2016 Buccaneers’ Draft Profile: DE Noah Spence

Feb 26, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Eastern Kentucky defensive lineman Noah Spence speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 26, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Eastern Kentucky defensive lineman Noah Spence speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

In preparation for the NFL draft, we profile players that could help the Buccaneers, starting with Noah Spence.

The NFL draft is approximately two months away. The general managers and coaches of our great league are busily reviewing film, comparing notes, and discussing who are their stars of tomorrow. Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter of the Buccaneers are no different. The 6-10 Bucs have holes to fill, and the draft is a great place to do it.

More from Bucs Draft

In the coming weeks, the Pewter Plank is going to review film, compare notes, and discuss the Bucs’ potential stars of tomorrow, in what will be our “Buccaneers’ Draft Profile” series.

The Bucs’ need a pass rush, we all know it. So we start the series by profiling Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky.

He started his career with the Ohio State Buckeyes.  Take a look at his production in his two seasons there:

Defense & Fumbles

TacklesDef IntFumbles
2012Ohio StateBig TenFRDL75121.01.010000
*2013Ohio StateBig TenSODL1324265014.07.5000211
CareerOhio State31316215.08.500031001

In one season at Eastern Kentucky, Spence posted 63 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 15 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

When we take a look at his performance at the Combine, it was uneven. His forty time was a bit slow, coming in at 4.8 seconds. He was a leader in the broad jump with 121 inches, and he was middle of the road with his bench press at 25 reps. Here are his strengths and weaknesses from his NFL Draft profile:

"Plays with a big motor and tremendous endurance. Had eight-sack season as a sophomore at Ohio State. Plays at same speed throughout the game. Good upfield burst. Has played with hand in the ground and standing. Won’t give away leverage by engaging too early in pass rush. Has solid speed to the edge with a strong rip move at the top of his rush to turn the corner. Takes good angles around the rush arc. Quick lateral slide down the line to restrict running lanes. Plays with a sense of desperation when the ball is in his area. Eludes lead blockers and cut ­blocks. Pursues around the field looking to scoop up tackles. Dominated his level of competition with 11.5 sacks, 22.5 tackles for loss and 63 tackles over 11 games. Scouts call him an intelligent person and player. Has had success fighting through adversity and has renewed sense of urgency on and off the field as well as a sense of accountability. Former head coach Urban Meyer helped get Spence a second chance because he believes Spence is high character but made mistakes.Not as long or tall as teams like at defensive end. Needs to develop more strength at point of attack. Can be bumped of his grass and widened out against run. Average hand usage against the run. Doesn’t play with violent punch and control at point of attack. Didn’t vary pass rush approach much and just average with speed ­to ­power. Ability to win on high side will be countered by NFL tackles. Will have to develop a counter underneath. Good athlete, but not great twitch for sudden change of direction. At times is too easy to find for blockers. Treated for drug addiction and banned for life from Big Ten after failed drug tests in 2013 and 2014. Arrested in May of 2015 for alcohol intoxication and second­-degree disorderly conduct, but incident was expunged from record after community service."

As they say, talk is cheap. Let’s go to the videotape, courtesy of YouTube:

Spence is a versatile football player. Seeing that he can play on either side of the line, and switch between standing and the three-technique, is something NFL coaches will love. He has great instincts when it comes to getting to the passer. Spence is simply relentless. The other skill that sticks out is his speed. He beats tackles to their spot with regularity, leaving them helpless to catch up.

At times, however, he gets pushed around in the running game. He also needs more of an arsenal of pass rush moves. If he can’t beat his man with speed, or a move up high, he doesn’t win. NFL tackles will get their hands on him first, and he needs to have a better array of moves to counteract.

Next: Bucs' Most Hated Man: Semifinal Game Two

That being said, Spence is immensely talented. If the Bucs are comfortable with the off the field issues, they could do a lot worse than choosing Spence at number nine.