Noah Spence has been a popular name associated with the Buccaneers pick in the first round of the NFDL Draft, and rightfully so. He is an outstanding pass rusher, put up excellent statistics in college, and dominated senior bowl week. Unfortunately for Spence, his testing at the combine was not what many "experts" thought it would be.
After spending so much time comparing Spence to Broncos edge rusher Von Miller, many expected Spence to test the same as Miller. After Spence ran his first 40-yard dash at 4.8, those experts went scrambling to find a new player to compare Spence to.
Here were Spence's testing results:
|Height||Weight||40 time||10-yard split||vert||Brd||3 cone||Bench||Arm|
As you can see, these testing results are not as bad as these so called "experts" will make them out to be.
Actually, NFL Network showed a super-imposed replay of Spence's 40-yard dash, along with Khalil Mack's and Von Miller's. The encouraging part of that was for the first 20 yards, Spence and Mack were neck and neck, in the last 20 yards both Mack and Miller pulled away ever so slightly. As a defensive end and pass rusher, the initial burst and explosion is most important, and for Spence, he seems to have that.
The combine should never be a deciding factor as to whether a team will or will not draft a player. Teams will go back and see if Spence's 4.8, instead of the 4.6 expected, really affects him on the field. It likely won't be a major issue and shouldn't affect his draft position as a player who could go from 9-16 in this year's draft.
As for Spence's character, that will be under intense scrutiny until he's actually drafted in late April.