The Buccaneers used the first of their two second round picks(No. 53) acquired from the Buffalo Bills in their Thursday night trade to nab cornerback M.J. Stewart of North Carolina.

DraftAnalysis.com described Stewart:

Three-year starter who was named Honorable Mention All-ACC in each of those three seasons. Earned a Senior Bowl invitation after posting 45 tackles (five for loss), two sacks and 12 pass breakups in 2017. Made 66 tackles (3.5 for loss) with two forced fumbles and broke up 11 passes as a junior. Tallied 62 tackles with four interceptions and 14 PBUs in 2015. Intercepted two passes and made 26 tackles with four pass breakups as a true freshman.

Soon after the pick of Stewart the Buccaneers traded out of the No. 56 pick, the second one that came with the trade on Thursday night. The Bucs and Patriots swapped second round picks (56 for 63) and the Bucs picked up an additional pick (No. 163) from New England.

Stewart joined the local media on a conference call right after being selected and said he was in shock.

“I was surprised…They contacted me probably two picks prior,” Stewart said. “I was just ecstatic. I’m still at a loss for words right now. This is a childhood dream finally coming true. I have a chance to be a Buccaneer and compete with the best. I’m on top of the world right now.”

Stewart talked about where he could line up once he gets to Tampa Bay.

“I think they said more inside and safety. My ceiling is so high I feel like I can play all three positions.

“I feel like I’m very versatile. That’s one of my big strengths. Also, being a physical competitor. I feel like that is one of my biggest strengths, the competitive nature that I have. I feel like it’s unlike a lot of people in the country. I don’t want to be last, I don’t even want to be second. I want to be first at everything. I want to win all the time. I don’t like losing. I want to compete every day. I think that is probably my best attribute, my competitive nature.”

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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Sneedy16
Sneedy16
4 years ago

We were due a WTF?? pick from Licht. He looks like a HVIII 2.0, but I’m not a GM so hopefully he shines. Pass on Oliver for him but I hear he’s a safety.

JustaBuc
JustaBuc
4 years ago

The wart of the draft. Could have gotten Oliver or Reid, we got Stewart. I think Davis and Stewart will do fine but man, what could have been.

BadgerW4
BadgerW4
Reply to  JustaBuc
4 years ago

Spot on, sir!

macabee
macabee
4 years ago

I don’t know this player well. Never studied him during the PR mock draft issues. I admit I’m a little surprised at the pick with CB Isaiah Oliver still on the board. Looks a lot like the bevy of slot receivers we already have, but does look like the type of CB that DC Smith prefers. I give the benefit of the doubt as they know better than me. So welcome aboard M.J.

Sneedy16
Sneedy16
4 years ago

After doing some research on the kid. I’ve noticed he’s like former Bucs player Dwight Smith. Plays the deep ball really well, can cover the slot, and a really aggressive tackler. He fits Mike Smith Scheme well as he rotate he’s Strong and Free Safety deep, and have to cover TE’s and Slot WR’s.

Schwifty9
Schwifty9
4 years ago

Hate this pick. Should’ve been Oliver.

Sneedy16
Sneedy16
Reply to  Schwifty9
4 years ago

Yeah I prefer Oliver too but we shall see how things work out with this kid.

BadgerW4
BadgerW4
Reply to  Schwifty9
4 years ago

You have no idea how much I wanted Oliver. Oliver was my CB1 this draft. I am so disappointed in this pick and the subsequent trade down, though I’m okay with Davis.

Pick6
Pick6
4 years ago

sounds like minkah fitzpatrick light

BadgerW4
BadgerW4
Reply to  Pick6
4 years ago

Worse! He’s VH3 2.0, IMO.

SOXX
SOXX
4 years ago

Of course he is surprised we all are, we had Oliver right there. The Kicker, the Boise St. RB and now this.

rocky
rocky
Reply to  SOXX
4 years ago

hey one of those boise state running backs was Doug though lol

Dude
Dude
Reply to  rocky
4 years ago

You mean Druggie Martin who only had two good years and could not take it to the house? Oh yeah, he was a good one for us!

Dude
Dude
4 years ago

Great, another 5′ nothing DB to go up against 6′ something receivers who can jump out of the gym in the NFC South. I think we can now count on a “Licht moment” where he reaches on a player in a early round every year. This pick has me scratching my head, but now I see the pattern. I’m beginning to think, Licht, like many GM’s, wants to find that diamond in the rough so they can have their bragging rights down the road. But so far Jason is 0 for 3 on these types of pics. His legacy is… Read more »

Dude
Dude
Reply to  Dude
4 years ago

After looking up Stewart’s profile, I am confused about his size. CBS Sports has him listed as being 6′, where as they listed him last night as being 5’10? I’m hoping he is at least 6′. His accolades don’t look too bad, in fact, they look pretty good. So we just have to trust our team on this pick as I’m sure they know more than we do. We all have guys we would have liked to have seen the Bucs get with that pick, but then again none of us are getting paid, as far as I know, to… Read more »

scubog
scubog
4 years ago

Funny, how no one knows anything at all about Stewart and probably very darned little about Oliver, yet in spite of the ignorance, know it was a bad pick. As I recall there were a lot of Justin Evans critics last year. Can we once let a draftee get on the field before you self-proclaimed talent evaluators sound off?

jshumaker
jshumaker
Reply to  scubog
4 years ago

No they can’t do that. This is the time of the year that all the ‘experts’ start spouting off stupid comments about how they know more than the actual scouts. I have never understood how some drunk schmuck that watched a couple highlight reals of a college player all of a sudden knows more than the teams entire scouting staff that has spent hundreds of hours researching each player. Especially when you get past the first round of the draft, there is very little that even the most die hard fan can actually know about how good a player will… Read more »

tiapanda
tiapanda
4 years ago

Everyone just keeps repeating Oliver. I didn’t want Oliver. He’s way too soft. Carlton Davis is much better. Stewart can play safety and corner. Here’s a quote from the huddle report about MJ Stewart. “A talented player who if he was clean would be a 1st round pick but, he’s not clean. MJ has 1st round top fifteen talent. And a quote about Isaiah Oliver “His lack of physical nature is the real concern and his over concerning nature for his bodies well being, could be what holds Isaiah back from become the player his talent suggests that he can… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
4 years ago

Don’t sleep on Stewart. This guy can straight up ball as a boundary CB. The only reason he wasn’t drafted higher is because he doesn’t have the INT numbers. Stewart probjects as a #2 boundary CB in the NFL.

BadgerW4
BadgerW4
4 years ago

Worst pick all night. I’m good with all the others, but passing on Oliver was unforgiveable.

JustaBuc
JustaBuc
4 years ago

Actually hey, I dug this out of the Senior Bowl recap!
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Most impressive: M.J. Stewart | CB | UNC

I listed Stewart as a cornerback the Bucs should keep their eyes on going into Senior Bowl week. He showed some nice all-around game in his film from UNC, but I was worried that would mean he would stand out – average everywhere doesn’t get you anywhere.

It didn’t.

Instead, Stewart was in his receiver;’ hip pockets all week. He played well against all different types of receivers.
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