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MJ Stewart drafted by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The former Tar Heel DB was drafted in the second round

North Carolina v Duke Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

MJ Stewart became the first Tar Heel drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him in the second round with the 53rd overall pick.

The former UNC defensive back considered a top defensive back by numerous draft analysts prior in the past few weeks, but there was no consensus about who would draft him or when. Mock drafts had Stewart being selected anywhere from the second to the fourth round. Known for his ability to play tough, physical coverage on the outside, Stewart also has the athleticism and versatility to play safety at the next level.

Stewart was one of the few bright spots for the Heels last fall when he recorded 45 tackles and defended 12 passes. However, UNC’s frustrating, injury-plagued 3-9 campaign seemed to hurt his draft stock heading into the spring. He rectified those misguided notions as he made a number of pre-draft visits and participated in post-season senior showcases. The Bucs obviously were impressed enough to grab him as high as they did.

Stewart is the first UNC defensive back to be drafted since Jabari Price was drafted in the seventh round in 2014. He is the highest drafted defensive back from UNC since Dre Bly was selected with the 41st overall pick in 1999.

Congrats to MJ!