April 23, 2011; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Akeem Spence (94) during the Orange and Blue spring game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Heinz-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Draft Illinois Player Profile: Akeem Spence

One of the six Illinois Fighting Illini players that will be waiting to hear their name called in the 2013 NFL Draft is defensive tackle Akeem Spence.

Sep 1, 2012; Champaign, IL, USA; Western Michigan Broncos quarterback Alex Carder (14) is sacked by Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Akeem Spence (94) during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Since Spence arrived on campus in 2009, he has been a force to be reckoned with on the defensive line. He started every game of his Illinois career after a redshirted 2009 campaign. He was a Freshman All-American in his 2010 season and has been one of the better players in the Big Ten every season.

His frame, as well as being able to carry his weight very well makes him tough off the corners.

One of his biggest problems is his jump off of the ball, as he tends to be a little slower and not as good of a pass rusher as you would like to see in someone of his caliber.

As a defensive tackle, Spence has the potential to contribute right away to some NFL teams. If he is able to get into a camp and work on his techniques, such as tackling lower than he currently does and being more apt to use his hands, he could have a great career in the NFL.

Most mock drafts have Spence going in the mid to late rounds, however, it may not be a big surprise to see him taken late on the second day. Defensive tackles are hard to come by, and teams are willing to take a chance on guys that they may have to teach and help grow in order to get results at the next level.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Akeem Spence Big Ten Football Illinois Fighting Illini NFL Draft

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