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April 27, 2013 @ 11:47 am
Current rating: 4.75 Stars/4 Votes

Bucs Bolster D-Line Depth With DT Spence In Round 4

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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The Buccaneers traded up in the fourth round to draft Illinois defensive tackle Akeem Spence, who will likely play nose tackle in Tampa Bay. Spence was one of the strongest players at the combine with 37 reps of 225 pounds.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers addressed the defensive tackle position on the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft, selecting Illinois’ Akeem Spence with the team’s first fourth-round pick.
Spence was drafted with the 100th overall pick, which was acquired in a trade with Oakland. The Bucs traded the 112th (fourth-round pick) and the 181st (sixth-round pick) selections to the Raiders for the right to move up 12 spots and grab Spence.

Spence, who is a junior entry, was named to the Freshman All-American team after compiling 45 tackles, four tackles for loss and a sack in 2010. The next year, Spence became a full-time starter and started all 13 games at defensive tackle. He posted 69 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. As a junior, Spence started all 12 games and recorded 72 tackles, seven tackles for loss and one sack en route to being named an All-Big Ten honorable mention.

The Bucs like Spence’s ability to play both the three-technique tackle and nose tackle positions at Illinois. He has the ability to back up Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and line up next to him.

“I feel like I can be a plus and just take some pressure off of him,” Spence said of playing with McCoy. “With him having to take on a lot of double teams I can come in and have some production and take some pressure off him and just make some plays.

“I am capable of playing both [defensive tackle spots] so I can adjust to playing the one [technique]. I played one [technique] and three [technique] probably about 50-50. I have experience at both.”

The 6-foot-1, 307-pound Spence was one of the strongest players at the combine, where the Bucs interviewed him, bench-pressing 37 reps of 225 pounds.

“I play with a lot of power,” Spence said. “I am real strong. I have a great first step. What you notice on film is that I make a lot of plays chasing those receivers down from behind. Knocking the ball out or just playing from sideline to sideline. As you can see on film I play real hard.”

However, his 5.15 time in the 40-yard dash was underwhelming and likely led to his stock sliding into the fourth round. Spence had hoped to become a third-round pick after leaving Illinois a year early.

“I heard the third [round] so my heart was set on the third and then I was thinking maybe I will jump into the second,” Spence said. “And then just watching it and seeing how things unfolded yesterday … I nearly broke down because I was saying, ‘Oh my God, I did not go in the third.’ So now I am thinking, ‘What now?’ Then just to get that call this morning it was just a sigh of relief. It was just a sigh of relief.”

While Spence is a powerful player, he is not a great pass rusher, evidenced by his 3.5 career sacks.

“Down at high school I was the state weight-lifting champ coming out of high school,” Spence said. “The weight room has always been very important to me. I’ve made it a big part of who I am. I like to work out a lot when I’m bored and stuff. I just like to stay in shape.”

The Buccaneers are now in good shape at defensive tackle, and now have eight defensive tackles on their roster, including Spence, McCoy, Gary Gibson, Derek Landri, Lazarius Levingston, Corvey Irvin, Richard Clebert and Matt Masifilo.

– Victoria Horchak contributed to this report
Last modified on Saturday, 27 April 2013 15:51

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  • avatar

    I don't know much about these 4th round and beyond players............but it's doubtful any of the posters, who simply endeavor to look like they actually know something by lambasting anything the organizations does, do either. Then again, last year the same comments were made about what became a fairly good group. Can you people at least wait to see these guys on the field? These are back-up, special teams and role players at this point in the draft. Ain't no Warren Sapps.
  • avatar

    Dominik you did the only thing I asked you not to do in this draft and that's trade up since we need depth. Crap! I never saw this guy play in college, so I'll let his play in training camp speak for him. I know Jonathan Hankins from Ohio State got great pressure every time I saw him play and was blown away when I saw at the end of the season that he only got 1 sack.
  • avatar

    worst drafting ive seen since gruden years seems we have gone back to drafting potential instead of production
  • avatar

    I, too, agree with Deacon Blues. Hilarious stuff!
  • avatar

    And Horse - for you to say Dom has no business being in the NFL after what he's accomplished the past two seasons - you're losing all credibility. I live in Los Angeles and people I talk to are buzzing about the Bucs and all the talent they have on the roster - something that hasn't happened in 7-10 years.
  • avatar

    A lot of you guys are missing the boat by bashing Dom. What other team acquired a potential 7 Pro Bowlers in the past 2 off seasons? Revis, Gholdson, Barron, L. David, Nicks, VJax, and Doug Martin. I didn't even include Jonathan Banks. It's been a decade since the Bucs had this much influx of talent on the roster - if ever at all.
  • avatar

    Looking at what was left, why did we not take Jesse Williams ? It almost looks like they are trying to pick backups.
  • avatar

    @Kinderrt: that´s the bucs way^^ just being a punching bag and being there, so that the league has 32 teams. Last year´s draft was very good (getting high hopes for fans). The NFL is like a daily soap for a sports fan... If you are a Bucs fan, you have to like rollercaster: Up and down, up and down. That´s why Sullivan wanted to leave after just one season: He likes to climp mountains (just going up). That´s why we should get rid of Shiano and hand the HC job to Sully.
  • avatar

    Maybe I am just being optimistic, but I like this pick. This kid is powerful and I don't mind he is short - in fact I think it may be an advantage at DT. At DT, you need to get under the offense. Sapp was only 6'2". Now, I am not comparing him to Sapp, but if he can be disruptive enough, it will free McCoy. I am more concerned that he is from "up North" and may have issues adjusting to the Florida heat than I am with his size.
  • avatar

    Pewter Report, I love the picture you chose. A running back running right by Spence. What's the matter you couldn't find one of Spence being pancake blocked? From the photo I thought the Bucs picked up a fast running back.
  • avatar

    Actually, if you look at the yard lines, you'll realize that isn't so. I agree with Deacon Blues - reading the comments on this site are a riot!
  • avatar

    I looked at the yard lines. If you have to look at the bottom 1/4 inch of the photo to come up with a different story, the photo is poor. And even if the rb is running east/west, Pewter Report couldn't find one of him actually tackling someone? I doubt he made the play captured in this pic.
  • avatar

    jongruden, Spence is smaller in height than Miller by 1-2 inches. In most places Spence is listed at 6' 0" and more downside than up sides. Our next pick Golston is another example of a huge reach. I do not see any improvement in our pass rush. Almost all of the other teams improved more than we did less the Revis trade that I still am not in love with. Just huge IF's all over. It's one of the worse drafts I have witnessed since 1976. I see one starter out of this draft in 1-2 years from now and that is Banks; the rest are fill in for a year or two. Just another wasted draft year for me; like many over the years. I am starting to doubt that Domink and Schiano know what they are doing. I believe their jobs are definitely on the line this year. If I was the Glazer's and I just spent all this money they have better be a 10-6 team and I just don't see that happening. The 3rd and 4th round picks are weak.
  • avatar

    @Horse: signed! all but that i don´t think Banks will pan out as starter (he´s not good cover CB).NFL is a daily soap, now it´s Panthers time to "get better". And bucs should have looked like better team, because of the Revis trade, but in reality they still have holes, that real good teams will explore(which means Falcons, Saints - who also had to wait a lot till the NFL decided to make them better). It´s like a mafia. If the NFL wanted to, they wouldn´t have suspended Payton (just letting him pay money). But by suspending him, it gave a reason for the Saints to be a worse team (by that, the bucs looked better and we thought they are on a good way). That´s why rule changes make it easier for Refs to turn a game, in a teams favor (why can´t coaches challange a "defenseless receiver" rule etc.?)
  • avatar

    Whenever I need a laugh I log in and check out the comments. I guess the Giants don't know what they're doing when they Drafted Ryan Nassib? Or New England picking back to back Rutgers players that everyone on here would have screamed the "sky is falling" if the Bucs did. You all are hilarious.
  • avatar

    Horse -- I agree. Last yrs draft just made so much sense! I don't know who's running this one it's so bizarre. I'm starting to get the glennon pick given how many qbs are going to teams with established qb1, but we could have waited till the 4 th and got a better dt or de. I don't know but this just reminds me of foolish drafts of the past. Maybe hickey is trying to dominate given the presence of stokes. I hope I'm wrong
  • avatar

    Well the scout report on Gholston is , does not play with urgency and inconsistent player. Does not sound like a Buccaneer Man to me.
  • avatar

    Kinderrt- he is Kyle Moore
  • avatar

    I was thinking Jesse Williams from Alabama to be a space-eater next to McCoy, but.... I'm not an NFL GM. Think I would've gone a different direction than the DE we picked, though he looks like an athlete, maybe some Bucs discipline will help. I agree Horse, it made 100% sense through round 2, then went sideways for me at round 3 with Glennon. Who knows, year or 2 we may be talking about the brilliance of Dom. Right now? Meh. Anyhoo, go Bucs!!!
  • avatar

    Horse- remember "trust in Dominick" like the fellow posters this is a Roy Miller pick to me great versus run nothing versus pass rush then we select Gholston who is like the carbon copy of Kyle Moore great job Bucs
  • avatar

    Well we got at strong DT at least, 37 Reps is not bad at all. When you look at McCoy he had 19 reps. and this guy runs sideline to sideline and he's coming out early. This could be a GOOD sleeper pick. This sure is a strange draft like Horse has posted. I wonder if they are letting Stokes drive this draft.
  • avatar

    This is our smallest DT. Baffling to me, but this whole draft is weird for me. Either Dominik and Schanio are brilliant or they have no business being in the NFL. I have watched or listened to every draft since 1976 and I am just baffled by this one. I just can't make any sense out of all this. I keep hoping that something is missing and it will dawn on me what is going on. Very strange draft for me. I am not sure that we are anymore than an 8-8 team at best.
  • avatar

    Well finally there's a D tackle. Like this kid, and what he had to say. "put on the tape, I make plays". Welcome aboard.
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