Report: Steelers Showing Interest In Noah Spence

He’s one of the most debated players in this year’s draft. And one the Pittsburgh Steelers appear to have interest in.

Noah Spence told Draft Wire and Depot alum’s Jon Ledyard that the team has “shown a ton” of interest in the pre-draft process. However, the Steelers are not currently one of seven cities Spence is scheduled to visit next week. That doesn’t mean a visit won’t happen, Kevin Colbert said at the owners’ meeting teams have to get in line to schedule, and he’s definitely a player worth monitoring.

After an impressive Senior Bowl, Spence had slightly disappointing Combine and Pro Day numbers. Still, his ability to win the edge in a weak class makes him a near-lock to go in the first round, even if his checkered history is the major red flag whenever you mention his name.

After being kicked out of Ohio State, Spence racked up 22.5 TFL and 11.5 sacks for FCS Eastern Kentucky in 2015. In his last year with the Buckeyes, Spence had 14 TFL and 7.5 sacks.

He is no lock to make it to 25, and would have to suffer a Bud Dupree like fall, but questions about his off the field and run defense would be the likely catalysts for him to drop.

We’ll follow up if an official pre-draft visit takes place. You’d think if the Steelers were to be a serious contender, they’d bring him into town. So far, five of their six official visits have been in the secondary. LSU offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins is the lone exception.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    AAAAAAAAHHHHHH this draft process is driving me crazy!!! It so many players I want on this team!

  • Tom Jackson

    Hm I like that they are also looking at the OLB market in RND 1 but I kind of don’t believe Spence would be on their board. Don’t mind it personally to much since we need a good pass rusher on our team and he’s got the talent but to me he doesn’t seem like the guy we covet in RND 1 with that checkered history. Wouldn’t rule it out but it seems very unlikely to me.

  • Jeremy McClurg

    They have to draft an OLB early in this year’s draft. Moates serves as a serviceable backup, Jones and Harrison aren’t confirmed to come back, and we don’t know where Bud Dupree can go from here. Ngakoue, Correa, Fackrell are good possibilities in the 2-3 rounds. Karl Joseph is the pick are pick 25.

  • harding36

    Said it before, will say it again: I will be simultaneously shocked and elated if the Steelers pick Noah Spence.

  • draframe1

    Can’t agree with you more!! Love Joseph. Better development types later like you said- throw Dadi Nicolas in there too. Noah’s disappointing workout numbers too eerily similar to Jarvis

  • Jeremy McClurg

    Spence is more explosive then JJ, and I think he’s a better prospect than JJ, but I don’t like him in the first. So that shows how low I was on Jarvis at the time we drafted him

  • draframe1

    Agreed on Spence. At least he didn’t run a 4.9. OLB must have that explosive first step and JJ- God bless his run D- just doesn’t have it

  • WreckIess

    At this point it’s a bit of a pipe dream because he’s projected to go top 10, but so were Bud and Decastro.

  • PittsburghSports

    Either Shaq Lawson or Spence in rd 1 would be awesome, but it’s hard seeing either fall to 25. I’m real high on Shilique Calhoun too, but most have him rated as a 2nd rd prospect.

  • Steel Your Face

    If he’s there, wouldn’t this make 4 straight drafts at LB, in the 1st Round?

  • J.

    Sorry but I say let someone else take the risk. Sure he has some talent but its not blow you away talent so to me its not worth the risk. We already have one headache player in Bryant we don’t need to add another possible headache.

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    I hate you for putting the Lawson seed in my head lol

  • Sam Clonch

    Glad they’re at least considering it. ROLB that could bring pressure, unlike Jones so far, would help the defense immensely!

  • ciscoNoDrink

    Von Miller level talent. Smoketavious Bryant level risk.

  • Big White

    Not exactly good news to hear if you are Jarvis Jones.

  • Birdman

    Yep, no way they take this guy round 1. With Bryant being suspended for the whole season, I doubt they’d even consider him in round 2.

  • Dubai Steeler

    This exactly sums up my view on Spence. Off field + questionable combine numbers make him way too risky in the 1st round.

  • Josh Knepshield

    He is not projected to go top 10 at the moment. He’s a late 1st rd pick projection at the moment.

  • Xclewsive

    The Steelers passed on Shane Ray and Randy Gregory for there infractions with weed. Noah Spence got kicked off his team for it. The Steelers already have their own problem in house to deal with. PASS!!!

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I feel you SHR-

    Especially in the 2nd round. These are some of the players who could be available at 2.27:

    Vonn Bell S
    Keanu Neal S
    Karl Joseph S
    Kendall Fuller CB
    Carl Nassib OLB/DE
    Shilique Calhoun OLB/DE
    Chris Jones DT
    Jihad Ward DT
    Kenny Clark DT
    Josh Garnett OG
    Cody Whitehair OG

    How are we going to decide? Seriously?

  • StarSpangledSteeler


    It is confusing that the Steelers are showing so much interest in Spence (based on his drug problem). It is NOT confusing that they are looking for an elite edge rusher.

    Despite what they may say to the media, the Steelers know Jarvis Jones is not an elite edge rusher and never will be (and he will be a free agent next year). They also know James Harrison is in his final year (if he even plays at all). Behind those two guys, the only legitimate edge rush depth guys we have are Anthony Chickillo (who I personally really like but the coaches barely kept on the 53) and Arthur Moats (who is what he is). Next year that ROLB/RDE position will be a SERIOUS issue.

    In this particular draft… We can get a very good safety in the 2nd or 3rd round. We can get a good DT in the 2nd or 3rd round. We can get a good ILB in the 4th or 6th round. But I’m not seeing a lot of great edge rushers outside of the 1st round. There are a couple raw/athletic guys in the 2nd round but besides those I don’t think there are any ROLB/DE prospects we want to count on as starters in 2017. (Same with the CB prospects but that’s for a different thread.)

    Back to Spence. The fact that he has ties with Ohio State tells me the Steelers have A LOT of inside info on him. They may have significantly different info than us fans. And as far as “football talent” I guarantee you Spence is in Colbert’s 10-12 “special” players list (in the 1st round).

    Let’s see… Ohio St… Power Five Conference… Junior… Position of want… Position of value… NFL ready skill set…

    Noah Spence is checking off a lot of boxes. Just saying.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Slight correction. We “chose” Bud Dupree over Shane Ray in round one. We had both options. I think that was a case of choosing the better player (or at least better upside) at the same position. Dupree weighed 25 pounds more than Ray, and yet Dupree was faster, stronger, more explosive.

    As far as Gregory you are correct. We “passed” on him in the 2nd round.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    And we only get one shot at it! No do overs! I think I’ll be ultimately happy who we pick but the what ifs will be crazy on SD comment section!

  • Kelly Walker

    When Cower left the thought process of not drafting questionable character type players left with him.

  • Kelly Walker

    No way they pass up Spence in the 2nd.

  • Kelly Walker

    I think the 2nd round was more about…has to be a CB and Golson being such a reach at that point proves it.

  • Xclewsive

    I believe Shane Ray was the better option, but that’s just me. Dupree skillset was better, but his tape wasn’t as good as either Ray or Gregory.

  • Tom Jackson

    You made a lot of great points there man. From our needs to the make up of this years draft class, I really am with you on those things. DLineman and Safeties are definitly positions of high value in RND 2&3 I think. And a lot of good guys to choose from potentially. Very different playing styles on those safeties as well. CBs not in particular many but a guy like Fuller in RND 2 or Jones in RND 3 could be solid value picks. And pass rushers really look dry after RND 1. Still a few guys I’d take a chance on but we also have a full depth chart at OLB like you said this year. And I don’t know if it really would be wise to get a 3rd/4th RND guy and either carry way too many or risk losing a solid guy.

    Thought about the Ohio State connection as well with Spence and obviously like you said he has a lot of other things going for him and I guess thats why he is in the mix. Still I thought like you did that his drug history would put him out of contention, period. But thats really gonna be a story to follow I think till draft day because they seem to be ok with his issues… otherwise I don’t know why they would let him visit potentially because why would you interview a guy you don’t trust because of his past? Wouldn’t make sence to me…

  • Clutterbox

    I rather have the Steelers trade down in the draft than draft him in the first. Although given the Steelers recent history, I don’t know or remember the last time Steelers traded down in the Tomlin era.

  • popsiclesticks

    I’m much more concerned with weed issues than with ecstasy issues. You can wake up and smoke weed everyday and function and come to depend on it. I doubt there is anybody who gets up and just has to pop a molly before they get on with their day.

  • Daniel

    Smoke screen

  • Donte Williams

    if we take WJ3 in the first i want Joseph in the 2nd if he there or THompson love them both

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Spence isn’t on my board for all of his off field but wouldn’t be surprised on a visit and the Steelers will most likey like to break him down for a day to see the cracks.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    second round will be insane…I have problems in the 2nd and 3rd mocking because that is where the meat is IMO

  • Jon Crissinger

    If all you’re worried about is an explosive first step, he tied Von Miller in the 10 yard split. He just isn’t as fast in top end speed.

  • Jon Crissinger

    Spence had no weed issues. It was ecstasy. He apparently never liked weed and never tested positive for it. It was always ecstasy for him. Still not a good look though.

  • Ike Evans

    Isnt this report from the player? Doubt hes smoke screening

  • Ike Evans

    I agree…i still think ray is better…he had as many sacks as bud with nearly 3 times less snaps but for my sanity i need bud to be better

  • Xclewsive

    Swore I read it was weed, but either way it’s got him removed from the team.

  • Jon Crissinger

    Yeah he failed two separate drug tests for ecstasy. In the big 10, two failures automatically precludes you from competition. He went through a month of 4 hour drug classes 4 nights a week during the semester and then was drug tested for all substances twice weekly at his insistence from that point forward and has never failed.