Cowboys could trade up in draft for this pass rusher
The Dallas Cowboys could be tempted to trade back into the first round if this pass rusher falls as expected.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. A talented pass rusher falls in the draft due to drug-related issues and lands in the Dallas Cowboys lap. It’s the exact scenario that happened in 2015 when Nebraska’s Randy Gregory fell to Dallas in the second round after failing a drug test during the NFL’s Scouting Combine. But could this actually happen for the Cowboys two years in a row?
That scenario was talked about during the Cowboys Draft Show last week, which aired on the team’s official site. There, it’s hosts discussed the same possibility of this happening again this April for Dallas, this time involving Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence.
"“You will not see a guy in this draft that has the explosiveness of him when coming off the football,” said former scout Bryan Broaddus on DallasCowboys.com. “When you watch [Noah] Spence play, I think he is the best pass rusher in this draft. When you talk about how you can attack the corner, capture the corner and get flat in a hurry. There’s a reason why this kid went to Ohio State.”"
But the 6-3, 252 pound Spence was kicked off the Buckeyes team and banned from the Big Ten after suffering from an addiction to ecstasy following a sophomore season where he posted 50 tackles, 14.0 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. Last year, as a transfer at Eastern Kentucky, he recorded 63 total tackles, 22.5 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks.
The high-character Spence claims he has learned his lesson, hit rock bottom, and is now looking for redemption.
"“I just want to show the world that I am a better person than when I left Ohio State,” he told Fox Sports last October. “I used to say to my dad that everybody that’s real good in the NFL always seems like they have a story and I don’t have one. I guess now this is my story. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and my situation has definitely made me stronger…This situation has made me grow up fast. I feel like it’s all part of God’s plan.”"
Spence’s past drug history is expected to have him tumbling down the draft, but not out of the first round. Currently predicted to go 29th to the Green Bay Packers by draft expert Dane Brugler, the explosive prospect would be in striking distance for the Cowboys as they own the 34th overall pick in the second round. Trading back up into the first round could be feasible in order to snag the best pass rusher in the draft. Spence will be a participant in the upcoming Senior Bowl and worth keeping an eye on moving forward.
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