Tampa Bay Buccaneers: What to expect from Noah Spence in 2019

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 11: Defensive end Noah Spence #57 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates with middle linebacker Kwon Alexander #58 after breaking up a pass by quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter of an NFL game on December 11, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 11: Defensive end Noah Spence #57 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates with middle linebacker Kwon Alexander #58 after breaking up a pass by quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter of an NFL game on December 11, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /
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It’s a make-or-break year for the former second round pick Noah Spence as he enters the last year of his rookie contract attempting to shake the bust label.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers thought they had landed a steal when they selected Noah Spence out of Northern Kentucky in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. However his career has not lived up to the expectations of a fringe first rounder that were put on his shoulders when he was drafted.

The former Ohio State Buckeye was dismissed from the program before enrolling at Northern Kentucky, where he managed to post great college production. In the NFL, however, his production through the first three years of his career has not been great.

Spence has only tallied six starts for the pewter and red, and has only recorded six-and-a-half sacks and three tackles for loss. His career looked to be off on the right foot, where Spence tallied three forced fumbles, three sacks, and 12 hits on the quarterback; instead it was all downhill from there.

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After his production decreased in year-two, he was essentially benched by former defensive coordinator Mike Smith. Spence appeared in only 12 games last year with no starts, and he tallied just three tackles and one hit on the quarterback; Pro Football Focus graded his limited performance out at a below average 49.5.