Thursday, November 23, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs draft picks: Spence, Gholston, Means, James

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Fourth round

Akeem Spence

Position: Defensive tackleSchool: Illinois

Height/weight: 6-1; 307Hometown: Fort Walton Beach

Skinny: Bucs believe he's a very powerful, strong and long tackle tailor-made for tilted nose position, can make "instant impact" and compete for starting spot, GM Mark Dominik said. Modeled his game after ex-Bucs star Warren Sapp.

College: Started all 38 games he appeared in at Illinois, recording 186 tackles, with 3½ sacks and 17½ tackles for loss. … Had a career-high 72 tackles his junior year, when he was named All-Big Ten honorable mention.

Personal: Graduated with degree in communications. While at Fort Walton Beach High, also threw shot put and discus for track team and was a heavyweight state weightlifting champ.

Fourth round

William Gholston

Position: Defensive end

School: Michigan State

Height/weight: 6-7; 278

Hometown: Detroit

Skinny: A versatile pass rusher, with the "height, weight, speed and skill" to play inside or outside, according to GM Mark Dominik, who loves his length and power. Provides depth at end.

College: Is 10th in MSU history in tackles for loss (30) and had 142 career tackles and 10 sacks. As a junior, had 59 tackles and a team-high 4½ sacks; was All-Big Ten honorable mention. … Was suspended one game in 2011 for punching Michigan offensive lineman Taylor Lewan after a play.

Personal: Majored in human development and family studies. … Cousin of Vernon Gholston, the No. 6 overall pick by the Jets in 2008 out of Ohio State.

Fifth round

Steven Means

Position: Defensive end

School: Buffalo

Height/weight: 6-3; 257

Hometown: Buffalo

Skinny: Small-school star wasn't invited to combine and didn't know if he would get drafted. Bucs believe he has tremendous traits as a pass-rusher and, with his physical ability, "can be an excellent special teams player," coach Greg Schiano said.

College: Finished fourth in program history with 18½ career sacks, showing good burst off the edge. … Also starred on special teams, with five career blocked kicks, three his senior year, when he also had 6½ sacks.

Personal: Also a standout in track and field, basketball and swim teams for Grover Cleveland High.

Sixth round

Mike James

Position: Running back

School: Miami

Height/weight: 5-11; 222

Hometown: Haines City

Skinny: GM Mark Dominik says James' selfless nature makes him an "Earnest Graham type-player." A dependable, trustworthy back who can play all four downs.

College: Rushed for 1,340 yards and 17 touchdowns in his career and caught 67 passes for 585 yards. … Learned patience early in his career before a breakout senior season, when he rushed for career-high 621 yards.

Personal: Says he has been inspired by his mother, Elgusta, who died in a car accident in December 2010 at age 47. … Grew up a Bucs fan in Polk County (Ridge Community). … Recognized for community service, says giving back is "part of my life."

   
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