Photo of Noah Spence
Drafted By: Buccaneers
  • Round 2
  • Pick 8
  • Overall 39

Combine Results

5.99 ?
  • 4.80 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 25 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 35.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 121.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.21 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.35 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"He's not a lengthy defensive end pass rusher, but has Von Miller-type size. He brings it every day in the weight room and brings it every day on the practice field." -- Ohio State coach Urban Meyer

  • 6'2" Height
  • 33" Arm Length
  • 251LBS. Weight
  • 10 3/4" Hands


Spence's talent is unquestioned, 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.



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.


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.

Draft Projection

Rounds 1 or 2

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.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster