Originally Posted by SteelersCanada
You're spot on - he could cover guys like Gronk and Hernandez with no problem. He'd be effective in covering guys like Pitta and Rice out of the backfield, too, which is a huge plus. It'd be nice having Spence shadowing Rice twice a year, preventing a 4th-and-29 play to happen (I still can't believe that happened).
Here's the thing, though. There's Linebackers in this draft that play like him, but are better at it. Arthur Brown, Alec Ogletree and Kevin Riddick all play a similar game to his and are, most importantly, stronger than Spence is by a considerable margin. They have the ability to get into the backfield and shed blocks which Spence struggled with. Going against an offensive linemen, Spence is going to lose that battle 100% of the time. This would make him ineffective and ultimately useless in blitzing situations.
I do think we need someone like Spence to play inside with Timmons that would ultimately free him up to blow shit up at the offensive line. I wouldn't be upset if we had Spence in, but I think that we have better options right now than him that will be available to us in this draft.
Really, at this point, it's a win/win. I'm not high on Spence, but I understand he fills a need and frees up Timmons to be the second best ILB in the league.
Plus, I see Timmons rushing the passer from the inside, not Spence. Spence would eb out in space. And, because eh can cover so much ground and has such great instincts, Timmons would be free to rush the passer at will.
But, if Spence is indeed sent, like a safety (i.e. Tory), he would simply find the hole or better yet, elude the linemen. If one is not touched by a linemen, then one does not get stale-mated.
I hear your concerns, but the kid was great in college... and his size did not affect him then. Of course, NFL players are much bigger & stronger, but I have faith in Spence (to elude those pesky linemen).