He improved his time, but indications are the day wasn't a game-changer.
Spence recorded times of 4.75 and 4.79 seconds in the 40 on Friday, according to NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt, who spoke with a source who witnessed the workout. He also participated in position drills outdoors in cold conditions (39 degrees), but he stood on his numbers in the vertical (35 inches) and broad jump (10-1).
"It's not a killer. It's not a crushing time, but you'd hope for it to be just a little bit faster," said NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah of Spence's 40 time on NFL Network's Path to the Draft. "... I'd like to see somebody at that size run in the 4.6s, (the) high 4.6s. Maybe in the very, very low 4.7s. I think 4.68 sounds about right for what you'd want to see."
The most telling aspect of the workout might have been who wasn't in attendance. Representatives from 28 NFL teams were on hand for the event, but there were no head coaches or general managers in attendance. Tampa Bay defensive line coach Jay Hayes was the only position coach present. Redskins director of college scouting Scott Campbell and Jets senior director of college scouting Rex Hogan were the only front-office executives who attended.
Typically, teams will send at least one high-ranking member of the front office as part of a large contingent of reps to see top-level players they have high interest in drafting.
Spence is rated the No. 30 prospect in the draft by Jeremiah. He's a highly regarded talent, but his well-documented history of drug use is a red flag that threatens to lead to a draft-day slide. The former Ohio State player who was permanently banned from the Big Ten for two failed drug test might not have done himself any favors in meetings with NFL teams at the combine, as NFL Media's Kimberly Jones reported his interviews were "very shaky."
The pro day was a chance for NFL decision makers to speak directly to Spence without the time limits attached to the combine interviews (15 minutes) and members of the EKU coaching staff, which would be viewed as a valuable opportunity for any clubs thinking seriously about drafting him.
There was plenty on the line for Spence, who no doubt wanted to make a good impression on Friday, but he had to be disappointed with his audience.