Ash Thompson Breaks Down Every Player On The 90 Man Roster.
Akeem Spence was a two-sport athlete in high school. He threw the discus and shot put for the Fort Walton Beach Vikings in addition to playing football. With his 80 tackles and five sacks performance, he earned an invitation to the Florida State All-Star game as a senior. He chose the Illinois Fighting Illini over Syracuse, N.C. State, South Florida, and Iowa State. At Illinois, he redshirted a year before earning first-team freshman All-American honors from multiple outlets. He started 12 games as a redshirt-freshman and stayed on the field for his entire college career. Spence left after his junior year, having graduated with a degree in communications. He showed his power at the combine, putting up 37 bench reps at 225 lbs.
Akeem Spence’s Professional Career
Spence went in the fourth round to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his first season, he appeared to be coming along nicely. He was developing into a space eating complement beside Gerald McCoy. Spence was arrested in January of 2014 for possession of marijuana after being stopped for speeding, he was clocked at more than 100 mph. He followed that up with a terrible second season under new coach Lovie Smith, in the Tampa Two defense as the one technique. He completed a pre-trial diversion program and the charges were eventually dropped without a conviction. Spence received a suspension for the first game of the 2015 season. He was on the PUP list to begin the year with a back injury.
Spence was on the PUP list to begin the year with a back injury sustained in the offseason. He never fully recovered, played terribly, and eventually injured his ankle, allowing the team to put him on IR. Spence had hoped to re-sign with the Bucs, but when free agency opened, the Detroit Lions came calling. He signed a three-year $9 million contract with $2.25 million guaranteed.
Spence With The Detroit Lions
The Lions clearly needed to get more stout up front. The manner which they were manhandled by the Seahawks in the Wildcard round of the playoffs last season clearly illustrated that. If healthy, Spence certainly will provide a powerful presence up the middle that the Lions lacked in Seattle. What he will not provide is the interior pass rush that the Lions completely lacked in 2016. Spence can be a workhorse for the Lions. He will be eating tough snaps and taking on blockers to keep the linebackers free to roam. Because of all these factors, Akeem Spence is a virtual lock to make the roster. He is one of the Lions key additions in their efforts to shore up their horrendous defense.