The Bucs continue to address their biggest needs, using their fourth-round pick on Pittsburgh safety Jordan Whitehead.
Whitehead, 5-foot-10 and 198 pounds, was suspended for the first three games of last season but still had 60 tackles for the Panthers. His best numbers came as a freshman in 2015, when he had 110 tackles, including seven for loss, with a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.
The Bucs had a need at safety, with second-year pro Justin Evans starting on one side and veterans Chris Conte and Keith Tandy returning from last year. He has versatility to play either free or strong safety.
"I was expecting to hear my name called today, but it's a blessing to hear it called this early," said Whitehead, a cousin of former Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis, with both hailing from Aliquippa, Pa. "It was a lot of waiting, and I'm blessed to be in this position right now."
Tampa Bay addressed the secondary Friday, using two second-round picks on cornerbacks M.J. Stewart of North Carolina and Carlton Davis of Auburn.
Whitehead said when teams asked about his suspension, he owned his mistake and said he'll work to show he's matured since then.
"I definitely made some mistakes, young mistakes," he said. "I know I'm mature. I learned from it and I won't let it happen again."