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NFL Mock Draft 2016: Matt Miller projects Colts taking pass rusher Noah Spence

In a recent mock draft, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller projects the Colts taking Eastern Kentucky outside linebacker Noah Spence.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest areas of need for the Indianapolis Colts this offseason is at pass rush, but general manager Ryan Grigson said at the NFL Combine that the position is not "as thick as you'd like."  The highest-regarded player in the draft at the area is Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence, but many think he will be gone by the time the Colts take him.

His stock seems to be falling a bit, however, and Bleacher Report's Matt Miller had the Colts taking Spence with the 18th overall pick in his most recent mock draft published on Friday.

Spence started his collegiate career at Ohio State, and in his sophomore season he was named first-team All-Big 10 after recording eight sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss.  He was banned from the conference for failing multiple drug tests, however, and then transferred to Eastern Kentucky to develop more as a player and earn his degree.  During the 2015 season at Eastern Kentucky, he recorded 11.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss.  Spence is clearly the most talented pass rushing 3-4 outside linebacker in the draft, but off-the-field questions could drive his stock down a bit.  If that's the case, it will be interesting to see what Ryan Grigson decides to do - as last offseason, he said that he doesn't draft players he deems to have character concerns in the first three rounds.

Spence is a very talented player, however, and would address the biggest area of need for the Colts.  If he's available, it may very well be worth the risk for the Colts to grab him, as they're going to need to find a difference-making pass rusher - and, ideally, a younger one they could develop rather than another veteran.  Robert Mathis can still contribute, but the Colts need someone else at the position too.  Noah Spence could be that guy, and if he's still available at pick number 18, the Colts absolutely have to consider taking him.