Houston Texans draft series: DE Noah Spence
After being released from Ohio State, could Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence finish his redemption story by becoming an NFL star?
Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence made his path to the NFL harder on himself than it needed to be. Originally a standout pass rusher for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Spence was kicked off the team after repeated failed drug tests and had to go to a smaller school to try and gain his redemption.
The young defender struggled in his partying days and understands that he caused himself to have several red flags as he enters the NFL. Spence just hopes that by being open and putting together a long string of good days, he can convince teams his past is simply that, the past.
"“Obviously, people still have their doubts,” Spence said via ESPN. “Somebody’s always going to critique something because they need something to look down on. But I feel like, the further I get away from my past, it’s going to be easier for people to trust me off the field.”More from Toro TimesHouston Texans: Can Sean Payton really be the next head coach?Houston Texans Draft: Michael Mayer should be a no doubter at pick 12Houston Texans already telling fans the Davis Mills era is overHouston Texans have hand forced, waste no time in firing Lovie SmithHouston Texans: Pros and Cons of keeping Head Coach Lovie Smith"
Weight: 251 pounds
Arm Length: 33 inches
Hands 10 3/4″
Strengths: Incredible motor and burst off the snap. Spence had 13 sacks in his final NFL season and is as gifted a pass rusher as there is in this draft. He has above average intelligence and hardly ever seemed to tire while on the field.
Weaknesses: The big one is obviously the trust factor off the field. It’s hard to spend a high pick on a player with a history of making wrong decisions. After drug issues still had problems as he was arrested in 2015 for public intoxication and disorderly conduct. On the field isn’t as long or tall as many would want in a defensive end, but that may not be an issue as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Where he fits with Texans: Noah Spence would be a fit as an outside linebacker in Houston and would allow the team to part ways with Jadeveon Clowney following the 2016 season should they decide he is no longer worth the investment.
Is he worth a pick? Yes and no. It really depends on where you stand with Clowney. Those who believe Clowney can become the pass rusher he was supposed to be may be hesitant to use a first round pick on another pass rusher, especially with other needs. For those who think Clowney’s lack of sacks and constant injuries are a sign of things to come will say it’s worth it to pick Spence.
Next: Houston Texans draft series: DE Emmanuel Ogbah
That all being said, it’s probably most likely worth the pick if the mann who could arguably be the best pass rusher in the draft falls all the way to 22 for the Texans.