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Who is the Bucs’ most underappreciated player heading into 2024?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers landed a steal when they grabbed outside linebacker Yaya Diaby in the third round of the 2023 NFL draft, as he led the team in sacks last season with 7.5 as a rookie.

Heading into his second NFL season, Diaby remains the Bucs’ most underappreciated player, according to a list recently put together by NFL.com.

Here’s what Tom Blair at NFL.com had to say about Diaby:

Diaby racked up his first five career sacks in a six-game span between Weeks 8 and 13, when Tampa was between one and three games under .500 and seemingly in danger of falling into oblivion. By the end of the year, the 2023 third-round pick had claimed a starting job, and the Bucs were NFC South champs.

Tampa fans who felt like Diaby should have earned Defensive Rookie of the Year consideration have a case, but his emergence was sudden, and perhaps overshadowed by the many other developments around Baker Mayfield’s crew. Even with second-round pick Chris Braswell in the fold, Diaby has a chance to leave no doubt about his quarterback-hunting prowess in Year 2.

Tampa Bay desperately needs more out of their pass rush this season, and while Diaby obviously pulled his own weight last year as a rookie, they’ll need him to continue developing and improving, especially now that Shaq Barrett is gone.

If he builds on last season’s success and flirts with double-digit sacks this year, don’t be surprised if Diaby gets plenty of appreciation heading into the 2025 season.

QB Baker Mayfield

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QB Kyle Trask

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QB John Wolford

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RB Rachaad White

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RB Bucky Irving

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RB Chase Edmonds

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RB Sean Tucker

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WR Mike Evans

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WR Chris Godwin

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WR Trey Palmer

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WR Jalen McMillan

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WR Deven Thompkins

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WR Rakim Jarrett

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TE Cade Otton

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TE Payne Durham

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TE Ko Kieft

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TE Devin Culp

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 04: Devin Culp #83 of the Washington Huskies looks on before the…

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 04: Devin Culp #83 of the Washington Huskies looks on before the game against the Montana Grizzlies at Husky Stadium on September 04, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

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OT Tristan Wirfs

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G Sua Opeta

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OL Graham Barton

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G Cody Mauch

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OT Luke Goedeke

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OL Robert Hainsey

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OL Ben Bredeson

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OT Brandon Walton

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OT Justin Skule

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G Elijah Klein

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OLB Yaya Diaby

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OLB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka

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OLB Chris Braswell

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OLB Randy Gregory

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OLB Anthony Nelson

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DL Vita Vea

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DL Calijah Kancey

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DL Logan Hall

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DL Will Gholston

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DL Greg Gaines

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Nov 5, 2023Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports; Houston, Texas, USA;Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) passes as he is pressured from Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Greg Gaines (96) in the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

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LB Lavonte David

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LB SirVocea Dennis

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LB K.J. Britt

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LB J.J. Russell

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CB Jamel Dean

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CB Zyon McCollum

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CB Christian Izien

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CB Bryce Hall

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CB Tavierre Thomas

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S Antoine Winfield Jr.

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S Jordan Whitehead

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DB Tykee Smith

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DB Josh Hayes

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K Chase McLaughlin

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P Jake Camarda

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LS Zach Triner

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Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire