If you wanted the 49ers to draft an offensive lineman, you got your wish. San Francisco opened its Day 3 tally with the first of their six remaining picks by addressing that group.
With pick 134 overall, they took UTSA offensive lineman Spencer Burford, who is in that in-between group of being considered a potential tackle or guard.
Burford was a First Team All Conference USA tackle and Senior Bowl invitee. This is generally the draft range he was expected to go.
He spent his first two years playing left guard before shifting to left tackle, plus a couple of games at right tackle in his junior year. His 6’4″, 304-pound frame is a bit closer to a typical guard mold, but he has the requisite athleticism, at least on paper to play both positions.
His pre-draft testing shows some immediate burst off the line of scrimmage.
In his post-selection availability, Burford was asked to describe his traits and led off with his weaknesses.
He said because he’s naturally an aggressive lineman, he can sometimes sacrifice his technique, with a tendency to be over eager and put too much weight on his back foot. He believes he needs to play more “under control” and can improve his hand placement as well.
As far as the strengths, he suggested that he’s comfortable and familiar with the 49ers’ outside zone scheme, and understands zone concepts well. He said he gets off the ball well, plays “balls to the wall,” and has great hand striking in a zone offense.
At the very least, the 49ers drafted a player who has the requisite size and athletic burst off the line to fit into their system, and a player who is self aware enough to describe areas for improvement without embarassment. That generally bodes well for development.