Sean Spence: 5 Traits That Make NFL Draft Prospect an Ideal Pro

Vincent Frank@VincentFrankNFLCorrespondent IApril 20, 2012

Sean Spence: 5 Traits That Make NFL Draft Prospect an Ideal Pro

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    Sean Spence was a productive player for Miami over the course of his career there. He started as a freshmen in 2008 and didn't let up throughout a stellar four-year career with the "U."

    Overall, Spence recorded over 300 tackles in four seasons with Miami, consistently playing up to the level of competition and coming up big on the biggest of stages. He is, by all accounts, ready to make an immediate impact in the NFL

    He also has the speed and ability to be a truly exceptional starting outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense. 

    This article focuses on five things that lead me to believe that Spence is going to be an ideal starter in the National Football League. 

5. Athleticism Is off the Charts

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    An extremely important attribute to Sean Spence's game is his athleticism. This is a linebacker that possesses the speed and ability to fly around to the ball both on the outside and between the hashes. 

    He can work the outside in a traditional 4-3 defense, creating issues for offenses in the run game and closing off the edges a great deal. 

    This makes the defense that much better because it would then be able to focus on the middle of the field, an area that seems to benefit the defense in terms of stopping the run. Once a player is able to close off the outside, the defense becomes stronger moving inside. 

    This is what Spence brings to the game. 

4. Exceptional Coverage Skills

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    Another thing that I noticed in watching tape of Sean Spence is the fact that he isn't going to struggle against the pass. Instead, the former Miami (F) standout possesses extremely good hip movement and technique dropping back into coverage. 

    Most young linebackers, no matter if they play inside or out, are going to struggle with this aspect of the game. I just didn't see this in regards to Spence. 

    Look for a 4-3 defense to utilize him in nickel packages out of the gate in order to enhance their ability to stop the pass on third downs. 

3. Flawless Natural Instincts

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    "Instinctual" is a word that I would use to best describe the game of Sean Spence. Look at the embedded video and watch how he is able to read the play and swarm to the ball prior to the snap.

    That is simply amazing. 

    He also acts as a quarterback in terms of helping the rest of the front seven adjust to the formation of the offense—something that most young linebackers are simply unable to do. 

    Heck, not even Patrick Willis called the plays for the San Francisco 49ers' front seven his rookie season. 

2. Sideline to Sideline Tackling Ability

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    I mentioned before how Sean Spence closes off the outside in the run game. He will also be able to go sideline to sideline defending the pass and screens. Some of the best linebackers in the game are able to do this. 

    This enables corners to play a little further off the line of scrimmage, defend against the deeper passes and make plays on the ball when the ball does go in their direction on the outside. 

    Moreover, Spence has the ability to run down backs out of the backfield, consistently breaking the line of scrimmage with that pure speed. Where Spence might struggle shedding blocks, he dominates in space. 

1. Will Be an Immediate Contributor

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    Sean Spence wont be one of those mid-round prospects that comes in to only contribute on special teams. In reality, he should be able to come in and immediately become a part of the linebacker rotation. 

    In terms of Spence's skill set, he probably fits better in a 4-3 defense. That type of scheme will best utilize his raw athletic ability and pro-ready instincts on the outside. 

    This is another reason that I believe the former Miami (F) standout will go much higher than most experts believe.