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Clinton McDonald: Noah Spence can be '10-sack player'

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Following the 2016 NFL Draft, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht touted No. 39 overall pick Noah Spence as "one of, if not the, best pure pass rusher" available.

Spence teamed with former Giants defensive end Robert Ayers to spearhead a swarming Tampa Bay pass rush that tagged Eagles quarterbacks with four sacks and 10 hits in the preseason opener.

On the heels of a sizzling training camp, Spence is taking on the look of a legitimate Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

In a Friday interview with WDAE's Tom Krasniqi, veteran defensive tackle Clinton McDonald raved, via JoeBucsFan.com, that Spence has "the capability to be a 10-sack player this season."

A first-round talent who fell to the second round due to off-field concerns, Spence was a disruptive force as a nickel rusher beating Philadelphia's left tackles in the first half of Thursday night's game.

"Noah Spence went in there on the second play, the second play of the game in our starting nickel package," said Dirk Koetter said. "Noah, like our entire D-line, affected the quarterback all night."

Earlier in the week, Koetter noted that the Buccaneers' offensive linemen had gotten used to Spence bringing "lightning off the edge" in training camp practices.

"(He's been) solid every day," Koetter added, via ESPN.com. "Every day the kid flashes. For a rookie, he hasn't hit any slump days, so to speak, where he's had an off day. Every day he flashes; he's got a nice motor, he pushes himself hard."

Outside of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and standout linebacker Lavonte David, the Bucs' front seven has been noticeably lacking in impact players over the past half-decade. With Spence and Ayers bringing the heat off the edge, this defense should show substantial improvement in 2016.

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