Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Noah Spence ready to become impact playmaker

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images /

Noah Spence is to ready to make the leap for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017, and become a true playmaker.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Noah Spence has been on quite a journey. From battling drug addiction, to finding a home at Eastern Kentucky, to getting drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second round, he has experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. It is safe to say that his rookie campaign in 2016 was a high point, and something he looks to build on in 2017.

He appeared in all 16 games last season recording 22 tackles, 5.5 sacks and two pass deflections. He had several strong games throughout the course of the 2016 campaign. In particular, the Buccaneers’ game against Seattle on Nov. 27 was a memorable one for him. In that contest, he recorded five tackles and a sack and a half. He also managed to force a fumble.

After what could be considered a slow start to the season, Spence began to pick up his play in the month of October. In Weeks 7-10, a stretch that included four games, he recorded three sacks.

He would then take the momentum from October and carry it into the month of November. In four November contests (including the Seattle game), he would tally 2.5 sacks, showing that he could sustain his tough and physical play throughout the development of a season.

Of course, for anyone who watches college football, these impressive numbers are nothing new. While at Ohio State, he was an absolute force. In his sophomore campaign of 2013, he raked in several accolades. In addition to his 14.5 sacks that year, he made first-team All-Big Ten and also made Academic All-Big Ten, showing tremendous potential on the field and in the classroom.

Now, he looks to experience the same success in Tampa Bay and play a key part on their talented defensive line.

As far as the 2017 season goes, I expect Spence to play a sizable role on the Bucs defensive line. Per a depth chart from Ourlads.com, he is currently listed at No. 2 at right defensive end behind Robert Ayers. With that being said, I still see Spence getting a good amount of playing time. Especially If Ayers needs a break in between plays or the club wants to shake things up, Spence is a reliable and viable second option.

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Statistically, I would say that 35 tackles and 6.5 sacks would be a fair estimate. He has the explosiveness and durability to increase his numbers, and I expect him to continue on an upward trend next season. For Spence, last season was a great one. Now, he needs to build on it and prove that he can be a viable piece on the line.