Akeem Spence   DT   Illinois

TALENT BOARD ROUND  4

 

STRENGTHS

Akeem has some excellent workout numbers -- good enough to be considered a high draft choice in this draft.  There is no quit in this kid. He gives terrific effort on every play.  He has long arms that you like to see in a defensive lineman.  His hand fighting is very good and gives most offensive lineman a very hard time blocking him on every play. Akeem is a worker bee and has that worker bee mentality that is needed when teams are looking for a defensive tackle.  He should be a solid rotation defensive lineman that can be used on the nose in a 3-4 defense as well as in a DT in a 4-3 defense.

   

CONCERNS

Akeem plays too high off the snap and loses his leverage against bigger offensive linemen.  He has decent lateral agility, but very little change of direction skills.  He is not much of a pass rusher at the college level and doesnít change the line of scrimmage off the snap when playing against the run.  He struggles against double teams and is easy to move out of his gap to take advantage of him in the running game. Having said all that, Iím not sure there is a harder working defensive lineman in this draft which should make him appealing to most teams in this draft looking for defensive linemen. 

  

BOTTOM LINE

Akeem works hard, but against the bigger offensive linemen at the college level, he was over-matched and handled in most games.  In his defense, he did not have much help on the defensive line.  I suspect that with his work ethic and a little more coaching, Akeem could be truly impactful for the team that drafts him.  He does get frustrated which can result in penalties; therefore, he will have to control his emotions on the field.  He has to remember there is holding on every play and a good defensive lineman learns to work through it and still impact.  With the information in front of me right now, I would say that Akeem is the type of player who never stops working, and has the potential to be a better and more impactful player in the NFL than he was at Illinois.  You just never know.

  

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Apr/2013