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Source says 49ers high on rookies Danny Gray and Spencer Burford

Aug 22, 2022 at 2:14 PM--

San Francisco 49ers rookie guard Spencer Burford, a fourth-round draft pick, appears to be impressing his coaches and teammates. He was Saturday night's highest-graded 49ers offensive lineman, earning an overall grade of 73.6 in his 31 snaps. It was a much better outing than the previous game when he earned an overall grade of 61.0 and an abysmal pass-blocking grade of 17.6.

Jordan Schultz recently spoke with a team source, who offered a glowing assessment of the first-year offensive lineman.

"It's like he's already a five-year pro," the source told Schultz. "He's very sound, very smart and very long. He ran outside-zone in college. … Plug-and-play guy."

Schultz added this tidbit from the source: "Trey [Lance] has total trust in him."

On Sunday, Shanahan's review of Burford and second-year guard Aaron Banks didn't give the impression that either was wowing the coaching staff. However, considering that neither has extensive experience, it wasn't necessarily a bad assessment either. Each seemed to be about where the coach expected them to be.

"Anytime you throw these guys out there that haven't played before, there's a lot to go through, and you try to limit the ups and downs that they go through during the game," Shanahan shared. "They didn't get to play the whole game. They only got the first half, but both of them made some mistakes, and then it was nice to see them both come back and rebound there in the second quarter and do some good things."

The unnamed source raved about another rookie—wide receiver Danny Gray.

"His speed is lethal for us," Schultz was told. "Just the threat alone, but he can go get it now too. He's also been receptive to coaching."

San Francisco made Gray a third-round pick in April's draft. He caught two passes for 24 yards on Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings and has four total receptions for 123 total receiving yards through two preseason games. While his 88.8 overall Pro Football Focus grade against the Green Bay Packers was impressive for his first NFL outing, that grade dropped to 57.9 during this past weekend's game, partly due to a drop.


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