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Bucs found a late-round gem in DT David Logan in 1979 draft

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David Logan a 12th-round steal for Bucs (2:15)

ESPN NFL Nation reporter Mike DiRocco says former Pittsburgh Panthers DT David Logan is one of the best late-round picks in Tampa Bay as well as in NFL history. (2:15)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One of the best players in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history was one of the last players drafted in 1979.

David Logan was still available when the Bucs were picking in the 12th round of the 1979 draft, so they chose the former Pittsburgh defensive tackle. There were 330 players drafted that year, and Logan was No. 307.

He gave the Bucs first-round value, though.

Logan played eight seasons in Tampa as a nose tackle and ranks 10th in franchise history with 624 tackles and third with four defensive touchdowns. The Bucs also list Logan with 39.0 sacks, which ranks fourth in franchise history, but he is officially credited with 28.3 sacks because the NFL did not recognize sacks as an official statistic until 1982.

That would mean Logan unofficially had 10 2/3 sacks from 1979-81, which certainly is in line with his career production.

Even if you discount the sack total from 1979-81, Logan’s pass-rushing production from the middle of the line of scrimmage is eye-popping. Vince Wilfork is generally regarded as being the best nose tackle in the NFL over the past decade, but his sack numbers are nowhere close. Wilfork has 16.0 sacks in 12 seasons (11 with New England, one with Houston) and he never had more than 3.5 in a season.

Logan had more than 5.0 sacks in a season three times, including a career-high 9.5 in 1983.

That wasn’t even the season he made the Pro Bowl. He did that in 1984, the same year he was named All-Pro.

Logan was also a remarkably durable player at a position that is one of the most physically taxing. Only twice in eight seasons with the Bucs did he fail to play 16 games (he played in five as a rookie in 1979 and nine in 1982).

Logan played one season in Green Bay (1987) before coming back to Tampa and becoming a color analyst on Buccaneers radio broadcasts. He also hosted a show on Bay News 9 and worked as a college football analyst on regional broadcasts for Jefferson Pilot and CBS.

Logan died in 1999 of respiratory failure as the result of blood clots in his lungs.

HONORABLE MENTION

Gerald Carter, WR, Texas A&M: He was the Bucs’ ninth-round pick in 1980 but was cut before the team finished training camp. He was picked up by the Jets and played in three games before being released. The Bucs re-signed him, and Carter went on to catch 239 passes (which ranks 10th on the team’s all-time list) for 3,443 yards (eighth) and 17 touchdowns (eighth). His best season came in 1984, when he caught 60 passes for 816 yards and five touchdowns.

Donald Igwebuike, K, Clemson: He played five seasons with the Bucs after being taken in the 10th round in 1985. He ranks in the franchise’s top 10 for field goals (94, fourth), field goal percentage (.740, seventh) and scoring (416 points, tied for fourth).