Noah Spence… In Second Round?

February 9th, 2016
NFL Network's Mike Mayock wouldn't be shocked if DE Noah Spence falls to the second round.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock wouldn’t be shocked if DE Noah Spence falls to the second round.

It is almost hard to believe, but in two weeks, Joe will fly to Indianapolis and brave the harsh Midwestern winter to cover the NFL Scouting Combine.

(Joe grew up not that far from Indianapolis and went to college a couple of hours from Indianapolis, and Joe can never remember cold there like last year, when temperatures fell far below zero in central Indiana with a 25 mph wind. It took Joe damned near a week back in Florida to thaw out.)

It will be there that Joe’s draft coverage begins in earnest. That doesn’t mean Joe is ignoring the draft. Hence, this post.

A lot of Bucs fans have zeroed in on Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence. The gifted sackmeister comes with serious baggage, including substance abuse issues (he seems to have a preferred taste for Ecstasy and a knack of tossing beer bottles near cops). If the Father Flanagan of college coaches, Urban Meyer, runs you off his team, then you know there are significant issues.

While football fans are focused on Spence’s supreme talent, NFL folks are equally focused on the head of the former All-Academic Big Ten honoree.

NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock, while appearing on a recent Ross Tucker podcast, said he knows  teams have taken Spence off their draft boards, and he wouldn’t be shocked if Spence tumbled into the second round. Mayock, who compares Spence athletically to Elvis Dumervil, says teams are that freaked out by Spence’s personal baggage.

“Where do you come down off the field with this kid?” Mayock said. “He has a history of substance abuse. It is one of those deals where if you just evaluate him and say, ‘He will be fine. We have him evaluated as the 20th-best player in the draft.’ Bang, OK. If he is available in the second round, you pick him, or the third round — some teams, I already know some teams will take him off the board. So you are dealing with a limited number of teams. And when I say limited it might be 25 it could be 28 it could be 20, I don’t know what the number is, but I am sure certain teams have taken him off the board already.”

That’s the sticking point for Joe. If this guy is allegedly so smart, then why is he screwing around with Ecstasy — a banned substance in college — so much that he got run off by Meyer, of all people, and even banned by the Big Ten. Then after all of that, he is caught winging beer bottles near cops and getting pinched for being publicly hammered?

This scares the hell out of NFL folks, understandably.

Licht Has The Resumé

Look no further than the Bucs’ recent history and Aqib Talib constantly doing knuckleheaded things. His icing on the cake was getting popped for a banned substance. The Bucs could only get a fourth round pick for him. Also, let’s not forget how gifted safety Tanard Jackson smoked himself out of the league (allegedly).

If Spence really does fall to the second round, or even late first round, would Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht trade up to get him? Joe trusts Licht with the draft, especially with players who have baggage.

Remember, it was Licht who personally investigated Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu, when he was with the Cardinals. Mathieu, like Spence, had serious baggage in college. He was thrown off the LSU team for repeated substance abuse issues and even went through drug rehab. And we all know how Licht became a human piñata for the politically correct crowd and wet nurses after sticking his neck out for America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston.

How did those two picks turn out?

If Licht gambles on Spence, whether it be with the No. 9 pick or in the second round (or later?), Joe’s good with that.

Interestingly, Nate Davis of USA Today has Spence falling to the Packers at No. 27. Of course, this guy also thinks the Bucs’ offensive line “struggled” in 2015.

53 Responses to “Noah Spence… In Second Round?”

  1. biff barker Says:

    LaVonte had issues too. JUCO was the ticket back to Nebraska.

    Talib, Blount and Vontae Burflict comes to mind. Supremely talented morons.

  2. Lord Says:

    Honestly I probably won’t get that involved in pre draft desires. I’ll put my faith in Light. We need talent in a lot of places and I don’t feel as dialed in like last year in terms of absolutely wanting Winston and 2 o lineman with 3 of our first 4 picks.

    I don’t have any specific player or even position i think is an absolute must outside of DE which we know will be addressed

  3. DB55 Says:

    Sometimes you just got to say Duck It! And take the risk. Scared money don’t make money. Seems like last year we had to decide over a young man with a questionable past and a choir boy. You see how that worked out. Incognito went to the pro bowl and we were scared of him too.

    One thing that I like about KOETTER is that he’s not afraid of Bad Boys! Finally we have some swag. I’m really tired of this ‘nice guy’ persona we have on this team. No one is afraid of the Bucs, it’s like we’re a homecoming team.

    Worst case, he gets caught using and gets suspended. We’re out a 2nd or 3rd round pick. We did worse than that with ASJ.

    Id really like licht to draft at least 2 DEs maybe a 3rd as an udfa.

  4. blind melon Says:

    I don’t know you take someone top 10 with flags… these are proven ones.

  5. kaput Says:

    Landry? Come on, man.

    How wrong was he with Winston? What did he say? 30+ interception? Said he didn’t love football enough, didn’t work hard enough and thought he’d be a long term project and that at number one overall he would be a huge bust.

    He said that Burifict couldn’t play in the NFL. He wasn’t talking about behavior, he was talking about skill set. I remember him going on and on about deficiency after deficiency and swearing up and down that he shouldn’t even be signed as an undrafted free agent because he had no talent.

    I can’t think of a single draft analyst that I think less of, honestly. What a tool.

  6. ClutchBuc Says:

    JW had issues. Now his only issue is Droppers of the Pig Skin. Worth the Gamble.

  7. Dewey Selmon Says:

    He did some dumb S@#t as a young man. I don’t think he will last to our 2nd round pick. He might skyrocket up the boards and not even be there at #9.

  8. annapolisbuc Says:

    gotta ask…where did joe go to school in Indiana??????????

  9. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    The line did struggle against good teams. We need at least 4 new offensive linemen before that is a championship offense. Simple as that.

  10. BucFan20 Says:

    I thought Lovie was out of Tampa?

  11. Big Marlon B Says:

    i’m praying for Ramsey to fall to 9, and Spence to be there in the 2nd round. i know it’s probably pretty unlikely for either to happen, let alone both. but i can dream can’t i?

    Sign Weddle and Mario Williams. Weddle and Ramsey at safety, Spence and Williams on the ends. Verner and Banks will be fine with legitimate coaching, and the CB free agent class is pretty deep anyway. the defense would be absolutely loaded.

  12. Johnny "America's Commenter" Dejay Says:

    It seems like NFL teams make allowances for guys that can rush the passer.

  13. DallasBuc Says:

    Mayock, the shill for incompetent Lovie Smith who trashed Winston a year ago leading up to the draft. He no longer is deserving of the football knowledge respect that people continue to afford him. Off the roll call for trusted sources of knowledge.

  14. unbelievable Says:

    Eric Weddle is a liability against speed these days, I would not be going after him.

    Spence is a tough one. I know many people (including myself), who partied pretty hard in college, but now live responsible lives with jobs. That being said, I didn’t have a football scholarship, nor was I trying to play in the NFL. And some people don’t ever grow out of that, especially if they are rolling in $$.

    The hard part is how do you ever know when someone will actually grow up? You don’t, truthfully. But this kid has got enough talent that someone will draft him, and my gut says he will be gone by the second pick of the second round.

  15. annapolisbuc Says:

    what school did Joe go to in the Hoosier state???????

  16. Supersam Says:

    THis dude has talent, but is a serious risk. I say pass until the 3rd.

  17. Tnew Says:

    He’s gonna have to give the worst interview ever to last. He will be a top 15 or a no draft on team’s draft boards. Premier talent at a thin premier position

  18. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Joe you forgot to mention that Licht didn’t hesitate to roll the dice last year on the #1 draft pick despite all the naysayers. That obviously has worked out well.

    I’m a fairly old dude..with Vietnam experience. But I’ve only been around booze, weed and coke…oh and amphetimines. I do not know the properties of Ecstasy.

    Perhaps someone can educate me about the addictive qualities of Ecstasy. IMO Alcoholism is the worst…see Johnny Football…weed can be psychologically addictive but physically it’s nothing like booze or cigarettes..the worst.

    If we get him in the 2nd round…Walter football has him going in the first to Seattle at 26th or 27th…I’d have to feel ok in the belief that just like with #3 Licht will have done plenty of due diligence.

    Also depends on how strong Koetter feels our locker room is right now. If it’s NE strong we take a chance.

    BTW re Koetter and bad boys. During the debate about whether to hire him some posters pointed out he tolerated bad boys at ASU. That was largely predicated however on one story about a player who was truly bad and committed a murder.

    Koetter also had a graduation record for his players second only to Stanford in the Pac 12 and among the nation’s leaders. Koetter does get his athletes to perform off the field.

  19. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:


    Ecstasy is AWESOME (I mean, I heard). But, not really addictive. I mean, some people just have addictive personalities and get hooked on all sorts of things. But, chemically? No, not addictive.

    If the league just stopped testing for herb, if would be so much healthier for players. There would be much less abuse of booze and pills.

  20. briandorry55 Says:

    I am more concerned with his size and how he fits on our defense more-so than his off the field stuff. Reading stories about him and watching/reading interviews with him, it seems like he got the message once he got booted from Ohio State and besides the broken beer bottle incident, passed through his rehab programs with flying colors and demanded that Eastern Kentucky drug test him as often as possible so he could prove he was past the drug issue. Ecstasy is a big scary word…but frankly, it’s a party drug and I would be more concerned if he had addiction issues with several other things. If they think they can utilize him despite his size (like the Broncos use Von Miller?) then I’m all for it.

  21. MadMax Says:

    Thanks for this story Joes. I was all about this the last 3 weeks and Im still concerned. But, Ive watched and re watched some of his film. I’d go for it with our 2nd i he’s still there (might have to move up a little).

    But our first pick I still hope will be Ramsey or DT Billings. Ramsey wont be there, so Billings it should be. Watch his film….that kid wreaks havoc!! I could see us using a 3/4 at times with Billings at NG and Akeem Spence backing him up. Use Noah Spence as a Von Miller hybrid, also with rushing Kwon…and if we sign Mario…man. That would look pretty nice as far as pass rush goes.

    Mario/Billings/GMC …. Smith/A.Spence/Melton/Gholston backing them up. Still need to fix Safety, but that pass rush, according to scheme just might start winning us some games.

  22. Joe Says:

    Joe you forgot to mention that Licht didn’t hesitate to roll the dice last year on the #1 draft pick despite all the naysayers. That obviously has worked out well.

    Um, may want to go back and read it again. 🙁

  23. Joe Says:

    what school did Joe go to in the Hoosier state???????

    Joe didn’t go to school in the Hoosier state.

    But Joe loved Bobby Knight!

  24. Stanglassman Says:

    Getting him in the 3rd or even 2nd is just crazy talk. The Bucs will be lucky if he is on the board at # 9. I’m sure some team that wants him will start a whisper campaign that he still isn’t clean in attempt to make him drop but unless something changes drastically he will be a top 7-12 pick.

  25. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    If Ramsey is there, you take him, no questions asked. I just think he will be long gone by then. Baltimore won’t skip him.

  26. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Off the field no longer matters. We took Winston didn’t we? His issues were worse.

    Besides, Spence will never fall to the second round. Mayock is warped on this one. He’ll change his tune once the draft gets closer.

  27. tnew Says:

    I do remember a defensive lineman that slipped in the draft due to drugs. The bucs drafted him in the first round. Worked out ok.

  28. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Jack Burton Mercer Says

    “The line did struggle against good teams. We need at least 4 new offensive linemen before that is a championship offense. Simple as that.”

    OR…you remember they were young and let them actually develop. Get outa here! lol

    StPeteBucsFan Says

    Joe you forgot to mention that Licht didn’t hesitate to roll the dice last year on the #1 draft pick despite all the naysayers.

    Wait! It was reported a while back that Lovie Smith had to convince Licht to take him over Mariota. How is that “not hesitating”?????

    I swear, the revisionist history around here is astounding, lol.

  29. Stanglassman Says:

    What does Ramsey play in the NFL FS or CB?

    I love Ramsey but it’s tough for me evaluate the Bucs need or current S and CB position talent because because Lovie’s system requirements were so unrealistic. I generally don’t like picking a S top ten.

  30. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Just noticed someone is posting using my user name. Joe…I’m not the first one this has happened to. If you’re not going to do something about this stuff, how about we all start doing it. Open season!

  31. Joe Says:

    Just noticed someone is posting using my user name.

    Just pulled up the last 20 comments from the same username and all have the same IP address.

    The offending comment in question, please e-mail the URL of the thread to Joe and he will investigate. Thanks.

  32. RustyRhinos Says:

    If I remember correctly from previous posts Joe went to Northern Illinois? It does get cold there.

  33. Joe Says:

    If I remember correctly from previous posts Joe went to Northern Illinois? It does get cold there.

    Right state; wrong direction. 🙂

  34. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I don’t know which bonsai I am responding to but the article I read said that Jason Licht had his eye on Winston from the time he was at Kansas City and he took Lovie to a game and convinced him that Jameis had all the tools and
    was a natural leader.

  35. 813bucboi Says:

    i’ll start off by saying I didn’t believe lovie deserved to get fired and some of the reasons why he was fired are completely bs…the offense regressed just as much as the defense did…the last month of the season the whole entire team regressed…some will scream out that’s coaching but it really isnt…for example, bama played middle tenn state and in the first quarter it was 10-7 bama, but the final score was 37-10…why..not because of coaching..not because players quit…its because of the talent level..when you have 8 undrafted FA starting on defense your not going to be consistently good…the offense couldn’t move the ball and the defense couldn’t stop anyone…the last month of the season we couldn’t score more than 24points…some say because vjax went down…the same can be said about kwon…we only scored over 24points 4 times with one being a lost…we didn’t score more than 20 points in 7 games…lovie came in with a plan to build a solid offense by surrounding himself with quality coaches on the offensive side of the ball and did that by hiring licht, the first oc and then dirk…he knew the defense so all he had to do is surround himself with coaches that knew his system…obviously the first year was a disaster with the oc quitting due to health, sorry oline and injuries to sims and doug…he got his franchise qb, found a oc and fixed the oline…he did what winning teams do and that’s build thru the draft….the defense was sorry because he decided to use band aids instead of stiches…if lovie would’ve been around for the draft this year he would’ve fixed the defense…also I think people are giving way to much to dirk…IMO, jameis would’ve made marcus arroyo look good…jameis was the first overall pick for a reason and it wasn’t his 40 time…it was because of the things you cant teach(leadership,heart) and what’s between his ears…why wasn’t dirk considered for an hc job after atl let him? matty ice was pretty damn good while he was there…its because people know he’s and oc not an hc…in regards to the glazers wanting to fire him after we went 2-14, that’s total bs…first where’s the source? second, if that was true, why did it take licht advising the glazers to fire lovie? if they wanted to fire him after 2-14, why would they need advise from someone lovie hired? they would’ve gave him the ax after the second saints game….but it is what it is….like I said many on here many time 10wins and a playoff berth is whats to be excepted from here on out…dirk has a lot of pressure….GO BUCS!!!

  36. Buc1987 Says:

    Trade down and still get him late in the first?

  37. Bob in Valrico Says:

    google or bing Jason Licht’s bold plan

  38. Buc1987 Says:

    813bucboi….all that and not one word typed about this topic. lol Good job.

  39. Danati74 Says:

    Use the ecstasy issue to your advantage. Tell him everyone he gets a sack, you will give him 3 ecstasy pills. Sack+fumble…5.

  40. Dave Says:

    No reason to take a chance.
    Plenty of good DL people the first 3 rounds

  41. Pickgrin Says:

    Do your due diligence and make the best judgement you can and hope it works out if you draft him. Its a 50/50 shot statistically that any 1st rounder will become a servicable player in the NFL – so go for the talent if you believe Spence has it and is motivated to man up and fly consistently straight for a chance to play in the NFL and make Millions. .

    SPBF – Ectasy is MDMA. A Hallucinogen. Similar in effect to Acid or mushrooms – but is harder on your body IMO. Cannabis is a mild hallucinogen BTW.

    There are no addictive qualities other than perhaps psychological. Wwould be very easy to set it aside and never touch it again if one were motivated to do so.

  42. Pete Says:

    Tanard Jackson?

  43. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    February 9th, 2016 at 3:46 pm


    Ecstasy is AWESOME (I mean, I heard). But, not really addictive. I mean, some people just have addictive personalities and get hooked on all sorts of things. But, chemically? No, not addictive.

    If the league just stopped testing for herb, if would be so much healthier for players. There would be much less abuse of booze and pills.

    That is correct…BOTH my 20 something year olds said the same thing you did…

    Though addiction can take form in anything..I swear I am addicted to Mountain Dew…it’s all psychological I guess…

  44. Bob in Valrico Says:

    dirk Koetter has a 150 page plan on how to be a head coach.When Jameis threw 5 interceptions who do you think was most responsible for getting Jameis back on track?
    If Lovie Smith has a plan it needs to be rewritten.
    1. when your offensive coordinator is unable to do the job,get somebody qualified to do the job or assist the person you choose to do the job.Dont drag your feet.for a whole season.
    2.Ignore personal friendships and ex players that need a job, go out and get the best coaches and players possible. Don’t fall in love with a player unless they do the job,ie mike Jenkins,Tim Jenkins and a host of ex Chicago players.
    3.Build a scheme to fit players on roster and don’t try to fit square pegs in round holes
    Now to give credit where it is due he did hire an excellent OC as a second choice to guide Jamies along when he needed it.He also hired Jason Licht who was in charge of building the team through draft and wanted to draft Jamies
    and convinced him to take Jamies.

  45. tnew Says:

    Caffeine is a very physically addictive drug. Don’t kid yourself. I’ve weened myself off of it several times. Headaches are common.

    This boils down to the interview process. He had football taken away from him once by getting kicked out of OSU going to Eastern Kentucky. No offense EKU guys but that is a huge demotion. I liked his tape prior to the Senior Bowl, and I love that he showed up to the Senior Bowl ready to work. That showed something to me.

    If he is contrite, and you like what he brings then pull that trigger. On paper, there are NOT many exceptional DE’s in this draft. This draft is deeper in the DT position.

  46. bucinnc Says:

    joe are you an Illini?

  47. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Jameis never had a 5 int game and Joe is a Saluki

  48. unbelievable Says:

    Love and Warrick Dunn is pretty spot on.

    Pickgrin- not so much. It does not make you hallucinate like LSD, although it does heighten your senses and therefor lights / visuals look enhanced. Straight up hallucinations similar to acid / shorooms would mean there is something else besides MDMA in that pill (which is actually common).

    It is not physically addictive, but could be mentally- similar to herb. It’s people with addictive personalities that can’t stop, NOT a physical addition like opiates.

    However, ecstasy does cause your brain to produce tons of dopamine and serotonin, which is why you feel amazing. This is also why people feel really bad, and sometimes depressed the next day. You serotonin and dopamine levels are depleted.

    It will come down to whether teams think he was just being young and having fun, or if there are serious character / mental issues that would lead them to believe he will continue to get in trouble. Like I said earlier, hard to ever know for sure.

  49. HIRE JIMBO Says:

    Noah Spence or BUST!!!!! He will be an absolute beast. Check out this YouTube guy I found.
    Voch Lombardi
    Film session Noah Spence

  50. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Obviously licht would dig deep and talk to him and the people around if he considered drafting him. There is risk with all players. Will they perform up to an NFL standard? Will they stay out of the clubs enough to put in the work? Will they stay off drugs? You have to find plahers that are worth the risk. If you interview the guy and he is high AF, then you probably just pass on him. But if he says the right things and people around say what you’d like to hear, then maybe you take a chance.

  51. Joe Says:

    joe are you an Illini?

    No, but you are close.

    Joe is a Saluki

    Nope. Wrong direction.

  52. godzilla13 Says:

    This years draft has so many different ways for us to pick at nine, anything can happen. Pewter Report has us taking Noah Spence in their mock draft then going offense in another article. Jason Licht has also made it clear that he will not “reach” for a player and he plans on picking BPA. Does Spence fit BPA at nine?” If Jalen Ramsey or Ronnie Stanley falls to us we will draft him. Do I like Andrew Billings? Yes, I do. Is this draft class so loaded at DT that we could draft a stud in the second or third rounds like Vernon Butler? Yes, it does. In the end Noah Spence is the best pure pass rusher in this years draft and maybe in the last several years. He is being compared to Von Miller, which is great but Von Miller and Noah Spence are both typical 3-4 OLB? If you want a stud 4-3 DE why not go with Shaq Lawson or Kevin Dodd? I forgot..we don’t draft Clemson DE anymore. Who can blame us? Then we have the all world DE DeForest Buckner Oregon, who some are saying is just as talented as any player in the draft. Or WR Treadwill to give Jameis some help? I don’t envy Jason Licht this year. Who would I take? Go with the player I watch on film who disrupts the most? Andrew Billings and grab a DE in the second. Safety in the third. DE and CB in FA. Bingo.. were legit.

  53. buc15 Says:

    Spence will be fine. Ecstasy is not addictive, relatively safe and was just a phase he went through but learned his lesson. I would love to get him in the 2nd round but I seriously doubt he will be there when we pick.