Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The Steelers always seem to draft one player in the second or third round that has the fans asking “who” or “why”? This year that honor went to Sean Spence, an inside linebacker out of the University of Miami.
At only 5’11” 231 pounds, Spence was viewed as undersized by some. Due to his lack of size, he could have problems matching up with the larger tight ends in the league and taking on linemen.
But Spence impressed the coaching staff during offseason workouts and may do the unthinkable—have a chance to start.
However, Spence still has a lot to prove to linebacker coach Keith Butler.
As reported by Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider, Butler went from the stance that Spence would not start to “we’ll see.”
“He may not start, but he’s probably going to get some playing time, like Lawrence [Timmons] did and like LaMarr [Woodley] did,” Butler said.
Spence may find a way on the field on passing downs over Larry Foote given his athleticism. He may be the second most athletic linebacker behind Timmons, and this will be an asset to the Steelers as he develops.
But it takes more than just athletic ability—players must master the mental aspect of the game as well.
That should be no problem for Spence as he has a high football IQ and that is what will help win him a role on defense as a rookie. Dick LeBeau’s scheme is complex, and if Spence can grasp it early on, he has the physical skills necessary to make an impact.