the influence of Rich McKay and Jerry Angelo from the front office could be seen all over this draft. GRADE: A
Click here to review every pick made in the 1996 NFL draft
1 - DE - Regan Upshaw - California
DId OK for the Bucs but nothing truly spectacular as Tony Dungy built his first great defensive line. Was overshadowed by both Warren Sapp and Chidi Ahanotu throughout his Tampa Bay days and wound up finding a home with
the Raiders for several seasons.
1 - DT - Marcus Jones - North Carolina
Bounced back from a shaky early couple of seasons to post a 13-sack season in 2000, one of the best in Buc history. Moved from his favoured left end position when Simeon Rice signed with the Bucs and never regained his
earlier abilities. Was waived from the injured reserve list in 2002.
2 - FB - Mike Alstott - Purdue
Spent 12 amazing seasons in Tampa Bay making numerous highlight film plays with his battering ram style of play. Was always a massive fan favourite and was inducted into the Ring of Honor in 2015. Was the leading
touchdown scorer in Buc franchise history when he retired and remains the second leading rusher. Six-times a Pro Bowler, a record for a Buccaneer offensive player. The signature commentary call of Gene Deckerhoff, "Alsott up
the gut touchdown Tampa Bay" is legendary in franchise history.
3 - CB - Donnie Abraham - East Tennessee State
A five-year starter and Pro Bowler at cornerback who was only released for salary cap reasons. Wound up starting thereafter for the New York Jets but will always be viewed as one of the best cornerbacks in franchise history and
remains the all-time franchise leader in interceptions.
4 - T - Jason Odom - Florida
Did an adequate job at right tackle for nearly three seasons before a back injury forced his ultimate retirement from the game.
4 - S - Eric Austin - Jackson State
Made the roster for all but two games in 1996.
5 - DT - Jason Maniecki - Wisconsin
Played parts of two seasons in the pros but nothing more than a role player only.
6 - WR - Nilo Silvan - Tennessee
Had a storming pre-season as a rookie returning two kicks for scores but never proved to be anything more than a marginal returner in the pro game.
7 - CB - Reggie Rusk - Kentucky
Made the roster but only played in three more games than Eric Austin did. Did have the dubious honour of being cut from an NFL Europe camp when allocated by the Bucs to the Scottish Claymores.