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CBS Sports' Pete Prisco says Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence should be a top-five pick if his character checks out.

"Kid was really good at Ohio State too," Prisco wrote. This former five-star recruit of Ohio State was forced to leave the program after reportedly failing two drug tests. That's about the extent of the character questions you'll read about, as coaches and teammates -- past and present -- have been overwhelmingly supportive in their praise of Spence's personality and work ethic. There are no concerns about Spence's physical talent, which is elite.
Feb 9 - 3:40 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reports that Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence will copy Marcus Peters' pre-draft strategy to deal with character questions.

Peters, of course, was a first-rounder last year who faced numerous questions about off-the-field incidents. "Spence will not turn down interviews or visits requested by teams and wants to prove the past is in the past and he’s beyond the problems which plagued him two years ago," Pauline wrote. "It should come as no surprise Spence shares the same agent as Marcus Peters." Rotoworld's Josh Norris calls Spence "an absolute stud" and pegs him as the No. 11 prospect in the draft: "Most pass rushers win one way, either with speed or power," he wrote. "Spence has the potential to win in both areas."
Feb 9 - 2:50 PM

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks wrote that Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence is "a dynamic athlete with explosive first-step quickness and natural rush skills."

Beyond Spence's strong first-step and his natural ability to rush the passer, Brooks notes that "he flashes the ability to "bend and burst" around the corner using a "dip-and-rip" move to get home." The 6-foot-3, 261-pounder's been a hot name in recent draft chatter, particularly after a sterling week of practice leading up to the Senior Bowl. Brooks has previously written that he sees a possible Top-15 selection for Spence this spring. "Given the challenge of slowing down a speed rusher with exceptional balance and body control, Spence could make a [Von] Miller-like impact off the edges," the analyst concludes.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 8 - 5:09 PM

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks indicated that he believes Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence is "going to be in the conversation for the top 15 [players selected in the draft]."

"His ability to rush the passer, first-step quickness, dip and rip, the bend and balance that you see him turn the corner with," Brooks said on the Move the Sticks podcast, "to me reminded me of the same thing I saw from Von Miller when he was at the Senior Bowl years ago." The 6-foot-3, 261-pound Spence was considered a consensus winner of the Senior Bowl week by draft analysts, with CBS Sports' Dane Brugler besting Brooks Top-15 talk and slapping a "top-10 talent" label on him. "Everyone wants a closer. A guy who can close out the game (with a sack) when you have a lead. Noah Spence is the best closer in the draft," Brooks concluded.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 4 - 2:50 PM

At the Senior Bowl, Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence "put to rest any concerns about his on-field ability, proving he has an elite athletic skill set off the edge," notes ESPN's Todd McShay.

Spence was the sixth-best prospect at the event, in McShay's eyes. "Spence was a guy everyone had circled to watch [last] week, after transferring from Ohio State to Eastern Kentucky in the wake of two drug-related suspensions," McShay wrote. The prospect acquitted himself well. So well, in fact, that CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler believes he "solidified himself as a top-10 talent" over the course of the week.
Feb 1 - 5:05 PM

CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler believes that Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence "solidified himself as a top-10 talent" over the course of the Senior Bowl proceedings.

Spence fared just fine against tackles Jason Spriggs (Indiana), Kyle Murphy (Stanford) and Cole Toner (Harvard) during Saturday's Senior Bowl. Those three were "no match for Spence's agility and burst off the snap as the EKU rush end used space to easily cut inside and infiltrate the pocket," according to Brugler, who went on to note that the 6-foot-3, 261-pound prospect is "inconsistent against the run and needs hand refinement, but rushing the passer is his bread and butter, and what makes him one of the top defensive prospects in the 2016 draft class." The CBS analyst believes that how Spence addresses off-the-field questions (the former five-star recruit reportedly failed two drug tests when he was with Ohio State) will determine how high in the first round he could soar.
Source: CBS Sports
Jan 31 - 12:41 PM

A college football coach told NFL Media draft analyst Charles Davis, "I want my pass rushers to do it like [Eastern Kentucky DE Noah] Spence."

On Saturday, Spence continued to surge. This following a strong week of Senior Bowl practices. The 6-foot-3, 261-pound disruptive force was able to overpower offensive linemen at various points during Saturday's contest and could realistically have been named Most Outstanding Player (an honor that went to Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott). During the practice week, he proved near-unblockable during drills and drew high praise from across the draft analysis community. CBS Sports' Rob Rang called him "unstoppable at times." In a recent four-round mock draft, NFL Media analyst Chase Goodbread slotted him to the Titans with the 33rd pick (that's the second pick of the second round). We think there's a strong chance that will look conservative when the actual draft rolls around in late April.
Jan 30 - 9:00 PM

NFL Media analyst Charles Davis wrote that Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence had a "sensational" week of practice leading up to Saturday's Senior Bowl.

Davis believes that Spence is among the players in Mobile for the Senior Bowl who most helped their stock this week. "If he keeps satisfying teams with his off-field growth," Davis wrote, "his sensational week in Mobile (he did not get blocked often in any drill) has him potentially getting his name called in Chicago pretty early on night one." As to that off-field growth, the 6-foot-3, 261-pounder was a five-star recruit out of high school when he joined the Buckeyes, but he reportedly failed multiple drug tests and was ultimately dismissed from the team before transferring to Eastern Kentucky in 2015. He'll need to show nicely in team interviews, but regardless, his football toolkit is loaded.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 30 - 1:07 PM

Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence was "unstoppable, at times, exploding upfield and around tackles to harass the South Team's quarterbacks" during the Senior Bowl practice week, observed CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang.

Rang called Spence "the most dynamic player competing this week at the Senior Bowl" and was particularly keen on the fact that the 6-foot-3, 261-pounder looked dominant "whether lining up as a traditional hand-in-the-dirt defensive end or out of the two-point stance." A former five-star recruit for Ohio State, Spence does have some character questions he'll need to address (he reportedly failed two drug tests with the Buckeyes), but his physical talent is overwhelming. Rotoworld's Josh Norris has called him an "absolute stud."
Source: CBS Sports
Jan 29 - 2:21 PM

Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence "might be the most explosive edge rusher in Mobile this week," according to Pro Football Focus.

PFF's two games against FBS opponents to grade Spence on last year both came back positive. 'That combined with his play against top competition in Mobile could result in him climbing draft boards," the site's group of writers noted. At the Senior Bowl, Spence has been asked plenty about the failed drug tests that resulted in his ban from the Big Ten Conference. "Every night I was up until about 11:30 interviewing. But it's fine. It was a blessing to be here and get to explain what they wanted to know," Spence said. "I already knew those questions were coming, and how I was going to handle it. I just had to tell the truth and try to explain it. They got that stuff over with in the beginning (of the interview), then they got right into football."
Jan 28 - 8:17 PM

Rotoworld's Josh Norris says Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence "is an absolute stud."

The analyst ranked Spence as the No. 2 prospect at the Senior Bowl, one spot behind Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins. More importantly, Norris pegs Spence as the No. 13 player in the draft. "He has displayed the level of ability to win in both phases of edge rushing, speed and power," Norris wrote. "Therefore, I will be focusing on the nuances to winning. These pass rushers can often win with just sheer athleticism in one on one situations, but if Spence shows pass rush variety to go along with hand use to create separation, watch out. He can dominate the week." The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Spence reportedly failed two drug tests with the Buckeyes. He's answering plenty of questions about that.
Source: Rotoworld
Jan 27 - 2:41 PM

CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler noted that how Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence carries himself during the Senior Bowl practice week "will be an important step in his job interview for NFL teams."

Brugler called Spence a "Top-15 talent" in this draft class, but there are obvious character concerns that teams will need to address if they're going to use a first-round pick on the 6-foot-3, 260-pounder. Reported drug test failures resulted in the former Buckeye being banned from the Big Ten, at which point he transferred down to the FCS level at Eastern Kentucky and subsequently dominated lower-level talent. "The best player on either Senior Bowl roster," Brugler wrote, "Spence will be a popular name this week because of his ability on the football field and for what he says off of it."
Source: CBS Sports
Jan 25 - 9:14 PM

A scout indicated that teams will have to do a lot of background checking on Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence.

"Pass rushers are at a premium, and he is that," said the scout. "Multiple trust things got him kicked out. You'll have to do a lot of background work on him." The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Spence reportedly failed two drug tests with the Buckeyes, though CBS Sports' Dane Brugler recently passed along that he's still well thought of by coaches and teammates. Spence, who slipped into Rd. 1 in Josh Norris' mock draft, will play in the Senior Bowl next month.
Jan 17 - 11:50 AM

Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence as the No. 13 overall draft prospect.

"The former Ohio State Buckeye is an outstanding talent," Norris wrote. "Most pass rushers win one way, either with speed or power. Spence has the potential to win in both areas. A lot will be made about Spence’s past and 'character concerns,' but what if they aren’t concerns any longer?" The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Spence, who will play in the Senior Bowl, posted 22.5 TFL, 11.5 sacks, 63 tackles (31 solo), 15 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and two recovered fumbles this past season.
Source: Rotoworld
Jan 15 - 4:43 PM

Despite a number of roadblocks during his Ohio State career, EKU DE Noah Spence is still well thought of by coaches and teammates, according to Dane Brugler.

"I don't think I've ever studied a player with his baggage yet there are so many (former coaches, etc) who still speak highly of his character," Brugler tweeted. This seems to be a common sentiment after Spence gave Bruce Feldman an extended interview and opened up about his addictive past. Teams will dig and dig for information during the draft process, especially for a prospect as talented as Spence.
Jan 8 - 11:05 AM


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