Bucs Trade Up 12 Spots for Illinois DT Spence

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded up 12 spots to select Illinois defensive tackle Akeem Spence in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, giving the 112th and 181st overall picks to the Oakland Raiders.

At 6-foot-1 and 307 pounds, Spence split time at both three-technique and nose tackle in college, recording 186 tackles over the course of three seasons, 16.5 tackles for a loss, and 3.5 sacks.

In 2012, he registered 72 tackles, 7 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, and a forced fumble.

He will compete with Derek Landri and Gary Gibson for the starting nose tackle spot,  lining up alongside Gerald McCoy.

Spence doesn’t have the explosiveness or some of the pass rushing moves that some of the other prospects in this draft class, but he’s certainly capable of helping the Bucs maintain a stout run defense if he can transfer some weight-room strength to the field and use it as leverage.

Spence put up a whopping 37 reps in the bench press at the combine,  second among a group of defensive tackles that average nearly 27 reps.

He is the second Illini drafted by the Bucs in the last three years. In 2010, the Bucs took Illini receiver Arrelious Benn, who was traded to the Eagles in the offseason.