Spence Deemed “Best Pickup”

May 21st, 2016
Lofty expectations this fall from the four-letter.

Lofty expectations from the four-letter.

There were a lot of player acquisitions by Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht this offseason.

But which was the best?

One could argue signing Brent Grimes was a steal. Others could argue it was drafting Vernon Hargreaves.

But not Mike DiRocco. Typing for BSPN, DiRocco believes the best pickup the Bucs made this offseason was second-round defensive end Noah Spence.

Spence supplied teams with his clean drug test results throughout the pre-draft process and because of that, and some work of their own, the Bucs believe his drug problem at Ohio State is behind him. If that really is the case, then Spence could be a defensive rookie of the year candidate. Many analysts believe Spence was the best pure pass-rusher in the draft. The Bucs will turn him loose in a division loaded with star quarterbacks. He could threaten double-digit sacks as a rookie.

Joe has to pump the brakes here. Defensive Rookie of the Year? That’s a bit much.

Rarely do defensive ends get more than 10 sacks in their first season, and Joe doesn’t see how Spence can win that honor if he doesn’t get double-digit sacks.

Besides, Spence is not expected to be an every-down player immediately. So that makes his chances of getting to 10 sacks even more difficult.

Joe hopes fans give Spence some slack. If he doesn’t get 10 sacks, Joe fears Bucs fans will start calling Spence the second coming of Gaines Adams or Da’Quan Bowers.

31 Responses to “Spence Deemed “Best Pickup””

  1. Bird Says:

    Strive for five. 5 sacks is what he needs to get as rookie

  2. Mark Says:

    You strive for 20 sacks. Every guy on that line need to understand that 20 is the mark to reach.

  3. TNOLES Says:

    Don’t give people any ideas Joe. I think he will be solid but I won’t predict a sack total. It’s hard in a league and particularly in a division full of stud QB’s where they get the ball out in like 2 to 3 seconds to be a sack monster like the old days. It seems most sacks are coverage sacks due to great coverage or offensive miscommunication that cause the QB to hold on to the ball longer than he wants or the play is designed for. Slants, hitches, and screens seem to defuse a good pass rush. But, we have great LB’s to handle those scenarios-hopefully.

  4. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I take your point Joe but I believe Spence is going to be exceptional!
    He’s been through a lot already and he’s very hungry. In addition he’s going to be playing for a team that is DESPERATE for some pressure on the passer. Spence will be given every opportunity to wreak some havoc in the backfield.

    I believe Spence has some other variables in his favor…a talented DC and DL coach to guide him, and he’ll be playing on a D with some other stars. If Smitty starts using LVD to blitz and works in Hargreaves every now and then…GMC and Jack Smith do their thing…Spence will not be a particular area of focus for offensive coordinators….unless of course he approaches ten sacks!!!

  5. finishers Says:

    one Million sacks blah,ha,ha!

  6. Joehelldeloxley Says:

    I agree with JOe, don’t put to much pressure on him.
    Sack is a teamwork, so it’s the WHOLE DLine that should improve on this part of the game.
    We should look at the team number of sacks not the individuals one

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Spence should strive for one sack…..the first one…..and then another & another…..goal setting by us doesn’t help.

    As far as Gaines Adams & Daquan Bowers…….Spence can’t be compared to them…..he didn’t go to Clemson.

  8. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans' Says:

    I believe Spence could be a defensive ROY candidate. He’s widely considered the best pure pass rusher from this draft and our coverage on the backend should be greatly improved as well which will definitely help our Dline get to the QB more frequently; and when you combine that with deceptive play-calling and scheming, that is a recipe for alot of sacks/ INT’S, etc…

    I can see someone like Spence and/or Jack Smith blowing up for 12-15 sacks or something.

    I think Spence is gonna be the Kwon Alexander of the Dline.

  9. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans' Says:

    Quote me on that, Joe. Lol

  10. Jeagan1999 Says:

    As an Ohio St. fan, I watched a lot of Spence’s early games, and this kid has got a motor that does not stop! In fact, you could make the argument that Spence is a better pure pass rusher than Bosa! And while I would have loved to have had Bosa as a Buc, I’m thrilled with Spence! I’ve heard some analysts say that he’s not an “elite” athlete….don’t believe it! If his head is on straight, and he gets a coach who properly develops his abilities, he could be a “Von Miller” -type of player in a few years!

  11. DB55 Says:

    I hope they all get 10 sacks even the Ellen wanna-be.

  12. BTBucsfan Says:

    Have to say… Not even a week ago joe put out an article stating that he better see spence rock up close to if not ten sacks in his rookie season…. Now he’s saying I hope nobody ridicules him if he doesn’t. Come on man. Which side are you on?
    Sorry, but that never existed here on these pages. Joe has written about 10 posts about how expectations for Spence should be low. Free free to use the archives search at the bottom of the page.–Joe

  13. ndog Says:

    You guys and your freaking numbers. How about we just watch the games and you can tell of he is affecting the game or not. Just like when people used numbers to defend McCoy’s above average play it means nothing I’d it doesn’t affect the game at critical times. So you mean to tell me if Spence forces the qb into five bad throws that result in turnovers or ending a drive but gets no sacks he didn’t play well?

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    According to Jason Licht – our 1st 3 draft picks (Hargreaves, Spence and Aguayo) all received 1st round grades from our scouts and personnel evaluators.

    I find it interesting how so many refer to Spence’s “drug problem” as a cause for concern and why a bonafide 1st round talent slipped to the 2nd round. And that its something that created such concern and had to be “overcome”.

    IMO, The only difference between Spence and Bosa is that Spence got caught using recreational drugs and Bosa did not. I’m actually quite glad that Bosa did not “fall” to us at #9. Spence is the better pass rusher and thus the better player for the Bucs. He certainly represents waaaay better value at #39 than Bosa at #3.

    Go get em Noah.

  15. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Actually i think Bosa did get caught with drugs. That is why he was projected to potentially slip.

  16. SB with Jameis Says:

    It is too early to be speaking so much sense Pick. 🙂

  17. Bucamania Says:

    Bosa was in Spence’s shadow at OSU until he left. Spence is gonna be fun to watch. Can’t wait to see him plant some NFC South QBs!

  18. Joe Says:

    According to Jason Licht – our 1st 3 draft picks (Hargreaves, Spence and Aguayo) all received 1st round grades from our scouts and personnel evaluators.

    Not a shock at all. In fact, it’s pretty obvious.

    Spence was pick No. 39, seven spots from a first round pick. Had he led a clean life and not been thrown out of the Big Ten, he easily would have been a first round pick.

    The only reason Spence was not drafted in the first round was his fondness for molly.

  19. Rrsrq Says:

    My expectations for Spence and the entire D is to be waaaaayyyyy better, as coaches put player in place to succeed, I hope these guys play with a serious disrespectful chip on their shoulder. Why not set the bar high, defensive ROY, tie, Hargraves and Spence in tandem.

  20. d-roca Says:

    Yessir you strive to sack the guy every play. Never strive for less than a sack a game. We all know its tough but these guys are pros they better be striving for greatness. Now the media n us fans put numbers on stuff. N who cares if people get on spence if he gets less than ten sacks. Those same people are sitting on their couches going sackless every year. These players care less if someone bashes them for coming up short on somebody they dont knows expectations. Wins baby. Thats all that matters come show time

  21. godzilla13 Says:

    The reasons Noah Spence will be successful are simple. He has had success everywhere he has played, from Ohio State to Eastern Kentucky to the Senior Bowl. Spence is the best pure edge-rusher in this years draft. The Senior Bowl is where Spence truly showed the kind of talent he is. Spence picked up two sacks and six hurries on 104 rushes and won 75 percent of his one-one-one reps at the Senior Bowl practice, Spence had one sack and six hurries to lead all pass-rushers in the Senior Bowl game. He is going to be surrounded by some very good players. He will be next to Gerold McCoy, Robert Ayers and either Jacquies Smith, William Gholston or Howard Jones. I want to see him play full time. I believe in camp he is going to play well enough to earn the starting position. He can defend the run just as well as Jacquies Smith and Howard Jones. If he gets the snaps he can produce between 7 and 10 sacks.

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    Joe Says:
    May 21st, 2016 at 12:23 pm
    According to Jason Licht – our 1st 3 draft picks (Hargreaves, Spence and Aguayo) all received 1st round grades from our scouts and personnel evaluators.

    Not a shock at all. In fact, it’s pretty obvious.


    What is not so obvious (and is quite interesting) is that in the same interview, Licht said that ALL FOUR of last years 1st>4th round picks (Winston, D. Smith, Marpet and Kwon) carried 1st round grades. He specifically named Kwon Alexander as the 28th best player in the draft on the Buccaneers 2015 draft board.

  23. HIRE JIMBO Says:

    Which one of u guys put down a $9000 bet on the bucs to win the super bowl this year. Lol the payout is $540k
    Let’s hope they are right

  24. DB55 Says:


    That was the messiah himself.

  25. The Buc Realist Says:

    Joe says:
    “fans will start calling Spence the second coming of Gaines Adams or Da’Quan Bowers.”

    Or the worst name of all “adrian slowborn”!!!!!!!!

  26. Scott B Says:

    Look at the big picture. Bucs had 38 sacks which was basically middle of the road among NFL teams last season. Adding Spence and Ayers to a group of DE’s that combined for 15 sacks last season IS an upgrade. Throw in a defensive scheme that is expected to be more versatile and aggressive and guys like David and Alexander could easily combine for more than the six sacks they did last year. Throw in what should mercifully be better pass coverage and there is reason to expect the pressure to be better and more consistent. If as a group they can produce more and Spence can add quality pressures and a few sacks as a rookie I’m fine with the pick.

  27. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Watched his highschool highlights on Bucc.com. This young man has always been tremendous. Not overly concerned wit his totals next season,mainly wanna see those flashes that indicate the type terror he’ll become over the next few years… Get’em Spawn.

  28. kslab Says:

    I agree Nole. Dont care how many sacks. just want to see him turn that corner a few times. Think he’s going to make a few Tackles look really silly!

  29. Architek Says:

    I totally get it. I have one point to contribute in that the division has become a pass heavy division with the Bucs being probably the most run heavy team.

    In rotation roles and in a pass first division I think it’s decent expectation to meet or surpass A. Clayborn production as a rookie.

    I’m really curious to see his run fits improve and edge setting against the run and discipline develop. I’m very patient to see the details of his game but in a vacuum this kid is gonna come in and turn the corner naturally.

    That alone makes me happy long term.

  30. Buc1987 Says:

    Dude on NFL Net picked Spence for Def ROY too.

  31. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    PRAISE THE LORD!! THE BUCS FINALLY HAVE A EDGE RUSHER!!! now maybe QB’s won’t have time to make a sandwich and still throw a TD this year. ANY QB can look good when there’s no pass rush. Evidence of last year’s numbers when opposing qb’s had a passer rating of 102 and a completion percentage of 70% wich was good for dead last in the league. That has to change if we plan on having a winning record this year. And I’m more than confident it will with all the upgrades we made in players and coaches as well. Can the bucs finally get back to having a dominant defense?? It’s starting to look like it.