The 1988 Buccaneer draft review
1
Paul
Gruber
2
Lars
Tate
4
Robert
Goff
4
John
Bruhin
4
Monte
Robbins
5
William
Howard
6
Shawn
Lee
7
Kerry
Goode
8
Anthony
Simpson
9
Reuben
Davis
11
Frank
Pillow
12
Victor
Jones

RdSelectionPos
1Paul GruberT
2to Philadelphia
2to San Francisco
2(from San Francisco) Lars TateRB
3exercised in supplemental draft for Dan Sileo
4(from Philadelphia) Robert GoffDT
4(from Kansas City) John BruhinG
4traded to New England
4(from San Francisco) Monte RobbinsP
5William HowardRB
6Shawn LeeDT
6traded to Atlanta for RB Cliff Austin
7Kerry GoodeRB
8Anthony SimpsonRB
9Reuben DavisDT
10traded to Pittsburgh for S Rick Woods
11Frank PillowWR
12Victor JonesLB
Click here to review the entire 1988 NFL draft
The Bucs selected 4th in the first round in 1988 and then subsequent round saw them draft 3rd, 2nd, 5th and 4th through to the end of the process. The Bucs swopped 2nd round picks with Philadelphia and gained an additional 4th rounder in the process. They then swopped that 2nd round pick with San Francisco for another additional 4th rounder. The gained 4th, 6th and 8th round picks from Kansas City as part of the Steve DeBerg/Mark Robinson trade. Their own 4th round pick had been traded to New England as part of a 1987 draft day deal.

1 - T - Paul Gruber - Wisconsin - Excellent pick
Anchored the Buccaneer line for over a decade and would have had Pro Bowl honours if the Bucs had been more successful during his career. One of the finest players ever to appear for the franchise and one of the best draft picks ever too.

2 - RB - Lars Tate - Georgia - Good pick
Had two good seasons as the starting tail back and it was a real surprise when he was cut before the 1990 season even in spite of the arrival of Gary Anderson in a trade with the Chargers. One of three backs drafted from SEC colleges in 1988, all well know to Perkins from his Alabama coaching days.

3 - exercised in 1987 supplemental draft for NT Dan Sileo, Miami - Bad pick
Appeared in a handful of games in 1987 and didn't even make the 1988 squad out of camp. Went on to become a pretty dire sports radio show host in Florida.

4 - DT - Robert Goff - Auburn - Good pick
Played two solid seasons in Tampa and proved to be a good selection for a middle round pick.

4 - G - John Bruhin - Tennessee - Good pick
Another solid selection - nothing special but good mileage from a 4th round choice.

4 - P - Monte Robbins - Michigan - Wasted pick
Never played a down for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. How can you draft a punter so high and then him not even get though training camp? Never played football in the NFL at all. Had been a four-year player at Michigan and was the school record holder in punt average when he was drafted.

5 - RB - William Howard - Tennessee - Good pick
Solid bruising back from an SEC college. Started in conjunction with Tate and was surprisingly cut at the same time as him in August 1990. Did have a couple of 100-yard games during the second half of his rookie season.

6 - DT - Shawn Lee - North Alabama - OK pick
Provided depth on the defensive line for two seasons in Tampa and kept a job in the NFL for near enough a decade overall.

6 - traded to Pittsburgh for RB Cliff Austin - OK trade
Had looked to be a good trade early in 1987 but got hurt after the players' strike was over and never played in the NFL again.

7 - RB - Kerry Goode - Alabama - OK pick
Showed flashes of talent as a rookie but got hurt and left through Plan B free agency.

8 - RB - Anthony Simpson - East Carolina - Wasted pick
Never played a down for the Buccaneers. Never played football in the NFL at all. Had led East Carolina in rushing as both a junior and senior and had been regarded as a good run blocking prospect too.

9 - DT - Reuben Davis - North Carolina - Excellent pick
Anytime a late round selection makes the team it becomes a good selection, but someone who becomes a three-year starter on the defensive line, well kudos to the person who decided to draft Davis.

10 - traded to Pittsburgh for S Rick Woods - OK trade
Played a handful of games for the 1987 squad under Ray Perkins but was not even in camp the following season. Was a five-year veteran from his days in Pittsburgh but was not cut out for a starting role in either city.

11 - WR - Frank Pillow - Tennessee State - Good pick
Made the team and played two seasons as an extra receiver in passing situations.

12 - LB - Victor Jones - Virginia Tech - Good pick
Made the team for special teams' abilities and went on to play for a good few more seasons in Detroit after leaving the Bucs. Was always seen as a special teamer there as well but was another Bucs' 12th round selection who did more than just become a trivia answer item.

Summing up 1988
Two busts in Sileo and Robbins drag the overall grade down here. Gruber was one of the best picks ever, and the Bucs managed to re-stock their entire backfield in one draft as well as good selections in Lee, Goff and Bruhin. Nothing spectacular but overall, a pass mark would be fair for this draft.