Noah Spence Moving?
The NFL Draft is the accumulation of the hard work and dedication pay off for young collegiate stars. In 2015, Tampa Bay used a good portion of their picks to fix a struggling offense. The Buccaneers would shift their focus in 2016 to the defense. This made most fans very excited due to the flashes of excellence on the offensive side the year prior.
The Buccaneers used the 11th pick in the draft to select Vernon Hargreaves III out of Florida. He was going to help the secondary slow down NFC South passing attacks. The second round is where fans began to scratch their heads a little bit. The Buccaneers were on the clock and looking for a pass rusher. As the commissioner walked to the podium fans grew anxious. With the 8th pick in the second round, the Buccaneers selected Noah Spence defensive end out of Ohio State/Eastern Kentucky.
Noah Spence was a huge risk for the Buccaneers due to his lack of commitment in college. He was kicked out of Ohio State for abusing ecstasy and public drunkenness. He was the best pure pass rusher in the draft that year, but not the best defensive end. Spence was a fast, strong, but undersized for the position. The Buccaneers would come to regret the decision as he really hasn’t panned out.
Spence has 34 total tackles with 6.5 sacks in three seasons in Tampa. The Buccaneers have finally addressed the fact he is undersized. They will be moving him to outside linebacker in the 2019 season. The Buccaneers have an impending linebacker situation on their hands with the departure of Kwon Alexander and Kendall Beckwith’s status being uncertain for the rest of his career. Spence will get a chance to reinvent himself as a power linebacker. He could be the missing link on the defensive side of the ball. The move should help utilize his tremendous speed and strength. Spence will be fast enough to play coverage on opposing running backs and physical enough to get past offensive tackles.
The Buccaneers are not ready to move on from the highly touted Spence, but if this doesn’t work, it may be time to walk the plank in Tampa.