Washington Redskins

Spencer Long NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Redskins OT

LINCOLN, NE - AUGUST 31: Quarterback Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers throws over teammate offensive linesman Spencer Long #61 and the Wyoming Cowboys during their game at Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Lincoln, Nebraska.  (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images
Alex DunlapContributor IApril 11, 2014

Spencer Long, OT, Nebraska (HT: 6'5"; WT: 320)

Washington Redskins (Redskins trade 34th pick to Cowboys for 47th and 78th picks)

Third Round: 78th Pick

NFL Comparison: Davin Joseph, OG,  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Current Free Agent) 

Combine Weigh In
HeightWeightArmHand
605032033 1/8"10 3/4"
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Combine Workout
40-yard dash10-yd splitBenchVertBroad3-coneShuttle
DNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
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Positives

  • Intelligent, hard-working student athlete who boasts as impressive a list of academic accolades as any evaluator could ever imagine. 
  • In all, racked up 19 separate academic distinctions and awards as a student from 2011 to 2013, per the Nebraska Athletic Department; plans on eventually attending medical school.
  • Somehow manages to look like a squatty and compact "fire hydrant" as a player—even at 6'5".
  • A former walk-on that plays with a chip on his shoulder and natural sense of work ethic in his on-field displays.
  • Huge hands.
  • Plays with high energy and a good motor; quicker than he is fast. 
  • Displays excellent awareness of defensive flow and consistently takes smart angles to reach-block, head up defenders or cut off linebackers at the second level. 
  • Great upfield burst and functionally explosive movements. 
  • Wastes no motion pulling into free space and has shown a great ability to attack defenders with proper leverage and positioning in the open field. 
  • Big initial punch and strong leg drive to move bodies in man-power concepts. 
  • Keeps his head up through plays and is always looking for work.
  • Has good flexibility through the hips and core. 
  • His 28 bench press reps at Nebraska pro day, per Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout, would have placed him in the top quarter of offensive line participants at the NFL combine. 

 

Negatives

  • Loses his feet far too easily. 
  • Plays like a bull in a china cabinet and can appear reckless.
  • Senior campaign in 2013 was cut short due to season-ending knee surgery. 
  • Will not be able to take part in on-field drills for evaluators until very late in the evaluation process.
  • Can get caught on the backs of his heels in pass protection.
  • Much better at taking engagement to the defender than he is at effectively absorbing it. 
  • Seems to usually "stay on" his opponent through plays, but he doesn't always finish strong.
  • Goes to the ground to end engagement more frequently than evaluators would like to see. 
  • Can get overextended in the run game and has issues with balance. 
  • Has trouble with three-techniques crossing his face toward the center, and he will often appear sloppy in attempts to re-gain inside position. 
  • Biggest concerns are issues of balance, which are eyebrow-raising in a player that seems so stocky.

 

Personal Notes (via Nebraska Athletic Department)

  • Spencer is the son of Doug and Ann Long, and he was born on Nov. 8, 1990. 
  • A biological sciences major, Spencer has been named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll each of the last four semesters, after earning spots on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll each of his first four semesters. 
  • Long has volunteered his time with local hospital and school visits. 

 

Ratings Chart

Grades by Alex Dunlap

 

Overall

It might just be the Nebraska uniform, but Spencer Long seems to have a little bit of Richie Incognito's game in him—at least physically. He's barrel-bodied and not particularly long, but he wins with motor and plays like a meathead. 

What is not Richie Incognito-esque in Long appears to be his character. His list of academic accomplishments and community service are invaluable to NFL organizations. This is a player who will pick up any concept easily and never be lost. "Lost" linemen are the bane of line coaches' existences. They are for lots of reasons, but the biggest reason is because when players are unsure of themselves, they go at less than 100 percent. 

Prior to the injury, Long seemed poised to finish the 2013 season as a player who evaluators could easily rank within the top five to seven college guards entering the NFL draft. Given the injury, he will fall in the process. The team that drafts Long on Day 3 might as well put on a ski mask because it'll be getting a huge steal.

 

Draft Projection: 6th Round

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