Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Top 5 running backs in Buccaneers’ history

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Warrick Dunn #28 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /

Number 3: Warrick Dunn

At number three on the list is the running back that was selected by the Buccaneers at 12th overall in the 1997 NFL Draft, Warrick Dunn. It was almost destined for Dunn to not only be a Buccaneer but to also be one of the greatest to have donned the uniform.

Dunn played his college ball at Florida State University, and it was there where teams began to fall in love with his style of play. While other teams wanted him, it was the hometown team that selected him with their first-round pick.

It was hard to have Dunn this high on the list, simply because he played some of his best years with the Buccaneers’ division rival, the Atlanta Falcons. As hard as it was, he deserves to be on this list, as some of Dunn’s best years were with the Buccaneers.

Dunn was one of the best running backs to have played in the modern NFL. With the league going more quarterback heavy, it’s difficult for a running back to be the leader of an offense, but that is exactly what Dunn did over his 12-year career.

In his rookie season, Dunn played in all 16 games while starting in ten of them. He rushed for 978 yards, and four touchdowns, good enough to make the Pro Bowl. To go along with his ground attack, Dunn also added 462 receiving yards and an additional three touchdowns through the air.

While his sophomore season was better in terms of rushing yards, he didn’t quite have the same success in his amount of touchdowns or receiving yards as he had enjoyed as a rookie. Dunn did rush for 1,026 yards, but he only had two rushing touchdowns. He also only had 344 receiving yards and no receiving touchdowns.

It was his fourth season where things started to pick up for Dunn. He rushed for 1,133 yards and eight touchdowns while adding an additional 422 yards and a touchdown through the air.

This was by far Dunn’s best season as a Buccaneer and it earned him another Pro Bowl, making him a two-time Pro Bowler as a Buccaneer. As a Buccaneer, Dunn rushed for 4,986 total yards and had an additional 2,704 yards through the air. Unfortunately, he would just miss the 2002 Super Bowl season, departing for Atlanta after the 2001 season.