Can the 49ersi newcomer Spencer Burford break into the starting lineup?

The 49ers could be in the top ten in the NFL this season. They are equipped with a balanced game-caller in Kyle Shanahan and a young phenomenon with maneuverability, a remarkable hand and a large number of weapons.

On the other hand, Niners offensive line coach Chris Foerster has a few things to clarify. The left-wing defender is known to be vacant with the departure of Laken Tomlinson. And Alex Mack’s retirement buzz was silent when the 13-year-old veteran made it official in early June.

Almost all positions in the offensive line appear to be trapped outside Trent William’s left-wing defensive position. Spencer Burford of the University of Texas at San Antonio was Niner’s fourth-round draft pick. Burford played predominantly left-handed defense in his 46 games at UTSA, with experience in the right-throw and both defensive positions.

Burford’s strengths in the running game

Burford stands out more for blocking the run than for the pass barrier. He has a convenient down block, he knows when to get off the combined blocks, and he is always in front of the defenders during the running game.


Burford often guarded and repelled the UTSA attack. Buford’s poor relative athletic score does not reflect his athletic ability. His side movement is equal to that of NFL guards. Shanahan has got the most out of his offensive line because he has strong running blockers.

Shanahan has also made progress in throwing multiple running concepts in one game. Knowing Burford’s different positions could strengthen it as he continues to pull to the next level.

Finding a job

Burford specializes in finding work. In the passing game, he is under pressure as a guard. As a late player, it is not easy to break the starting line-up, but he could make a name for himself if he can attract the defenders. During training camp, the San Francisco defensive line doesn’t make it that easy for him.

Shanahan demands that his line of attack be sharp with combination blocks. In addition, Burford is constantly looking for defenders instead of standing on film.

Reverse passport blocking

The three clips above show Burford’s struggles in his passing set. He shows that he can anchor, has a strong blow and stays with the defenders. But Burford often fought with the three and is responsible for players lined up with nine techniques.

Burford is inside, so his weaknesses come out less in the passing game. On the good side, he has decent footwork and the ability to get in front of defenders. His potential as an access blocker lies in his almost 34-inch hands.

Not so good

The discrepancies in Burford’s passport sets are likely to be the reason why the San Francisco office wants to introduce it. His slip needs attention. He has difficulty anchoring against bullfighting, he sometimes relies on upper body force and speed / nine technique rushers get the best out of him,

Lack of physicality can be a concern

One thing that worried Burford was his inability to finish the blocks. He does not strike much in his passing set and relies on the extension of his wings instead of his feet. Was it because he didn’t chase his feet or was he not physical enough? His efforts to anchor and / or break down barriers may be another reason to enter. In today’s NFL, you don’t have to be a mauler, but you have to push your will.

Responsibility for speed and 9-tech Rusher

Speed ​​and 9 techniques caused problems for Burford when it hit. 9-technique is where the protective end or outer protector is lined up outside the tackle or narrow end. As a guard, he doesn’t have to worry about that, but sudden speed bodyguards can be a problem for him. Burford needs to combine his height and leg work to become a better bait blocker.


I think Spencer Burford has the potential to break the starting line-up. Many positions are occupied and he may push himself if he participates in his struggles. His 82-inch wingspan is beneficial, but he has to give up relying on the strength of his upper body and bring his legs with him with every tile.

Aaron Banks is ready to be left as a guard, but I think Burford can escape for the money. In addition, Burford’s experience in various positions gives him an advantage in adapting to Shanahan’s attack. The San Francisco offensive line is not my biggest concern, but I would like them to start the season as a closer unit with new faces.

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