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Chiefs schedule formal interview with Noah Spence

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The Chiefs are checking out pass rushing linebackers, per Terez Paylor.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs are checking in on a number of potential pass rushing options through formal interviews. Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star has the complete list here you should check out, but one player, Noah Spence, comes with a checkered past.

The Chiefs defense is anchored by two players who also came with "character concerns" that dropped their draft stock. Justin Houston was richly rewarded after he put such off-the-field concerns behind him with exemplary play on the field and a clean record off of it for the duration of his rookie contract. Marcus Peters fell to No. 18 for the Chiefs in last year's draft, but John Dorsey trusted his instincts and ended up with the Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Could he add a third impact player with a troubled history? If Noah Spence falls and Dorsey believes he's put his drug issues behind him, then that's a definite possibility. Spence ended up finishing his collegiate career at Eastern Kentucky after being ruled ineligible to play any more football at Ohio State after his sophomore season.

Spence was first suspended three games late in his sophomore season for what he says was Ecstasy. He missed the Orange Bowl as well as the first two games of his junior season. However, a follow-up test was also failed the next September and the Big Ten ruled he could no longer play football.

Spence says he's put the past behind him and that he's been clean for some time.

"I'm still being drug tested to this day," said Spence at the 2016 NFL Combine. "It shows that I've grown from the situation and I've become a better person.

"There's a group of people I can't hang with," he continues. "I have to be more myself and stay away from that party scene. It was more like partying and going out. Every time I did it, it was me going out and partying."

Spence's on-field impact was never in question. As a sophomore at OSU, he had 14 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in 13 games. When he returned to the field at Eastern Kentucky, he flat out dominated. Spence finished the 2015 seasons with 22.5 tackles for loss, 15 quarterback hurries, 11.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 63 total tackles.

Mike Mayock has Spence as his second ranked edge rusher behind Joey Bosa, Spence's former teammate at Ohio State. While the character concerns likely knocked him out of contention among the draft's top players, it's very likely that John Dorsey would have to make a move up the draft to grab Spence given the NFL's appetite for pass rushers.