Noah Spence

Bucs Place Noah Spence On IR

Noah Spence‘s sophomore season appears to be over after six games. The defensive end is going on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, the team announced. To take his spot, the Bucs have officially signed Darryl TappNoah Spence (vertical)

[RELATED: Buccaneers To Sign DE Darryl Tapp]

Spence has suffered a number of shoulder dislocations during his young NFL career. He had surgery on his torn labrum in the offseason and the latest aggravation to that injury will require him to go under the knife once again. Technically, Spence can return after two months on injured reserve, but that would leave only two games in the regular season. Labrum surgery can also take a while to recover from, so it sounds like we won’t see Spence on the field again until 2018.

Spence, 23, has nine tackles and one strip sack to his credit over six games (three starts). In his full season last year, he had 5.5 sacks, 22 tackles, and three forced fumbles. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus have him in the bottom 25 among qualified edge defenders, but the Bucs were using him a decent amount. Spence totaled 246 snaps in the team’s six games this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Bailey, Foster, Wallace, Spence

It was a dominant win for the Cowboys in San Francisco this afternoon, but the team did not escape the contest with their special teams intact. Kicker Dan Bailey was forced out of the game with a groin injury, according to the Dallas News. Bailey was reported to have suffered the injury in warmups, but it remains to be seen whether the news will force Dallas to bring in another kicker. In one of the more entertaining aspects of this week’s action, safety Jeff Heath was the emergency fill-in for today’s game, which included him clunking an extra point off the pole and through the uprights.

  • It’s been a trying rookie season for 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster so far. After missing a few games already with an ankle injury he suffered earlier in the season, the former Alabama defender was back on the sidelines after suffering an apparent rib injury in the third quarter. Foster seemed unsure of what was to come following the game.“I really don’t know, I’ve got to come in here (get an) MRI and treatment and just see what he doctors say about it. If they clear me, they clear me. If they don’t, they don’t,” he told Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. It’s worth noting that Foster did return to the game initially, but was later taken out again for X-Rays. Barrows did add that Foster was cleared to return later in the fourth quarter by team doctors, but the coaches weren’t comfortable letting him back on the field at the end of a blowout.
  • The Ravens suffered another blow to their depleted wide receiver corps in today’s game vs. the Vikings when Mike Wallace was diagnosed with a concussion after taking a big hit on a pass over the middle of the field. However, Wallace was pleading to play following the hit, explains Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The 31 year-old receiver was seen walking up-and-down the sideline trying to convince coaches to put him back in the game. However, head coach John Harbaugh said that Wallace staying out of the game “was a done deal”, tells Zrebiec. The Ravens play on Thursday next week, so Wallace would need to pass all the concussion protocol rather quickly in order to suit up. If not, the Ravens have just Michael Campanero, Chris Moore and Griff Whalen remaining on the depth chart.
  • Bucs rookie pass rusher Noah Spence left today’s contest with an apparent shoulder injury, reports Josh Reed of WIVB.com (Twitter Link). Reed passes along that Spence will likely require surgery and is probable to miss an extended period of time. He later added onto the initial report stating there is concern that the 2017 second round pick may end up missing the rest of the season. In his first six professional games, the linebacker had just nine tackles, including one strip sack.

South Notes: Bucs, Aguayo, Winston, Jaguars

Draft evaluations are subjective and tend to vary greatly from team to team. This week, Buccaneers GM Jason Licht reminded us of that fact when he explained that he had first-round grades on three of his rookies this year, including kicker Roberto Aguayo. The Bucs thought enough of the FSU product to trade into the second round for him and apparently it’s a move that the Bucs made with confidence. Along with Aguayo, the GM feels that he snared first-round talents in cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and defensive end Noah Spence. In 2015, Licht says he also hit it big.

We think we got four last year,” Licht told Scott Reynolds of Pewter Report, referring to quarterback Jameis Winston, left tackle Donovan Smith, guard Ali Marpet, and linebacker Kwon Alexander . “That’s the goal – to get multiple first-round draft picks each year. When it’s all said done, to look back and say, ‘We got multiple first-round picks in this draft’ – that was the goal.”

While you ponder Licht’s assessment of his last two drafts (and his evaluation of Aguayo), here’s more out of the South divisions:

  • New Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken admits that he wasn’t a big fan of Winston prior to the 2015 draft. Today, the former Southern Miss head coach isn’t afraid to admit that he has had a change of heart. “It’s who he is, how he’s wired,” Monken said, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “I think that’s one thing that’s a misnomer. I think from the outside you would’ve looked at it with all the things that were publicized in the past about him and who he is. I was dead wrong. He wants to win as much as we do. He’s a competitive joker, man, he’s smart, he’s intelligent…you can win a lot of games with guys like that.”
  • Jeff Linkenbach‘s contract with the Jaguars is for one season and will pay $810K, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. The guard/tackle has 86 appearances and 36 starts on his NFL resume.
  • The Jaguars got some bad news on Thursday when they learned that first-round pick Jalen Ramsey will have to undergo surgery to fix a knee injury. Depending on the second opinion and the treatment option he goes with, Ramsey could reportedly miss 4-6 weeks or 4-6 months. If all goes well, however, he’ll be ready for the start of training camp.

Draft Pick Signings: Jets, Bucs, Bills, Broncos

The latest round of draft pick signings from around the NFL features a pair of second-round selections, including a New York quarterback who could get a chance to see the field in 2016, depending on how the rest of the offseason and training camp plays out. Let’s round up the latest signings…

  • Second-round quarterback Christian Hackenberg and seventh-round receiver Charone Peake have signed their rookie contracts with the Jets, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). Gang Green has now secured five of its seven draftees, including Hackenberg, who may get an opportunity to vie with Geno Smith and Bryce Petty for the starting QB job if the team doesn’t bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  • The Buccaneers announced that they’ve signed second-round defensive end Noah Spence, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The only Tampa Bay pick that has yet to sign his rookie deal is perhaps the most controversial pick of the draft — second-round kicker Roberto Aguayo.
  • Bills sixth-round wide receiver Kolby Listenbee tweeted out a picture of him signing his contract. Listenbee posted the second-fastest 40-yard dash time of any wide receiver at this year’s scouting combine when he clocked in at 4.39 seconds.
  • The Broncos have signed sixth-round fullback Andy Janovich and sixth-round safety William Parks, Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets. As the 176th overall pick, Janovich will be in line for a four-year deal worth $2.504MM, with a signing bonus of about $164K. Parks, selected nearly an entire round later at No. 219, will get a bonus of about $100K.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Pauline’s Latest: Dolphins, Cowboys, Chiefs, Giants

Here’s the latest from Tony Pauline of WalterFootball.com entering the second day of the draft:

  • After the Dolphins used the 13th pick on Laremy Tunsil, they called veteran left tackle Branden Albert and assured him he’ll remain at his current position and Tunsil will play left guard.
  • The Cowboys “covet” Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah going into the second round, per Pauline, who dismisses the idea that they’re instead after Boise State linebacker Kamalei Correa or Eastern Kentucky edge rusher Noah Spence. Dallas holds the 34th selection but could end up moving down, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones (link via ESPN’s Todd Archer).
  • Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander is unlikely to get past the Chiefs at No. 37, reports Pauline.
  • The Giants are targeting offensive linemen and safeties entering Day 2, meaning Clemson safety T.J. Green could be a fit for the team at No. 40. Like Big Blue, the Steelers and Vikings are also eyeing safeties.

Draft Rumors: Elliott, Ravens, Browns, Cowboys

The Cowboys are currently “struggling” with the decision of whether or not to draft running back Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Owner Jerry Jones is believed to prefer Elliott, while presumably some other members of the front office would rather go in another direction.

Dallas isn’t the only team at the top of the draft considering taking Elliott, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who tweets that the Ravens would “strongly consider” the Ohio State back if he’s on the board at No. 6.

In just a matter of hours, we should find out exactly how serious teams like Dallas and Baltimore are about taking a running back in the top six. With some other clubs, including the Dolphins, said to be coveting Elliott, it’s possible that teams are overstating their interest in the ex-Buckeye in an attempt to get another club to trade up for him. And it sounds like there will be no shortage of trades tonight, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).

As we wait to see where Elliott lands, let’s round up some other draft updates from around the NFL:

  • The Browns have spoken to teams about the possibility of moving down from No. 8, but they’ve also had conversations about moving up from the second round into the late-first, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who wonders if Cleveland might be eyeing a particular quarterback. Earlier this evening, a Browns source told Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that there was “nothing new” on the trade front for the club.
  • Ed Werder of ESPN.com (Twitter link) hears the Cowboys aren’t likely to move down from No. 4 tonight. Two GMs whose teams are picking in the top 10 tell Werder they haven’t heard from Dallas about a possible trade.
  • Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link) has heard that the Ravens are “hot on” Eastern Kentucky edge defender Noah Spence, though the team won’t take him as high as No. 6. It will be interesting to see if Baltimore likes Spence enough to consider trading up for him if he’s on the board near the end of the first round.
  • Having spoken to multiple general managers and other NFL sources, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report has updates on where a few prospects are expected to be selected in the draft. Cole suggests Georgia pass rusher Leonard Floyd could go in the top 10 (video link), Clemson edge defender Shaq Lawson should go between No. 7 and No. 19 (Twitter link), and Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith appears likely to be a day two pick (Twitter link). Cole also hears that Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch may not be selected quite as high as expected in the first round (video link).
  • Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com has published his first and only mock draft of 2016, sprinkling plenty of interesting draft tidbits throughout his look at the first 31 picks.

Pauline’s Latest: OTs, Steelers, Packers, Bucs

League insiders believe that as many as six offensive tackles could be selected in the first round of tonight’s draft, according to Tony Pauline of WalterFootball.com. Laremy Tunsil, Ronnie Stanley, Jack Conklin, and Taylor Decker are the obvious names, but Jason Spriggs, Le’Raven Clark, and Germain Ifedi are also candidates to go off the board tonight. The clubs that have put the most research into offensive tackles, per Pauline? The Colts, Packers, Seahawks, Broncos, Panthers, and Steelers.

Let’s check out the latest draft rumors, all courtesy of Pauline:

  • Among the teams hoping to trade down tonight are the Falcons, Colts, Vikings, and Jets, according to Pauline. On the other side of the coin, the Cardinals, Panthers, and Broncos may like to trade up. Denver, presumably, would be targeting a quarterback in a trade-up scenario.
  • The Steelers will consider a cornerback at pick No. 25, but they’ll also look at offensive tackles, writes Pauline. Pittsburgh returns Alejandro Villanueva at tackle, and signed Ryan Harris this offseason, but an upgrade wouldn’t be out of the question.
  • The Packers might also like to find a new left tackle, says Pauline, as Green Bay would like to transition incumbent David Bakhtiari to left guard.
  • If pass rusher Noah Spence is still available at the end of the first round, a club might trade back up in order to draft him, per Pauline. The Buccaneers are one team to watch in such a situation.

Draft Rumors: Spence, J. Smith, Rankins, Vikes

Eastern Kentucky edge defender Noah Spence, who had multiple positive drug tests during his time at Ohio State, sent each of the NFL’s 32 teams the results of the 20 drug tests he has taken since last May, league sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. According to Schefter, Spence had Eastern Kentucky conduct five drug tests from May through December, then submitted to 15 more – one per week – since January.

In terms of pure on-field talent, Spence is viewed as one of the top pass rushers in this year’s draft class, but his off-field question marks may cause him to slip a little further than he’d like. Still, he continues to be viewed as a first-round pick, and receiving evidence that he has been clean for the last year may make some teams a little more inclined to roll the dice on him.

Here are a few more of today’s pre-draft rumors and updates:

  • Despite his significant knee injury, which is expected to sideline him for the entire 2016 season, Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith is still viewed as a potential day-one or day-two pick, according to Adam Schefter (Twitter links). Schefter hears that Smith is likely to be selected before the end of round three, and one NFL head coach even believes the linebacker could come off the board late in the first round.
  • The buzz surrounding Louisville defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins has intensified today. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter links) both have heard that Rankins will be considered as early as No. 4 by the Cowboys, with La Canfora predicting that he’ll end up as a top-10 pick. Tony Pauline at WalterFootball.com has heard that the draft stocks for both Rankins and Mississippi State DT Chris Jones have risen, with teams seeking interior pass rushers.
  • Several NFL teams think Ohio State wideout Michael Thomas is being undervalued, and will transition well to the NFL, according to Tony Pauline, who says the Chargers and Bengals are among the teams with interest in Thomas. Pauline adds within the same article that the Vikings aren’t a lock to draft a receiver in round one, and will consider Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche if he’s available.
  • With Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley being mentioned in the same conversations as Laremy Tunsil recently, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk looks into whether or not the Tunsil/Stanley debate is real.
  • The NFL is considering Philadelphia and Los Angeles to host the 2017 NFL draft, with Philly emerging as the favorite, tweets Adam Schefter. As Schefter points out, neither of those cities’ teams has a first-round pick in 2017.
  • Purdue defensive tackle Ryan Watson has visited, worked out for, or received inquiries from eight teams since his pro day, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Extra Points: Nkemdiche, Fins, Spence, CBs

Perhaps the most polarizing player in 2016’s prospect pool, Robert Nkemdiche drew the tag of the defensive lineman most likely to be a bust among scouts surveyed by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Although one scout referred to the former Ole Miss standout as a “flash player … with disaster written all over him,” in a statement relating to the former No. 1 overall recruit’s on-field abilities, it’s an old-school sentiment among scouts and executives that has decision-makers concerned.

Of the scouts interviewed, 11 of the 18 singled out Nkemdiche as the biggest bust candidate and some offered the lineman’s wider range of interests and his background as reasons why football won’t matter as much to him. Nkemdiche’s mother is a diplomat who often works in Nigeria and his father works as a cardiologist.

He’s like a lot of kids from this generation. He’s grown up in some privilege, and that family is involved with so many different endeavors. You’re not going to get rid of that,” a scout told McGinn. “He doesn’t just think football, football, football 24/7. That’s not always the most attractive guy from a football standpoint. Coaches like them a little bit better if it’s football 24/7.”

Here’s the latest from around the league.

  • Among the scouts surveyed in the Journal Sentinel piece, they were more bullish on the overall crop of defensive linemen than the pass-rushers in the draft. “It’s a tremendous draft for defensive linemen,” an NFC executive told McGinn. “But it’s probably average for pass-rushers.” Among the scouts’ preferences for certain schemes, Joey Bosa ranked as the best defensive end in a 4-3, with DeForest Buckner earning that tag for 3-4 ends. Jarran Reed ranked as the anonymous scout coalition’s best projected 4-3 tackle, and Kenny Clark topped the list for who’d thrive most as a 3-4 nose.
  • The Dolphins have spent a lot of time with Nkemdiche through the draft process, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Miami holds the No. 13 pick, which is higher than Nkemdiche’s been slated to go by most outlets during the pre-draft process.
  • Maryland defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson also recently met with Dolphins DC Vance Joseph, while Arizona guard/tackle Lene Maiava, former BYU defensive end Bronson Kaufusi and Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett are also potential Fins targets, Jackson reports. Dolphins coaches have observed Koufasi and Vannett’s workouts.
  • Former LSU TE/OL Dillon Gordon has hired Rosenhaus Sports for representation, according to Rand Getlin of NFL.com (Twitter links). Gordon was recently denied an injury hardship waiver that would have allowed him to return to the collegiate ranks, meaning he’ll instead head to the NFL draft.
  • Interest in the Chargers‘ No. 3 overall pick has dissipated considerably after the Eagles made the move to acquire the Browns’ No. 2 overall selection, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets.
  • Noah Spence‘s trajectory points up as draft week nears, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets. Spence seems to have a wide variance between his landing spots. ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay project the Eastern Kentucky pass-rusher to go off the board midway through the second round, yet several mock drafts have put the former Ohio State performer as a first-round pick.
  • Josh Norman signing a cornerback-record $75MM deal will have other top-tier corners seeking raises, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. Citing Chris Harris‘ assessment that left Norman out of the Broncos corner’s top five at the position for consistency reasons, Florio notes that if other notable corners view themselves as superior to Norman they’ll want this kind of money.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this report

Draft Rumors: Jack, No. 3 Overall, Spence, Conklin

The notion that Myles Jack‘s surgically repaired knee is a “time bomb” is greatly exaggerated, sources tell CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, who writes that the torn meniscus the UCLA linebacker suffered last year should not meaningfully alter his draft stock. “This kid is a great player. His change of direction is awesome. This is getting totally blown out of proportion,” said an executive. All the teams La Canfora spoke with indicated that Jack won’t last beyond the top 15. The Jaguars, who hold the fifth selection, “seem locked into” Jack, says ESPN’s Mel Kiper (Twitter link via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union).

More of the latest draft rumors:

  • The Chargers are generating plenty of interest in regards to the third overall selection, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). On the possibility of trading the pick, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said last month, “It’s certainly an option. We’ll just follow it through and see where it goes.”
  • Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence is arguably the best pass rusher in this year’s draft class, but he’s likely to last until the second round because of off-field issues in college, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report offers (video link). Teams view Spence as a good kid, but there’s concern that the drug problems which got him dismissed from Ohio State will resurface in the NFL, per Cole.
  • Michigan State offensive tackle and prospective first-rounder Jack Conklin has met with or worked out for the Titans, Bills, Chargers, Steelers, Falcons, Jets, Colts, Buccaneers and Lions, he told SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link).
  • Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett worked out for and/or visited the Panthers, Titans, Falcons, Patriots, Chargers, Packers and previously reported Jets, according to Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter).
  • Arizona State receiver Devin Lucien visited the Bengals on Tuesday, per Getlin, who notes that he has also visited with/and or worked out for the Cardinals, Patriots and Rams (via Twitter).
  • Bowling Green receiver Roger Lewis has visited with or worked out for the Bengals, Cowboys, Patriots, Seahawks, Vikings and Chargers, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN. Lewis is a potential third- or fourth-round pick, notes Caplan.
  • Auburn cornerback Blake Countess has drawn interest from 13 teams, including Washington, the Ravens and Giants, writes Aaron Wilson of NFPost.com.