3. Warrick Dunn
Is this not a face that every Bucs fan loves?
Warrick Dunn was a local boy, drafted with the 12th overall pick in the 1997 draft out of Florida State. In the spirit of honesty, I wasn’t sure about this guy. Being only 5-9 and 180 pounds, it was hard to be sure that he could stand up to the pounding that an NFL running back takes. Luckily for the Bucs, they disagreed, because he was able to stand up to it and then some.
As a rookie, Dunn made the Pro Bowl, the first of two appearance in a Bucs uniform. In that 1997 season, he ran the ball 224 times for 978 yards and four touchdowns. He also added 39 receptions for 462 yards and three scores. All through his career, Dunn was able to make plays both on the ground and through the air, making him a tough to defend back on every down.
Right away, Dunn showed the world that he belonged, eclipsing the 100 yard rushing mark three times in the first six games. That second season in 1998 was the first that saw Dunn go over 1,000 yards rushing as he posted 1,026 and two touchdowns, along with 44 receptions. The next year saw a drop off in the rushing totals, but saw him post a career high at the time of 64 receptions for 589 yards and two touchdowns.
In the year 2000, Dunn was selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time after he rushed for 1,133 yards and eight touchdowns. Unfortunately, that was the final time he rushed for over 1,000 yards in Tampa. After one more year where he spent time at fullback, Dunn spent the next five years with the Falcons. His final year was spent here in Tampa and he ran for 786 yards and two scores, adding 47 receptions, giving fans a final taste in 2008 of what once was.
His 4,986 rushing yards rank Warrick Dunn third on the team’s all-time list.