SOTT Draft Profile: Sean Spence
The next few weeks here on State of the Texans we will be doing some draft profiles of some particular players who could possibly fit into the Texans plans. We are not going to try to piece together scouting reports, but we enlist help of bloggers who actually cover the respective player and their school.
Linebacker may not be a position of need, but the undersized playmaker from the Miami Hurricanes could provide an interesting piece to the puzzle. Sean Spence measures only at 6’0″ and 224 lbs., but played an important role for the Hurricanes during his time there. Spence has an impressive resume and in the past two seasons in 24 games has amassed 217 total tackles and 31 of those were for loss. Spence is going to be questioned about his size, but his playmaking ability from the inside should not be overlooked.
The Seventh Floor, a blog dedicated to the Miami Hurricanes, sat down with us to give us a better insight on Spence.
Can you give background on Spence?
Spence is another Miami kid who came in with the class of 2008. He started halfway through his first season, and after 8 games ended third on the team in tackles. He went on to become one of better linebackers The U has had, showing great speed, a penchant for finding the ball behind the line of scrimmage, and sure tackling.
Does his size hurt him?
As far as his play on the field, it never hurt him, although the college game is hugely different from the pro game. A lot of scouts are turned off by his size, which will hurt his draft stock. However, I personally dont see it hurting his play if he gets a shot. He has a great work ethic on and off the field, loves to play the game, and loves his position. His tackling and speed should more than make up for his size, and he is strong enough to bring down anyone.
What are Spence’s strengths and weaknesses?
His glaring weakness is of course his size. Coming in at maybe a maximum of 6 feet tall, and weighing in around 225 does not immediately lend itself to a prototype NFL linebacker. However, he has a bit of room to bulk up, and his speed at the position is a huge asset. He is an extremely great tackler, and is almost always in the backfield causing problems. He has a nose for the ball, and is excellent at reading the offense.
Do you think here a natural linebacker or can be transition into a strong safety?
He has never played anything but linebacker in his college career, and was never looked at as potentially switching positions. He is for sure a natural linebacker, and its hard to imagine someone with his height moved to safety, although with Troy Polamalu out there, there is a precedent. The difference here is that Polamalu, while being basically the same size, is a career safety, and Spence would have to learn the new position from scratch. It could be done, and he would do it willingly, but it would take some work.
How do you project him at the next level?
Given the reports I have seen regarding what scouts think of his size, it is hard to see him as a first round pick, especially with the strong LB class that is coming out. He could go in the second round, although like Streeter, a later round is probably closer to reality. He will immediately come in and compete for a starting job, and has the potential to be a very good linebacker. He is by no means a raw talent, has the fundamentals down, and is good at reading offenses. He could use a bit of work in the weight room to prepare for the NFL game, and would only need to prove his ability to learn the defensive playbook.
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Could a transition be made to strong safety or does he stay at linebacker?