The Houston Texans continue to do their due diligence on draft prospects as they met with Eastern Kentucky OLB Noah Spence on Wednesday
It may be safe to say that the Houston Texans aren’t satisfied with the status quo in terms of rushing opposing passers. Over the past weekend they got a look at Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, and according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle they now hosted Eastern Kentucky outside linebacker Noah Spence.
Spence was an All-American who possesses freakish athletic ability and strength. He’s described as a relentless pass rusher and recorded 22.5 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks for Eastern Kentucky last season.
His talent alone should have him picked near the top ten of the draft, but there are plenty of off field questions surrounding the talented player. He was kicked off the Ohio State football team for repeated failed drug tests and also was arrested last May for alcohol intoxication and second-degree disorderly conduct.
Those issues could lead to him being available when Houston comes on the clock with the 22nd pick later this month, which is apparently leading the team to do their homework on Spence, who claims all his issues are in the past but understands why teams are worried.
"“With anybody with a substance abuse problem that they’ve had, I feel like they’re pretty leery about it,” Spence said. “But if you can put it behind you can convince the team it’s behind you. I’m still being drug tested to this day. It shows that I’ve grown from the situation and I’ve become a better person.”"
The Texans have been looking for a consistent stud pass rusher to help take pressure off defensive end J.J. Watt for years now. Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus broke out with 12 sacks in 2015, but averaged just half of that his previous four seasons in the NFL. Former first overall pick outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney has yet to show he can bring consistent pressure to quarterbacks.