Sean Spence, LB, Miami
5-foot-11, 231 pounds
Draft projection: Third or fourth round
Lowdown: Spence is one of this year’s case studies of “Production vs. Potential.” On the field, Spence had a wonderful career for the Miami Hurricanes. He was a four-year starter, and he made more than 100 tackles his junior and senior seasons. He’s a smart, instinctive player. He was first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference as a senior and the Hurricanes’ co-MVP as a junior. He was durable. He played in 47 of 51 games in college, missing three with a bruised knee and one as part of suspensions handed out in The U’s booster scandal. He can play all three linebacker positions, and he made tackles sideline to sideline in college. He ranked second in college football last season in career tackles for loss (47). He earned his degree in December. Spence always has been a gamer. When he was 6 years old and 50 pounds, he played up at the 85-pound level in little league football.
In shorts and a T-shirt, he’s a little less impressive. He’s a tad undersized. He ran a 40-yard dash time of 4.71 at the NFL Scouting Combine. That was 13th best at his position. (Bills inside backer Kelvin Sheppard ran 4.70 last year.) At the combine, he bench-pressed 225 pounds only 12 times, the fewest among linebackers. But there was a reason. He said he sustained a bone bruise in his shoulder during the Senior Bowl.
Spence expressed frustration at all the attention post-season shorts workouts get when asked about it during Miami’s pro-day session. “It makes me feel like I shouldn’t have played football,” said Spence, according to the Palm Beach Post. “I should have just worked on the combine and been a workout warrior.”
You like to root for prospects like Spence. He would be a worthy target for the Bills in the third or fourth rounds.