PFF scouting report: Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky

Steve Palazzolo and the PFF draft crew break down the play of Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence ahead of the 2016 NFL draft.

| 8 months ago
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

PFF scouting report: Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky


Below is the PFF draft profile for Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.

Position fit:

Likely best as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but could put his hand on the ground and rush as a 4-3 defensive end.

Stats to know:

Picked up two sacks and six hurries on 104 rushes against Power-5 competition. Won 75 percent of his one-one-one reps at Senior Bowl practice, tied for third among defensive linemen. Spence had one sack and six hurries to lead all pass-rushers in the Senior Bowl game.

What he does best:

• Good burst off the line of scrimmage. Fires off the ball and low and challenges the corner on offensive tackles.

• Quick hands; can win to the outside with his hands or use a swim to get back inside.

• Can win with quickness and agility to make plays in the run game.

• Has had success rushing off both sides.

• Had a dominant week at the Senior Bowl. Was one of the best edge-rushers the entire week, and it carried over to the game.

Biggest concern:

• May never be a good run defender (+0.6 grade in our 165 charted snaps; 0.0 is considered average). Lacks ideal length and power to set the edge.

• Gets caught upfield against the run, sells out for the pass.

• Reads and feels backside pullers, but rarely attacks them with power.

• Will get engulfed by blockers at the point of attack.

• May not have the power to threaten offensive tackles as a bull-rusher.

• Has off-field concerns that led to his dismissal from Ohio State.

Bottom line:

The edge-rush class is wide open after Spence’s former teammate, Joey Bosa, is selected. Spence’s ability to get after the quarterback should elevate his value. He may only be a pass-rush specialist at the next level, but given his strong performance at the Senior Bowl, he looks like one of the best pure edge-rushers in the class.

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