Photo of Akeem Spence
Drafted By: Buccaneers
  • Round 4
  • Pick 3
  • Overall 100

Combine Results

66.0 ?
  • 5.15 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 37 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 30.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 107.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.82 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.72 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"He's got a lot of talent and a lot of size. He tested well for his size. He's as strong as they come. He's a weight-room warrior. Now, I didn't always see that strength turn into functional strength on the field. I like him. For Tampa Bay, he'll be a good player. But I want to see that weight-room strength trasnfer to the field." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'1" Height
  • 33 1/2" Arm Length
  • 307LBS. Weight
  • 10" Hands


As a three start recruit, Spence helped lead team to a 10-2 record and district championship, as he recorded 80 tackles and five sacks as a senior. Throughout his high school career, Spence also competed in track and field, as he threw shot put and discus. Spence chose Illinois over Iowa State, Syracuse, N.C. State and South Florida. He earned bachelor's degree in communication in Dec. of 2012

Spence started his college career with a redshirt in 2009. The following season, Spence was named to the Freshman All-American team, as he compiled 45 tackles (4.0 for loss) and a sack. In 2011, Spence moved up from a rotational piece into a full-time starter, as he started all 13 games at defensive tackle. He notched 69 tackles (5.5 for loss) and 1.5 sacks. As a junior, Spence started in all 12 games and managed 72 tackles (7 for loss) and one sack. Spence was an honorable mention for the All-Big Ten team.



Good build, carries his weight well. Strong hands. Can jolt offensive lineman, and is a physical tackling presence. Moves down the line well, shows good range. Can hold at the point of attack. Lots of starting experience, doesn't tire easily.


Doesn't explode off the ball. Fires off with higher than ideal pad level. Slow to use his hands. Won't run legs when engaged. Not the best at handling doubles. Not much of a pass rusher.

NFL Comparison

Sione Fua

Bottom Line

Spence has a good build and displays a strong set of hands. He's a physical tackler, and will make tackles all around the line of scrimmage. However, he needs to improve how he comes off the ball, and needs to make better use of the power in his upper and lower body. He should be a mid-round selection as a 4-3 nose tackle.
Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.