Buccaneers sign rookie DE William Gholston


The Buccaneers have signed a third member of their 2013 draft class, reaching a four-year deal with defensive end William Gholston. The team announced the signing Tuesday.

The 6-foot-6, 281-pound Gholston will compete for playing time on a Tampa Bay defensive line that lost defensive end Michael Bennett (team-high nine sacks in 2012) in free agency.

Gholston, 21, notched 142 tackles (30 for loss) and 10 sacks in three seasons with Michigan State. He declared for the draft after his junior season. William Gholston is the cousin of 2008 Jets first-round pick Vernon Gholston.

The Buccaneers struck deals with two draft picks on Monday, getting defensive end Steven Means and running back Mike James under contract. Three picks — cornerback Johnthan Banks, quarterback Mike Glennon and defensive tackle Akeem Spence — are unsigned.