Home > News > Sports > NFL > 2016 NFL Draft: Noah Spence selected 39th by Tampa Bay

2016 NFL Draft: Noah Spence selected 39th by Tampa Bay

Noah Spence - EDGE, Eastern KentuckyPick Analysis


Noah Spence – EDGE, Eastern Kentucky

Pick Analysis

Here’s the two critical points when it comes to Spence. Firstly, if he had no off-field questions, he is long gone. Two, he has been clean for a year, taken way more tests than he had to to prove that, and has been open and honest about it with teams. He’s more mature, he’s clean now and I am completely satisfied that his issues are behind him. Therefore, the Bucs now take the best pure pass rusher in this draft class, and get him in the second round. It’s a position of need. Everything about this is positive. A grade. Licht has been one of the best GM’s in the league since he took the job in Tampa, yet isn’t talked about in that regard. He keeps doing great work though. After getting both Hargreaves and an extra pick yesterday, he keeps things going today. (Rebecca Rennie)

Player Analysis

Potentially one of the biggest boom picks of the 2016 draft for the team who chooses to take a chance on him.  Spence was a member of the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in 2015, but began his career as a five-star rated pass rusher for the Ohio State Buckeyes and after flashing in limited play time as a freshman, broke out in 2013 with 8 sacks in his first year as a starter.  Drug related issues have derailed Spence’s career however with a number of failed tests including for ecstasy which he later admitted to.  Those suspensions cost him his 2014 season.  Spence was originally going to enter the 2015 draft with his stock at an all-time low, but wisely chose to transfer from Ohio State to EKU, get clean, and rebuild both his draft standing and his personal well-being.  The decision has proved a wise one.  Not only has Spence once again excelled on the field, but has passed all drug tests.  As of September he had passed 11 tests over a 12-month period.  He’s faced tough questions during the interview process with mixed reports on how successful those have been, but his honesty regarding his previous issues and his clean record since will certainly be more convincing than where he was at the time of the 2015 draft.  Should teams satisfy themselves with those issues, there will be no questions relating to his talent and ability on the field.  Spence is without question one of the most gifted pure pass rushers in this class.  Playing from both a two point and 3 point stance, and from both the left and right sides, he is a versatile threat from multiple spots.  A superb athlete, his elite level explosion and speed from his lower body is matched by the quick and polished use of his hands, effectively utilising rip and swim pass rush moves in particular with great effect.  His motor is high, both in terms of being full speed every snap, and in hustling to the whistle to chase and pursue to get in on additional tackles on the ball carrier.  The competition level overall was of a lower standard during this past season, but he did have opportunities to remind of his talents against good opposition in North Carolina State and Kentucky, as well as producing despite facing double teams frequently all year. (Rebecca Rennie)

Grade A


2016 NFL Draft: Noah Spence selected 39th by Tampa Bay

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