Editor’s note: This is the first article in a series that will give the NFL Draft history of the Buccaneers from 2003 to 2012, to get ready for the 2013 NFL Draft.
In the 2003 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had six selections beginning with a 2nd round pick at 64 overall. The Bucs were coming off the Super Bowl win and would have selected 32nd overall, but they acquired Jon Gruden from the Raiders for a myriad of picks, leaving them without this season’s first round selection.
Here is a look at who the Buccaneers selected in the 2003 draft, and a synopsis of how they did after being picked by the Bucs.
2nd Round (64th Overall) – Dewayne White – DE – Louisville
White lasted with the Buccaneers for just four seasons. During that time, he started 13 games and recorded 14 sacks. White became a valuable member of the team in his third season and it continued into his fourth. After four years in Tampa he departed for Detroit where he had mild success in three years (13 sacks). The highlights of White’s career were a blocked FG in 2005 in a game against the Falcons and a fumble recovery for a TD the next week vs. New Orleans. White most recently was spotted playing DE for the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL.
3rd Round (97 Overall) – Chris Simms – QB – Texas
How do I put this lightly? Chris Simms was bad. Coming off a fantastic college career many believed Simms was a good pick for the Buccaneers late in the 3rd round. His career in Tampa wound up seeing him go 7-9 as the starter. Simms did suffer an unusual injury in his final game in Tampa Bay. After a number of shots to the ribs, Simms had to have his spleen removed. Doctors said if Simms had waited another hour to go into surgery, he probably would not have lived. Simms’ time in Tampa ended in 2006 when he was unable to compete with Jeff Garcia due to complications from the spleen injury. Simms is currently on the New England Patriots staff, however no one is quite sure in what role. It’s the Patriots, what do you expect?
4th Round (130 Overall) – Lance Nimmo – OT – West Virginia
Nimmo never played a down with the Buccaneers. He’s currently a computer technology teacher at Sharpsville Area High School, in Sharpesville, Pennsylvania.
4th Round (133 Overall) – Austin King – C – Northwestern
King did not make the roster in 2003. He went on to make his NFL debut in 2004 with the Atlanta Falcons. King has been out of the league since 2007.
5th Round (168 Overall) – Sean Mahan – G/C – Notre Dame
Mahan goes down as the most successful selection in the Buccaneers 2003 draft. He started 56 games in his career including all 16 in the 2005 campaign in which Cadillac Williams won the Rookie of the Year award. Mahan was a Gruden favorite which is a big reason why he had two stints in Tampa Bay. In 2007 Mahan signed a big deal with the Steelers, but was later traded back to the Bucs for a 7th round pick (The Steelers selected A.Q. Shipley with that pick). Mahan fell out of favor (my kind way of saying he was bad at football) and was released in 2009. He’s been out of the league ever since.
6th Round (205 Overall) – Torrie Cox – CB/KR – Pittsburgh
Torrie Cox came in a close second for best pick in this draft. Cox spent the early part of his career injured on and off again, but ended up blossoming into a solid special teamer. The highlights of Cox’s career in Tampa were his pick-6 against the 49ers in 2004, and his 59 yard kick return against the Rams. Cox also became a good enough corner that he earned playing time in all but six games between 2003-2005 and was named a Pro-Bowl alternate in 2006. Cox was suspended for the first 4 games of the 2007 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy (a common problem among Buccaneer corners). He was hampered by the injury bug again and was eventually released for good in 2010.