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2013 NFL Draft: Illinois DT Akeem Spence

Our draft profiles close out with defensive tackle Akeem Spence. Are you interested?


With the final draft profile preview in 2013, indulge me in a moment in looking at one final University of Illinois product - kind of our version of "Mr. Irrelevant."

I've touched on defensive tackle here before, but our last hit will be looking at Illinois defensive tackle Akeem Spence.

Spence was a solid run-stuffer in his sophomore season before having an up and down junior season in that regard. In the Ohio State film, he occasionally gets swallowed up and manhandled by bigger blockers, but when he remains engaged he's quick to get off and make the play as it comes. He does have a problem with "seeing" himself out of plays - he doesn't follow the ball on occasion.

CBS compared Spence to Stephen Paea, a run-stopper first with room to grow as a pass-rusher, and Spence didn't display much if any pass rush so there's a lot of room to grow, am I right? is a little less friendly, but they're not wrong - he doesn't explode off the ball, he doesn't take on double teams, but he does have good movement and holds his position, and he's a three-year starter.

CBS ranks him the 10th defensive tackle and 118th prospect overall. WalterFootball marks him the 14th defensive tackle and a mid-round talent. I'd say he's closer to the lower end than that - maybe a fourth-through-sixth round selection. He's draftable, strong, and does some things well, but he could definitely use some improvement.