Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5 things to know about 49ers fourth-round pick OL Spencer Burford

Apr 30, 2022 at 11:12 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers added some needed depth to the offensive line in Round 4 of the 2022 NFL Draft, selecting Spencer Burford of UT-San Antonio at pick 134 overall.

A product of Wagner High School in San Antonio, Burford (6-4, 304) is a cousin of NFL players LaAdrian Waddle and Sam Hurd and was projected as a fourth-round pick heading into the draft. Here's what to know about Burford as he begins his career with the San Francisco 49ers.

Born to play

It's not uncommon to hear stories of players who didn't start playing football until some point in high school, but Spencer Burford is exactly the opposite. He started playing football at age four and says he would have started earlier if he could have.

"I started playing football when I was four years old," Burford said last season, per "I tried to play when I was three but they said I was too young. I was big enough when I was four so I started playing on a five- and six-year old team. That's when it kind of took off and I got to know the game at a young age. That is where my love of football came from."

Burford hasn't looked back since then and is now heading to the highest level. And he plans on staying there for a while before heading onto his next step.

Detective Burford

Burford already has his post-career path mapped out, and it's an interesting one. After majoring in criminal justice at USA, Burford plans to be a detective after he retires, which he hopes won't happen for at least a decade.

"My first plan is to go to the NFL and try to play 10 years there," Burford told "When I get out, I am going to try to be a detective. I don't want to put bad people in jail, more to keep people out of jail. I want to be the start of positivity in the community and be someone that people can trust. Being in the community to help everybody and give back, that is what I believe in."

Experienced and versatile

Where will Burford play on the 49ers' offensive line? Perhaps wherever the team needs him, at least when it comes to the guard and tackle positions. Burford started at all four guard and tackle spots at UTSA, with most of his starts coming at left tackle and left guard. He had ten starts as a true freshman and saw time at left and right guard, followed by 11 starts at left guard as a sophomore. Burford moved to tackle as a junior, starting twice at right tackle and eight times at left tackle. As a senior, he started 11 games at left tackle and one at right tackle.

Burford was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection as a sophomore and improved that status to being a second-team selection as a junior. He won first-team all-conference honors as a senior and was named an honorable mention All-American by college football analyst Phil Steele.

Hometown guy

Burford was rated as high as a four-star college prospect by and he had a number of scholarship options available to him during the recruiting process. But he chose to stay at home and play for UTSA, which is something he wanted to do for his hometown.

"I had a lot of programs coming in but at the end of the day, you have to dial down and make a decision," Burford told "I really just tried to start up the program. The main reason why I stayed was to start up the program, put the city on the map and try to get more recruits that are from San Antonio."

Buford's favorite team growing up was a longtime 49ers rival, the Dallas Cowboys. He made it clear earlier this year that he would have been thrilled to have the Cowboys select him in the draft.

"If they take me, this whole city's going to go crazy. We're going to have a blast. We're going to have a good time," Burford told FOX San Antonio.

The extra mile

Burford didn't skip out on any portion of the predraft process, playing in the Senior Bowl before working out at the NFL Scouting Combine as well as going through tests at his school's pro day. He ran a 5.19 40-yard dash time and a 4.73 20-yard shuttle time at the Combine with a vertical jump of 27.5 inches and a broad jump of 105 inches. Even though he had cemented himself as a likely mid-round selection after the Combine, Burford looked at his pro day as another opportunity to put his best foot forward.

"If you get another opportunity to showcase what you have and what you've got, why not?" Burford told FOX San Antonio. "Do the best that you can, put forth your best effort at all times no matter what you're doing, and I feel like God is going to take care of the rest."

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