Noah Spence brings relentless effort (and baggage)
Noah Spence is one of the more intriguing prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft, offering up impressive ability as a player but bringing along plenty of baggage as well.
Most of the Jacksonville Jaguars 2016 NFL Draft analysis has shifted away from Noah Spence, the defensive end who was banned from the Big 10 and finished his collegiate career at Eastern Kentucky. There’s no doubt he’s talented, but with plenty of options at the top of the draft, the Jaguars are more than capable of finding comparable talent without the baggage.
But that didn’t stop the Jags from doing their due diligence on someone so athletically gifted, bringing Spence in for a visit after working with him at the Senior Bowl.
In the team’s promotional video of Spence, they ask what he brings to the table for the Jaguars as a team. Spence highlighted his relentless effort, which has been on display repeatedly in his collegiate career. There’s no question that he is a capable football player but, unlike his peer DeForest Buckner, is he a good enough person to warrant gambling on in the first round?
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The problem for Noah Spence isn’t his effort or his ability, it’s that he must prove he can be a professional. Being a professional requires professionalism in every aspect of life, especially as a top pick who is in the public eye. If the Jags were to take Spence (either extremely early or in a trade back situation), they would need to know that he is so much more than just a talented pass rusher.
They would need to know he is professional
This, of course, is nothing new. The entire NFL knows that players like Spence and Robert Nkemdiche are a gamble. But in a hyper competitive league focused on parity, it’s difficult to pass players like that up sometimes.