Spencer Burford NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for UTSA OT
HEIGHT: 6'4 1/8"
HAND: 9 1/2"
ARM: 34 3/4"
40-YARD DASH: 5.19
— Agile mover with light feet and impressive twitch and burst out of his stance.
— Above-average quickness to redirect laterally on the move with the alertness to locate, line up and connect on targets at the second level on climbs, screens and pulls.
— Shows good strike location in pass protection while staying light on his hands to recover, refit and mirror if his hands get knocked down.
— Does an abnormally good job landing his outside strike on the outer pec of rushers who attack the corner with speed.
— Can deliver some jolt at the point of attack and plays with a consistent, aggressive and attacking nature to finish blocks.
— Light in his pants with average length, girth and play strength.
— Lets his pads rise at the point of attack, leading to getting stacked, shed and unable to consistently gain control and sustain on angle-drive (kick-out/down) blocks.
— Needs to stay square in his pass sets longer to prevent biting on stutters and losing inside-out leverage on rushers.
— Tends to open his hips early when rushers attack his edge and get perpendicular to his body, causing him to lose inside against spins and counters underneath at the top of the QB's drop.
— Struggles to transition into his anchor effectively, brace and root his feet to absorb power; gets bent back, pried open and put on skates too often.
- 14 starts at left tackle.
- First-team All-Conference USA selection
— Former 3-star offensive tackle recruit out of Wagner High School in San Antonio, Texas.
— 45 career starts primarily at left tackle but also has started at right tackle and both guard spots.
— Will be 22 years old for the entirety of the 2022 NFL season.
— Invited and accepted an invite to the 2022 Senior Bowl.
Spencer Burford is a four-year starter with 45 career starts spread across three positions, with the most time spent at left tackle. He started the last two seasons inside offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr.'s balanced, multiple run scheme.
Burford has average arm length and is a little light in his pants, lacking much girth with below-average play strength. He wins using his initial burst and quickness, with light feet to get to his landmarks on time in his pass sets and in the run game.
Burford primarily sets flat or at a 45-degree angle, with plenty of explosiveness to close space and beat rushers to the spot. He shows good strike location to create leverage inside the frame of rushers, with a strong outside hand to connect on the outer pec of defenders to center himself on rushers who attack the corner. He is a skilled hand fighter who is nimble and light on his hands to reset and refit when his hands get knocked down, and he has fluid change-of-direction skills to mirror rushers laterally once engaged.
Burford is highly effective as a run-blocker on the back side of zone runs. He bangs down and climbs to line up second-level targets off combo blocks and tracks down targets in the screen game and as a puller using his quickness, angles and alertness on the move. He also shows some jolt and power in his hands on second-level defenders with a consistently nasty, attacking demeanor against all levels of competition.
Burford has some bad habits in pass protection that will be exacerbated in the NFL and are in need of refining, such as oversetting tighter-aligned rushers with the slide to his side and opening his hips too early against wide rush angles. Both of these leave him vulnerable to rushers who set up inside counters with speed and can convert speed to power at a high level.
Burford struggles to effectively and consistently transition into his anchor due to a combination of not staying square and a lack of sand to brace and root his feet against the bull rush. His average length and tendency to get high at the point of attack on angle-drive (kick-out and down) blocks allows most defenders to get inside his frame, stack and easily break contact to insert into rushing lanes.
Overall, Burford will need to add more quality weight and mass to his frame, clean up bad habits to mitigate his average length and get his play strength to a more functional level before having a chance to start. But he has the athletic ability, movement skills and competitive toughness to be a potential role player in year one, with the hand-fighting and redirect skills to build off as a pass protector. That should give him a shot at becoming a high-level backup and potential spot starter down the road.
GRADE: 6.9 (Potential Role Player - 4th Round)
OVERALL RANK: 114
POSITION RANK: OT10
PRO COMPARISON: Antonio Garcia
Written by B/R NFL Scout Brandon Thorn