Since 1976, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have drafted at minimum, a pair of defensive tackles five times in their thirty-five year history. The first time was in 1983 when the Bucs selected Tony Chickillo (5th round 131st pick) out of Miami and John Higgenbotham (12th round 324th pick) out of Northeast Oklahoma, and then in 1987 the team selected three defensive tackles, Curt Jarvis (7th round, 169th pick) out of Alabama, Stan Mataele (8th round 197th pick) out of Arizona, Scott Cooper (12th round, 308th pick) out of Kearney St. In 1991 the team selected Rhett Hall (6th round. 147th pick) out of California, Mike Sunvold (11th round, 287th pick) out of Minnesota. In 1992 the team drafted Mark Wheeler (3rd round, 59th pick) out of Texas A&M, Santana Dotson (5th round, 132nd pick) out of Baylor and of course as most recent as this past April’s draft when they used there first two picks to select Gerald McCoy (1st round, 3rd pick) out of Oklahoma, Brian Price (2ND round, 35TH pick) out of UCLA.
Looking back at what each pair combined too do as rookies McCoy and Price might be able to drawl from the duo of Wheeler and Dotson as the pair combined for 15 sacks as rookies and a then rookie record for sacks by a rookie defensive tackle, when Dotson racked up 10. The record was broken a year later by the 49ers Dana Stubblefiled when he ended the 1993 season with 10.5 sacks too set a new record for rookie defensive tackles.
That magical 1992 rookie campaign saw the dynamic duo of Dotson and Wheeler combine for 15 sacks, 132 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and 1 touchdown. While everyone envisions McCoy being the next Warren Sapp clone, this Buc Nation fanatic would openly welcome an effort that matched or even exceeded that of what Wheeler and Dotson turned in as rookies for the teams’ newest duo of interior lineman.