Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round (91st overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. Re-signed to a two-year contract with Cincinnati on 3/31/10 as a restricted free agent. Signed a five-year contract with the Browns on 3/15/12 as an unrestricted free agent before being released on 2/5/13. Signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals on 3/21/13 as an unrestricted free agent.
2012: Started a career-high 16 games at RDE and collected 48 tackles, four sacks, a pass defensed and a forced fumble … sack total ranked third on the team and his 48 tackles were second among d-linemen …. started at right end in his Browns debut and accounted for three tackles in the season opener vs. Phi (9/9) … served as a game captain and posted four tackles, including a 10-yard sack of Andy Dalton in the fourth quarter @ Cin (9/16); sack was one of six by the Browns defense for the contest; key part of a run defense that held the Bengals to 80 rushing yards … registered three tackles, including a two-yard sack of Andrew Luck in the third quarter @ Ind (10/21) … part of a Browns defense that held the Chargers without a TD in a 7-6 win vs. SD (10/28) … tied a then-career high with six tackles vs. Bal (11/4) … posted three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble @ Dal (11/18); sack and forced fumble occurred on the same play, when he stripped Tony Romo of the ball in the fourth quarter and Craig Robertson recovered at the Browns 35; one of seven sacks on the day for the Browns; also marked his first forced fumble since 10/5/08 at Dallas as a member of the Bengals … recorded three tackles and was part of a run defense that allowed just 49 rushing yards and a 2.5-yard average vs. Pit (11/25) … collected two tackles, a tackle for loss and also batted down a pass @ Oak (12/2); helped to hold the Raiders to 85 rushing yards, the third straight game in which the Browns held an opponent under 100 yards rushing, a first for the team since 2003 … established a new career-high with seven tackles vs. KC (12/9), a figure that tied for the team lead; recorded a three-yard sack of Brady Quinn, one of five sacks on the day for the Browns … had one tackle vs. Was (12/16), before leaving game in the fourth quarter with a groin injury … returned from injury the following week and recorded four tackles @ Den (12/23) … tallied two tackles in the season finale @ Pit (12/30).
2011: Appeared in all 16 games with starts in each of the final 11 contests during his last season in Cincinnati … also started the team’s Wild Card matchup … established career highs in tackles (60) and sacks (4.0) while also adding two passes defensed … part of a Bengals defense that finished in the top-10 in total defense (7th), pass defense (9th) and rush defense (10th) … registered two tackles and a career-high two passes defensed @ Den (9/18) … posted three tackles, two tackles for loss and added his first sack of the season when he took down Alex Smith in the third quarter vs. SF (9/25) … totaled three tackles, including two tackles for loss, and posted his second sack of the season @ Jax (10/9); sack came when he took down Blaine Gabbert in the third quarter … made his first start of the season at RDE vs. Ind (10/16) and totaled two tackles … recorded his third sack of the season when he took down Tarvaris Jackson in the second quarter @ Sea (10/30); sack came on 1st-n-10 from the Cincinnati 11-yard line and helped the Bengals stall a Seattle scoring drive at the one-yard line just prior to halftime; also added a tackle and two QB hits; marked his third sack in five games after recording three sacks in his first five seasons (37 games) combined … finished with a season-high five tackles, two tackles for loss and his fourth sack of the season vs. Pit (11/13); marked his fourth sack in a span of seven games … matched his season high with five tackles @ Pit (12/4) … recorded four tackles vs. Hou (12/11), marking his fifth straight game with at least four tackles … posted five tackles and a tackle for loss in the regular season finale vs. Bal (1/1/12) … received his first career postseason start in the Wild Card matchup @ Hou (1/7/12) and registered two tackles.
2010: Saw action in nine games with three starts before a knee injury forced him to miss the final seven games … notched 20 tackles, a sack and a pass defensed on the year … registered his best outing of the season @ Car (9/26) when he recorded two tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a pass defensed against the Panthers; sack came when he took down Jimmy Clausen on the Panthers final drive of the first half; represented the Bengals lone sack of the day … made his first start of the season at RDE and totaled two tackles @ Atl (10/24) … earned his second straight start and added four tackles vs. Mia (10/31) … made his third straight start and posted a season-high five tackles, including a tackle for a loss, in the MNF matchup vs. Pit (11/8) … registered one tackle @ Ind (11/14) before leaving the game with a knee injury … inactive (knee) vs. Buf (11/21) … placed on injured reserve (knee) on 11/22.
2009: Appeared in 12 contests, with one start and finished the season with 22 tackles, a sack, his first career INT and a career-high three passes defensed … also appeared in the team’s Wild Card matchup … inactive for the first three games … saw his first action of the season as a reserve @ Cle (10/4), recording one tackle … inactive (ankle) vs. Hou (10/18) … registered two tackles, a sack and four QB hits vs. Chi (10/25); took down Jay Cutler for a 10-yard loss in the first quarter, which was the Bengals only sack of the game; four QB hits were the most for a Cincinnati player in a single game in ’09 … led the d-line with four tackles vs. Bal (11/8) … recorded three tackles and his first career INT in an 18-12 win @ Pit (11/15); INT came on a key play in the third quarter, when he stepped in front of a Ben Roethlisberger pass and returned it 26 yards to the Pittsburgh 14-yard line; Bengals tied the score on the ensuing possession on a 23-yard FG … registered two tackles vs. Cle (11/29) and was part of a Bengals defense that allowed just 169 net yards on the day, the lowest output for a Cincinnati opponent since allowing 154 yards at Pittsburgh on 12/4/83 … made his first start of year in the season finale @ NYJ (1/3/10) and recorded two tackles … made his first career postseason appearance and registered one tackle in the Wild Card matchup vs. NYJ (1/9/10).
2008: Started four of the 11 games in which he played before a hamstring injury landed him on injured reserve … totaled 35 tackles, a sack, a pass defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, with his two forced fumbles tying for the team lead … made first NFL start in the season opener @ Bal (9/7) and forced a fumble by Ravens TE Todd Heap less than a minute into the contest; also finished with a then-career high six tackles … started for the second consecutive week and registered five tackles vs. Ten (9/14) … posted two tackles and set up a Bengals FG drive by forcing a Tony Romo fumble near the end of the first half @ Dal (10/5) … recorded his first career sack when he took down Brett Favre on 3rd down in the third quarter @ NYJ (10/12) … returned to the starting lineup vs. Phi (11/16) and registered three tackles and a fumble recovery; scooped up a Donovan McNabb fumble in the first quarter and returned it six yards to the Philly one-yard line, leading to a FG … received the start @ Pit (11/20) and recorded one tackle before a hamstring injury forced him from the game … placed on injured reserve (hamstring) on 11/24.
2007: Saw action in five games and totaled 10 tackles while also adding his first career forced fumble and first career fumble recovery … inactive for the first three games with a hamstring injury suffered during preseason … made his NFL debut and notched one tackle in a MNF matchup vs. NE (10/1) … in his second career game, recovered a Jeff Webb fumble in the third quarter @ KC (10/14) that led to a Bengals FG on the ensuing possession … DNP vs. NYJ (10/21) … inactive vs. Pit (10/28) … played as a reserve on the d-line @ Buf (11/4) … saw extensive action along the d-line @ Bal (11/11), registering four tackles and his first career forced fumble; forced a Willis McGahee fumble in the fourth quarter that was recovered by Cincinnati and led to a FG on the ensuing possession … inactive for each of the next six games … saw action in the season finale @ Mia (12/30) and had four tackles.
2006: Suffered a shoulder injury in the preseason opener and was inactive the first three games of the regular season before being placed on injured reserve (shoulder) on 9/27.
A three-year letterman at Southern California, Rucker saw action in 39 contests with 30 starts … totaled 111 tackles, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and two INTs in his collegiate career … helped the Trojans capture back-to-back National Championships (2003-04) … began collegiate career at Colorado State in 2001 and redshirted his lone season there … as a senior in 2005, named first-team All-Pac 10 and was voted co-winner of USC’s Most Inspirational Player Award after starting every game for the 12-1 squad … posted a career-best 56 tackles, 6.5 sacks and logged a team-high 14 tackles for loss … started 12 of 13 games as a junior in 2004, as USC went on to win the National Championship after defeating Oklahoma 55-19 in the Orange Bowl … posted 29 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks … began his career at USC in 2003 as a sophomore backup DE, but started five games late in the season … transferred to USC from Colorado State in 2002 and sat out the season under NCAA rules … redshirted at Colorado State in 2001.Personal:
Attended Tustin (CA) High School where he played RB and LB … as a senior in 2000, named to the All-CIF Division VI first team (as a RB), Orange County Register All-Orange County second team (as a LB) and All-Golden West League MVP … attended Santa Ana (CA) High School as a junior … Sociology major.
Former coach Jim Fassel explains why coaches target players they've worked with in the past during free agency and also reveals where he thinks some big name like Jairus Byrd and Jared Allen will play in 2014.
Jim Fassel joins "NFL AM" to talk about how coaches approach big name free agents and explains why this year the draft may be more important than free agency.