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Noah Spence, the FORGOTTEN prospect - did a 4.80/40 really drop his draft stock this much?


g-dawg
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For about a month, Noah Spence was the darling of TATF for 1st round consideration - many believed he would not even be available at #17 overall.   The off-field issues were concerning but he has been drug-tested time and again and has not had a relapse while re-establishing himself at a new school.

At the Senior Bowl, Noah Spence was the most outstanding player and dominated the competition in the drills.  Then came the NFL combine.  Spence ran a slow time at 4.80 flat when I suppose most probably expected him to run between a 4.65 - 4.70/40.   So he was slower in the straight-line, but not grossly so.  He did well in all of the other combine testing measurements.

Is it simply Spence had two strikes against him because of the off-field and the 40yd time was another red flag that sent him spiraling down out of the 1st round?  I still see Spence as a really nice prospect sans off-field.

NOAH SPENCE, DE/OLB 6'2" 251lbs - E. Kentucky

4.80/40 - 25 reps, 35" vert, 121inch broad jump, 7.21sec 3-cone

OVERVIEW

Spence's talent is unquestion

ed, but his judgement off the field will be foremost on the minds of NFL scouts as they evaluate him for the 2016 draft. A first-team All-Big Ten pick for Ohio State in 2013 as a sophomore, Spence ran into trouble for failing two drug tests. After being permanently banned from the Big Ten for the failed test, he underwent treatment for an addiction to Ecstasy. Instead of leaving for the 2015 draft, Spence decided to transfer to Eastern Kentucky to get his degree and to prove to himself and scouts that he had matured. It appears he made the right choice, racking up 22.5 tackles for loss, with 13.5 sacks for the Colonels to become a AP FCS All-American. At his size, Spence could play end or linebacker in the NFL, giving him a chance to succeed wherever he winds up -- if his life off the field is in order.

 

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ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS

 Plays with a big motor and tremendous endurance. Had eight-sack season as a sophomore at Ohio State. Plays at same speed throughout the game. Good upfield burst. Has played with hand in the ground and standing. Won't give away leverage by engaging too early in pass rush. Has solid speed to the edge with a strong rip move at the top of his rush to turn the corner. Takes good angles around the rush arc. Quick lateral slide down the line to restrict running lanes. Plays with a sense of desperation when the ball is in his area. Eludes lead blockers and cut ­blocks. Pursues around the field looking to scoop up tackles. Dominated his level of competition with 11.5 sacks, 22.5 tackles for loss and 63 tackles over 11 games. Scouts call him an intelligent person and player. Has had success fighting through adversity and has renewed sense of urgency on and off the field as well as a sense of accountability. Former head coach Urban Meyer helped get Spence a second chance because he believes Spence is high character but made mistakes.

WEAKNESSES

 Not as long or tall as teams like at defensive end. Needs to develop more strength at point of attack. Can be bumped of his grass and widened out against run. Average hand usage against the run. Doesn't play with violent punch and control at point of attack. Didn't vary pass rush approach much and just average with speed ­to ­power. Ability to win on high side will be countered by NFL tackles. Will have to develop a counter underneath. Good athlete, but not great twitch for sudden change of direction. At times is too easy to find for blockers. Treated for drug addiction and banned for life from Big Ten after failed drug tests in 2013 and 2014. Arrested in May of 2015 for alcohol intoxication and second­-degree disorderly conduct, but incident was expunged from record after community service.

NFL COMPARISON

 Whitney Mercilus

BOTTOM LINE

 His issues are well-­documented, but his recovery and turnaround is what has NFL teams excited. Spence has been accountable for his actions and worked just as hard off the field as he has on the field to change his life and attack his problems. His inability to hold the point of attack combined with his ability to rush the passer make him a logical choice as a 3-­4 rush linebacker. The speed of the game make take a year or two to get used to, but Spence should become a starter early in his career.

 

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1. He has major off field issues and did not express any remorse during combine interviews

2. The example of Randy Gregory who had a similar situation is fresh on teams' minds

3. Unlike Randy Gregory, Spence did not have splashy measurables

Teams might overlook off field concerns if the numbers are off the charts but not when the numbers are meh

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8 minutes ago, YoungHeezy said:

He dry snitched the combine when answering a question about his drug use at the 

what exactly did he say?  If nothing else, he has shown more discipline than Randy Gregory who could not even stay clean through the NFL combine.   Since he left Ohio State, don't think he has tested positive.

Maybe he is still an idiot and it shows in the questions - but at least his actions have not shown it.....yet.

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For every Gregory, there is a tyran mathieu. Dude said he set up something so he could get drug tested every week a Eastern Kentucky, I like him as a player no doubt about it, I just wonder if the Falcons would give him a chance, but if it was me...I'm pulling the trigger. He has top 10 talent, I could care less about his measurables.

What does Quinn say....."it always comes back to the TAPE!!!"

Edited by HaRdH3ad
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19 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

what exactly did he say?  If nothing else, he has shown more discipline than Randy Gregory who could not even stay clean through the NFL combine.   Since he left Ohio State, don't think he has tested positive.

Maybe he is still an idiot and it shows in the questions - but at least his actions have not shown it.....yet.

Rumor is that he fingered other ex-Buckeye teammates as big drug abusers. Also he reportedly denied he even had a drug problem until he was pressed hard. 

If true, this shows that he lacks self awareness and is not truly remorseful. That is a bad combination for a guy who will not have 'minders' like he had in college and who will also be a multi millionaire. 

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7 minutes ago, HaRdH3ad said:

For every Gregory, there is a tyran mathieu. Dude said he set up something so he could get drug tested every week a Eastern Kentucky, I like him as a player no doubt about it, I just wonder if the Falcons would give him a chance, but if it was me...I'm pulling the trigger. He has top 10 talent, I could care less about his measurables.

What does Quinn say....."it always comes back to the TAPE!!!"

Can you imagine if Spence would have played on Ohio State's defense this year?

Joe Bosa

Darron Lee

Noah Spence

Eli Apple

Vonn Bell

Joshua Perry

Adolphus Washington 

How in the world did Urban Meyer get all of that talent? Good Lord!

 

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Just now, g-dawg said:

Can you imagine if Spence would have played on Ohio State's defense this year?

Joe Bosa

Darron Lee

Noah Spence

Eli Apple

Vonn Bell

Joshua Perry

Adolphus Washington 

How in the world did Urban Meyer get all of that talent? Good Lord!

 

The 2013 class was one Meyer's all time best recruiting class. Bosa, Bell, Apple, Elliott, Lee, Jalin Marshall etc. 

Spence was Meyer's first recruit at Ohio State, in 2012. 

Nick Saban is the gold standard but Urban isn't too far behind. 

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24 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

what exactly did he say?  If nothing else, he has shown more discipline than Randy Gregory who could not even stay clean through the NFL combine.   Since he left Ohio State, don't think he has tested positive.

Maybe he is still an idiot and it shows in the questions - but at least his actions have not shown it.....yet.

They were asking about his drug use at OSU and he said something to the effect of "what happened, happened, but I can guarantee I wasn't the only one partying like that"

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9 minutes ago, YoungHeezy said:

They were asking about his drug use at OSU and he said something to the effect of "what happened, happened, but I can guarantee I wasn't the only one partying like that"

yeah, dumb answer but I have heard worse - if he was not calling out guys by name then it ain't that bad.  If Urban Meyer is still going to bat for him and he has stayed clean for over a year and a half - that is a good thing.

 

 

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Here's the thing g-dawg. That 40 yard dash time isn't terrible. It's better than Alex McCalister's, who I absolutely love as a prospect. The issue isn't just the 40. Speaking from experience, 40 yard dash is literally less than 15% of what goes into my edge score formula. Spence's final score is a 40.53, which is really not good. Other 1st round (and I'll even include 2nd round) picks with a similar score are Adrian Clayborn (42.8), Vinny Curry (41.3), Quinton Coples (38.58) and Marcus Smith (38.22). He's just not the kind of athlete you want to draft early. The best player drafted in the first two rounds in the last decade with a score 40.53 or below is Paul Kruger. Even then, even the best possible scenario, would you want to draft Paul Kruger plus a ton of baggage at 17 or 50? I know I wouldn't.

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1 hour ago, Romfal said:

he is not a special talent, so the headache is not worth it at #17. Its the type of player you take a gamble on in the 2nd round if you can hang your hat on something solid in the 1st for your class.

Thinking like this helped us miss out on Justin Houston smh. Kid reminds me a lot of Houston.  

Watch KC scoop him in the first or Ozzie before us in the second and we all hope to have a shot to pay him max money in 5 years smh 

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16 minutes ago, M@ck said:

Thinking like this helped us miss out on Justin Houston smh. Kid reminds me a lot of Houston.  

Watch KC scoop him in the first or Ozzie before us in the second and we all hope to have a shot to pay him max money in 5 years smh 

Preach!!!

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56 minutes ago, M@ck said:

Thinking like this helped us miss out on Justin Houston smh. Kid reminds me a lot of Houston.  

Watch KC scoop him in the first or Ozzie before us in the second and we all hope to have a shot to pay him max money in 5 years smh 

Justin Houston is athletically comparable to Beasley and Von Miller. Spence is athletically comparable to Adrian Clayborn and Marcus Smith. Spence isn't in the same league, don't make an obnoxious comparison like that.

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