(Editor's Note: With just one month until the start of the 2016 NFL Draft on April 28, the staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of possible Cowboys draft picks – from the top of the first round to the bottom of the talent pool. Today's featured player is Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence.)
Name: Noah Spence
Position: Defensive End
College: Eastern Kentucky
Honors: Ohio Valley Conference's 2015 Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
Key Stat:In his 2015 junior season at Eastern Kentucky, Spence tallied 22.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks, showing he can push the pocket and rush the passer.
Where He's Projected: Spence's ability to rush the passer is evident, but mock draft position has fluctuated for months – anywhere from the top 10 to outside the first round – due to reported off-the-field issues at Ohio State that led to his Big Ten eligibility and his eventual transfer to Eastern Kentucky. The Cowboys and other NFL teams naturally must factor in those matters when deciding where Spence fits on draft boards.
How He Helps the Cowboys:Safe to say defensive end is a well-documented need on this roster. Randy Gregory will start the 2016 season with a four-game league suspension. DeMarcus Lawrence had back surgery in January, though he should be full-go for training camp. Signing Benson Mayowa helps, but the Cowboys want a deep line rotation of players who can get to the opposing quarterback. Spence is a natural edge rusher with a quick first step.
Scout's Take: Attacks the edge. Balance. Will chase the play. Needs to play wide. Can avoid blocks. Will give ground at times. Will draw double teams. Will locate the ball. Quick up of ground. Close down. Some snap in his hands. Can retrace his steps. Rip and swim move to free. Quick with his hands. Avoid blocks and make tackle. Can close on the rush. Can create turnovers. Will throw moves along the way. Tries to close down. Size will give him problems in the running game. Play on both left and right side. Feel like he is more of a true right side guy. - Bryan Broaddus[embeddedad0]