The Buccaneer offensive line was one of the positions on this team that needed an upgrade.
The Bucs did upgrade drafting offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs from Iowa with the 13th pick in the first round of this years NFL draft.
The Bucs just recently resigned tackle Josh Wells to a one year contract to add depth to the tackle position.
The Bucs had previously signed tackle Joe Haeg to a one year contract during the free agency period in March. Haeg played with the Indianapolis Colts last season.
With the drafting of Wirfs, I thought it would be interesting to see how many offensive tackles have been selected in the first round by the Bucs since 1976.
Paul Grubber from Wisconsin was the first offensive tackle drafted by the Bucs in the first round.
Gruber was drafted in 1988 and had a great career in Tampa.
Unfortunately for Gruber, he came to the Bucs during one of the worst era’s in Buccaneer football.
Gruber was a part of the Buccaneer teams in the late 80’s and 90’s that had seven seasons of ten or more losses.
Gruber was an iron man though, as he never missed a game until late in the 99 season when a broken league caused him to miss the postseason.
Gruber was an All-Pro selection in 91, and 92 and is a member of the Bucs Ring of Honor.
Charles McRae was taken in the first round of the 1991 draft and was the first offensive player off the board that year.
McRae played five seasons in Tampa from 91-95, and finished his career with the Raiders in 1996.
Kenyatta Walker, a Florida Gator was taken in the first round of the 2001 draft.
Walker was the 14th player off the board and played six seasons with the Bucs from 2001-2006.
Walker played his rookie season at left tackle before switching to right tackle his second season.
He started 73/75 games in Tampa, but was released in March of 2007.
Walker would get invited to the Carolina Panthers training camp the next season, but would not make the final roster and never played in the NFL again.
In 2007, the Bucs drafted Davin Joseph who was listed as a guard/tackle, but played mostly at guard for the Buccaneers.
The Bucs have had three offensive tackles taken recently that have contributed.
In 2014 Kevin Pamphile was taken in the fifth round out of Purdue and started 33 gamed for the Bucs from 2014-2017.
Pamphile played most recently in the NFL in 2018 with the Tennessee Titans.
Caleb Benenoch was taken in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. After starting 21/34 games his first four years in Tampa, Benenoch played in just one game during the 2019 season.
He is now on the Detroit Lions roster.
Donovan Smith was taken in the second round out of Penn State in the 2015 draft.
Smith has been very durable missing one game in his Buccaneer career playing in 79 of a possible 80 games.
Smith signed a three year 41.2 million dollar contract last off-season.