Cowboys 2016 NFL Draft: Scouting DE Noah Spence
We look at a potential first round pick for the Dallas Cowboys in the upcoming NFL Draft: Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence.
As the highlight of the 2016 NFL offseason draws near, the Dallas Cowboys are picking in prime position with the fourth overall pick. We look at the top prospects in the draft, and how they would fit in Dallas.
Former Ohio State and current Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence has been a slept on name during draft season, due to his small school status and his former teammate Joey Bosa getting a lot of hype at the same position. Make no mistake; Spence is a skilled prospect capable of being a star-caliber player in the NFL.
Spence dominated in 2013 at Ohio State, but was banned from the Big Ten conference after multiple failed drug tests. He landed at Eastern Kentucky in 2015, and made himself hard to ignore. He corrected his off the field issues, getting help for his drug addiction with help from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, and got back to dominating on the field for EKU.
Spence has been by far my favorite prospect to watch this year. The first thing that jumps out is his motor. He plays every single play like the game is on the line, and has just as much energy in the fourth quarter as he does the opening play.
Outside from the effort, his pure talent shines through on the tape. He gets around the edge quicker than any player in this draft. He does a good job picking his spots against blockers, looking for an advantage before engaging. He keeps his eyes in the backfield, adjusting to run plays quickly to close in on the ball carrier. As far as technique goes, Spence excels at using his hands to get around blockers, or to attack the football.
One can never have too many good pass rushers, and adding Spence to the budding group of pass rushers the team currently has in DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory would give them a talented young rotation to develop, giving quarterbacks nightmares for years to come.
The only issue in taking Spence is value, whether or not he will be worth the fourth overall pick in this draft. I believe he is one of the three best defensive players in this draft (after FSU’s Jalen Ramsey, maybe tied with UCLA’s Myles Jack), and I believe that’s worth the fourth overall pick for a team aching on defense.
The other issue would be his off the field problems. The Cowboys are reportedly getting away from a troubled defensive end in Greg Hardy, and also have last year’s second round pick in Gregory staring down the barrel of a four game suspension this upcoming season.
The fourth overall pick is an awfully high risk for a player who may end up in the NFL’s drug program, with a history of drug abuse. If the Cowboys believe Spence has fixed his issues, he would look great with a star on his helmet.
Next: A Cowboys Mock Draft almost too good to be true
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