Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence is an interesting prospect with one of the more unique “red flag” situations in this year’s class. Spence, a former star at Ohio State, was dismissed from the Buckeyes after two positive tests for ecstasy. In 2015, Spence shined for the Colonels, but he’ll now have to answer questions about his history. They say that honesty is the best policy, and that’s exactly the approach that the defensive end will be taking heading into the draft, as Tony Pauline writes for PhiladelphiaEagles.com.
Last year, cornerback Marcus Peters wound up being a first-round pick of the Chiefs despite his own off-the-field issues. Peters’ strategy was to accept just about every interview and visit request from NFL teams and Spence will be taking a page out of his book. It’s probably not a coincidence that Peters and Spence share the same agent.
Here’s more on the NFL Draft, courtesy of Pauline:
- Decision makers have indicated to Pauline that UCLA’s Myles Jack will go “very early” in the draft. Pauline admits that he, personally, is not a fan of the linebacker, but NFL decision makers are referring to Jack as a “rare athlete.” There are concerns about his size, but scouts are quick to point to Shaq Thompson, the Panthers first round pick in 2015, as an example of a player who was not held back by his statue. Jack, they say, is also a much better prospect than Thompson.
- In an informal survey of NFL execs, Pauline says that this is the consensus for how the first five picks will go: 1. Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss, left tackle), 2. Jalen Ramsey (Florida State, defensive back) 3. Jared Goff (Cal, quarterback), 4. Jack, 5) Joey Bosa (Ohio State, defensive end).
- Ramsey going that early would be disappointing to the Cowboys as Pauline hears that the FSU star sits atop their wish list. Dallas owns the No. 4 pick in the draft. Ramsey, a former top ten recruit out of high school, shows promise at both the cornerback and safety positions. Last season, he tallied 3.5 tackles for loss and 10 pass break-ups. In 2014, he had a gaudy stat line of 79 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, and12 pass break-ups.
- Former LSU cornerback Rashard Robinson is drawing a lot of interest and the Raiders and Giants are among the teams impressed by him. Robinson played at LSU in the 2013 season, but a series of issues led to him being jettisoned from the program. Robinson was suspended indefinitely in 2014 and was denied reinstatement to the program in 2015. Robinson has red flags, but he’s also a 6’2″ corner with talent.
- Safety Keanu Neal (Florida) is getting late first-round consideration from teams. In fact, several teams view Neal as the “best-looking safety in the draft” thanks in no small part to his explosive play. A leg injury slowed him down somewhat in 2015, but scouts are putting more stock into film from the 2014 season when he was healthy.
- Indiana defensive tackle Darius Latham has promise and, talent-wise, projects as a second/third round talent. However, like Spence, he has some off-the-field issues that need to be addressed. Latham was suspended back in September for a student ethics violation – the second suspension of his collegiate career. The Indiana standout measures at 6’4″, 310 pounds and finished his IU career with 81 tackles, 31 solo, 7.5 sacks (42 yards), 18.5 tackles for loss (66 yards), two fumble recoveries, one interception, seven pass breakups, and two blocked extra points.
- Stanford linebacker Blake Martinez is generating buzz after he tallied six tackles in the Senior Bowl, Pauline writes.