Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is a firm believer that a football team can never have too many pass rushers.
In his most recent mock draft, Brinson has the Redskins taking Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky with the No. 21-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
“Scot McCloughan wants talented, physical players and he's willing to gamble Spence's troubles are behind him,” Brinson writes.
Spence’s troubles are two failed drug tests during his time at Ohio State. He would ultimately transfer to Eastern Kentucky in 2014.
The 6-foot-2, 251 pounder isn’t hiding from his mistakes as he prepares to become a likely first-round pick.
“With anybody with a substance abuse problem that they’ve had, I feel like they’re pretty leery about it but if you can put it behind you can convince the team it’s behind you,” Spence said at the NFL Combine. “[But I] just stayed on top of it. Been drug tested frequently. And just like, put my focus more on football, school and stuff like that.”
During his true freshman season in 2012, Spence totaled 12 tackles and his first-career sack against Miami on a total of 237 defensive snaps on the year.
In 2013, Spence started all 13 games for the Buckeyes at defensive end, recording 52 tackles (14.5 for loss) and eight sacks while earning first-team All-Big Ten honors by the media.
But after his failed drug tests and subsequent suspensions, Spence, who was ruled ineligible for the 2014 season, transferred to Eastern Kentucky.
During his lone season with Colonels Spence tallied 11.5 sacks.
According to his NFL.com draft profile, Spence plays “with a big motor and tremendous endurance.”
“Had eight-sack season as a sophomore at Ohio State. Plays at same speed throughout the game. Good upfield burst. Has played with hand in the ground and standing. Won't give away leverage by engaging too early in pass rush. Has solid speed to the edge with a strong rip move at the top of his rush to turn the corner. Takes good angles around the rush arc. Quick lateral slide down the line to restrict running lanes. Plays with a sense of desperation when the ball is in his area. Eludes lead blockers and cut blocks. Pursues around the field looking to scoop up tackles. Dominated his level of competition with 11.5 sacks, 22.5 tackles for loss and 63 tackles over 11 games. Scouts call him an intelligent person and player. Has had success fighting through adversity and has renewed sense of urgency on and off the field as well as a sense of accountability. Former head coach Urban Meyer helped get Spence a second chance because he believes Spence is high character but made mistakes,” his profile states.