T Paul Gruber didn't miss a single offensive snap at left tackle during his first five seasons
Some football evaluators consider the position of offensive tackle almost as important as the quarterback, and it's certainly telling that the second player drafted in April – after a quarterback went first, naturally – was hot tackle prospect Robert Gallery.
Gallery may be in Oakland for awhile if he lives up to his advanced billing. A team that hits on a tackle in the first round of the draft often finds a way to keep that man around, a la Orlando Pace in St. Louis, Jonathan Ogden in Baltimore or Lincoln Kennedy in Oakland.
Tampa Bay had such a man with Paul Gruber, who went sixth overall in 1988 and went on to play 12 seasons and more games as a Buccaneer than any other player (admittedly, half of Gruber's career was played before free agency). They had less luck with Charles McRae fourth overall in 1991.
But quality tackles don't have to arrive in the first round. The list of players who have been nominated for the voting at that position for the All-Time Tampa Bay Buccaneers team bring rather diverse backgrounds. One was drafted as a defensive lineman. Another came in the franchise's first player haul, the veteran allocation draft in 1976. There's several fourth-rounders and another man who simply walked into One Buccaneer Place and asked for a workout.
So who will be protecting the quarterback on the Bucs' All-Time Team from the league's edge rushers? That's for you to decide using the poll to the right. As our series to select the Greatest Bucs continues, we give you seven nominees at the offensive tackle position and ask you to choose two. Review the players' Buccaneer careers below and then help us determine who will get the next two spots on the All-Time Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team.
Your vote will be tabulated with the rest, and the results will be stored for future release. Once you've had a chance to vote at each position over the coming weeks, the entire team of the Greatest Bucs Ever will be unveiled at the approach of the 2004 season.
All-Time Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team: Nominated Offensive Tackles
The nominations are presented in alphabetical order. Only a players' accomplishments with the Buccaneers are considered. The top two vote-getters will be named to the team regardless of whether they played primarily left or right tackle.