The 1996 Buccaneer draft review
1
Regan
Upshaw
1
Marcus
Jones
2
Mike
Alstott
3
Donnie
Abraham
4
Jason
Odom
4
Eric
Austin
5
Jason
Maniecki
6
Nilo
Silvan
7
Reggie
Rusk

RdSelectionPos
1Regan UpshawDE
1(from Indianapolis) Marcus JonesDT
2(from Cleveland) Mike AlstottFB
2traded to San Diego
3Donnie AbrahamCB
4(from NY Jets) Jason OdomT
4Eric AustinS
5Jason ManieckiDT
6Nilo SilvanWR
7Reggie RuskCB
Click here to review the entire 1996 NFL draft
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.


1 - DE - Regan Upshaw - California - Average pick
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 - Good pick
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 - Excellent pick
One of the best in franchise history. Leads the franchise in touchdowns, had multiple Pro Bowl trips and has long been one of the most popular players that the Bucs have ever had as well as its most bruising runner too.

3 - CB - Donnie Abraham - East Tennessee State - Excellent pick
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 - Good pick
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 - Poor pick
Made the roster for all but two games in 1996.

5 - DT - Jason Maniecki - Wisconsin - OK pick
Played parts of two seasons in the pros but nothing more than a role player only.

6 - WR - Nilo Silvan - Tennessee - OK pick
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 - OK pick
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.

Summing up 1996
A well-above-average 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.