Former Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence didn't impress at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he may have redeemed himself somewhat at his pro day on March 4.
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Simms: Spence's 1st-Round Talent Is a Myth
Tuesday, March 8
Bleacher Report's Chris Simms analyzed Spence's tape and explained why he shouldn't be selected in the first round of the NFL draft:
Spence Shines in EKU Pro Day
Friday, March 4
CJ LaBoy of Relativity Sports tweeted his kudos to Spence following the day’s drills:
Proud of how @nspence94 competed today despite a stomach bug, poor field conditions & 37 degree weather. Improved 40, looked great in drills— CJ LaBoy (@CJLaBoy) March 4, 2016
Spence’s well-chronicled off-field issues stemming from drug use were a hot topic at last week’s combine. And his interviews reportedly didn’t go well in Indianapolis, according to Kim Jones of NFL Network (h/t John Middlekauff of 95.7 The Game in the Bay Area):
Kim Jones says Noah Spence interviews were not good. And one GM said kiss the 1st round goodbye. Character matters when you are not special— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) February 28, 2016
However, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller offered his assessment to the contrary:
Having met Noah Spence and his family, and done hours of research into his past, I have no fears about his past. @BacciOldTown— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 4, 2016
The former Ohio State standout was permanently banned by the Big Ten in November 2014 for repeated failed drug tests. He was Urban Meyer's first 5-star recruit at Ohio State, according to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports.
Spence was initially suspended three games after the 2013 conference title game and was then suspended indefinitely the following September before receiving the outright ban.
He spent his final year with Eastern Kentucky, where he registered 11.5 sacks, 63 tackles (22.5 for loss) and three forced fumbles.
Miller has Spence going at No. 18 overall to the Indianapolis Colts in his latest mock draft, which was released before Spence’s pro day Friday.
Even without the character concerns, Spence figures to be a late-first-round or early-second-round pick given the slew of pass-rushers in this year’s draft.
Former Ohio State teammate Joey Bosa, Oregon’s DeForest Buckner and Clemson’s Shaq Lawson are the class of the field, and each figures to be taken in the top 10.