NFL

Noah Spence Caps Great Senior Bowl Week With Dominant Perfomance

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Former Eastern Kentucky and Ohio State defensive end/linebacker Noah Spence didn’t win any of the individual honors at Saturday’s Reese’s Senior Bowl, but he came away the biggest winner from the week.

Spence positioned himself as the best pure pass rusher at the Senior Bowl and one of the very best in the nation, and the prospect that was figured to be a second-round pick if he had a good week likely won’t escape Round 1 now.

“Pass rushers are the toughest thing to find in the Draft,” an NFL executive told Football Insiders.  “There are fewer of them than franchise quarterbacks right now and it’s a unique skill set.”

Spence spent all week displaying that very skill set as he beat all of the South team offensive tackles in one-on-one drills, before taking his talents to the field on Saturday against the North team.  Spence finished with a pair of tackles and a sack in the game as he beat one of the better offensive tackles in this draft in Indiana’s Jason Spriggs.

“I bring a great pass rush and I’m able to set the edge for an NFL team,” Spence told Football Insiders.

So who does Spence compare his game to?

“I really like Justin Houston’s game,” he said.  “I watch a lot of his film and I try to model my game around his.”

Both players have a devastating first step and Spence still has to show that he can hold up against the run, something that really can’t be shown in an all-star game environment.

Still, Spence was perhaps the biggest winner of the week as he showed himself to be a first round talent at the most premium of positions.

Although there are a few teams with bigger, immediate needs than the defensive line, there isn’t any team that has enough pass rushers.

That’s what makes finding a landing spot for Spence that much more difficult.  Any team in the NFL can make a legitimate case for selecting him in the first round.  He can go as high as No. 5 to Jacksonville, who has a desperate need for a Leo/pass rusher and as far down as anyone in the 20’s.

After looking at Spence’s film, it will be difficult for any NFL team to go in a different direction.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.