For my first piece in this series, I outlined why the Bucs should have taken Mississippi DL Robert Nkemdiche with their 1st-round pick instead of Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves. As I take a look at what the Bucs should have done in the 2nd round, it's a different story.
ACTUAL PICK: Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
WHO THEY SHOULD HAVE TAKEN: Noah Spence
I may have thought the Bucs could have gotten better value in the first round of the 2016 draft, but they knocked their 2nd-rounder out of the park with Spence.
We all know about the off-field issues. They've been beaten to death throughout the entire predraft process. But Spence has said and done all the right things since moving on from Ohio State and dominating on the field for the Colonels in 2015. He reportedly sent the results of his last 20 drug tests to every NFL team leading up to the draft, doing his best to prove he's beaten his demons and is fully focused on being successful both on and off the field.
Both head coach Dirk Koetter and general manager Jason Licht said they felt Spence was the best pure pass rusher in this year's draft, something I've been saying for months. Spence doesn't have Von Miller's rare explosiveness, but he's quick enough off the ball to be consistently disruptive. His technique is solid, and he just has that knack for getting to the quarterback and making plays in the backfield.
The Bucs haven't had a player with double-digit sacks in a season since Simeon Rice did it back in 2005. Though he's likely to start his career as a rotational player rather than a full-time starter, Spence is the kind of player who could end that streak early in his career.
Spence was the 13th-ranked player on my overall board, which made him an absolute steal for Tampa Bay at the 39th pick. There was nobody else on the board the Bucs should have taken over him.
Share your opinion with us on twitter...@TBBucsonScout
Listen to our latest podcast here: