TAMPA – Long gone are the days when it took until just before the start of training camp in late July for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to get their drafted players signed to contracts.
One day after signing their fifth- and sixth-round selections, the Bucs on Tuesday announced the signing of fourth-round draft pick William Gholston to a four-year deal.
The 6-foot-6, 281-pound defensive end out of Michigan State is projected to step in immediately as an inside nickel pass rusher and a regular member of the Bucs defensive line rotation.
The 126th player selected in the 2013 draft, Gholston was a second-team All-Big 10 selection following his sophomore and junior seasons who racked up 142 tackles, 10 sacks, 30 tackles for loss and 13 pass breakups during his three-year college career.
Gholston led all FBS defensive linemen with 10 pass breakups last year, and the Bucs hope is that he will help improve a pass rush that finished tied for 30th overall in the NFL with just 27 sacks last year.
Gholston's signing comes a day after the Bucs signed fellow defensive end Steven Means, their fifth-round draft pick, and running back Mike James, their sixth-round selection, to four-year contract.