The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Maryland offensive lineman Spencer Anderson Saturday with the second of their two seventh-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.
#54 Spencer Anderson (Senior) — 6050, 309 Lbs.
2023 East-West Shrine Bowl participant
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Spencer Anderson||6050, 309||10 1/2″||33″||78 1/4″|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
-Well-built offensive lineman with good thickness to his frame
-Experienced starter with versatility to play all five positions on the offensive line
-Handles stunts/twists well on the interior; communicates well with teammates to pass off assignments
-Flashes ability to play with independent hands on the interior; can strike, reset quickly and efficiently
-Very comfortable in duo; gets good run fits and will displace in duo
-Much more proficient in pass protection; anchors very well on interior and doesn’t give much ground
-Plays with a high pad level, allowing defenders to gain leverage and get into his chest easily
-Heavy feet; really labors in space; poor testing numbers show up on tape
-Despite position versatility, doesn’t have one clear cut position of strength
-Struggles to slide laterally and has a slow first step when trying to reach defenders in the run game
-Rarely displaces defenders in run game one on one; usually stalemates in the hole, which allows defenders to make plays
-Doesn’t have that mean streak to his game; lacks hit power overall
-Played in 45 career games at Maryland over five seasons, starting 32 of them
-Had 12 career starts at right guard, 11 at right tackle, five at center, and four at left tackle
-Earned an 86.6 pass blocking grade via Pro Football Focus, the highest of any offensive lineman in the Big Ten
-A consensus 3-star recruit
-Chose Maryland over offers from Pitt, Wake Forest and North Carolina
-Father, Robert, played football at Howard University
-Cousin of former NBA player Harry Giles
-Enjoys playing chess in his free time
A multi-year starter with experience all over the offensive line, Maryland’s Spencer Anderson projects as a swing offensive lineman who can be a Swiss Army Knife for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who selected him at No. 251 overall in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Throughout the draft process, Anderson primarily worked as a center at his Pro Day and at the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas. That looks like it might be his position in the NFL, at least initially, along with both guard spots as that swing backup.
Despite having that position versatility, Anderson doesn’t have one set position that is his strongest. He’s certainly an experienced player, but there were a lot of concerns on tape, in large part due to his lack of lateral agility and overall strength.
In the run game, Anderson is at his best working in duo with a teammate to displace defenders. In those situations, he has a good run fit with his hands and his hips and really drives his feet nicely in duo to displace.
Anderson, lined up at right guard here against Purdue, does a nice job with the center on the inside duo to displace the defensive lineman just enough. That creates a sizable lane off Anderson’s right hip for the running back to get to the second level.
Anderson plays with a high pad level and tends to stop his feet at the point of contact, but he does a good job of fitting and getting his legs going just enough to create the space.
Similar play here later on the same drive against Purdue.
Good power out of his stance to get a pop on the tackle and then is able to displace him with help from the tackle to create the big lane.
He does flash some snarl at the end, finishing through the rep and blocking until the defensive tackles shows his back. It’s in there, just needs to be fully tapped into.
Here he is at center against Rutgers in 2021. He has some decent power when he gets his hands on you, as you can see him turn and displace the defensive tackle on the read-option. That creates a lane behind him that the quarterback ultimately pulls the ball from.
Anderson does a good job here at the snap of fitting his hands into the chest plate and gaining control, creating movement. Much better at the point of attack as a center than at guard from what I was able to watch.
Too often in the run game when he was at guard, especially against an NFL-caliber defense like Michigan’s, Anderson just doesn’t create movement. You can see him stall out as defenders are able to get underneath him and lock out, negating Anderson’s size advantage.
He doesn’t have the leg strength to drive the defender off the spot, which makes it rather hard to run behind at times.
Pass protection is Anderson’s calling card right now.
He’s able to consistently anchor against power rushes, doing a nice job of sitting into his hips, though he could clean up the mechanics of it at the next level.
Here against Ohio State at right guard in 2022, he does a good job of anchoring against the bull rush on the interior, sitting into his hips and resetting his hands quickly to maintain inside control. This creates a clean pocket behind him for the quarterback to climb up into and throw a strike to move the chains.
Anderson does a good job of keeping his hands inside in pass protection, rarely getting overextended in the process.
His hands are like vice grips in pass protection. When he gets hold of you on the inside, it’s going to be a serious battle to get off his block.
Nice job of punching initially and sitting into his hips here at right guard against Michigan last season, causing the defender to stall out. He also does a nice job of not allowing the defender to get off the ground late in the rep to get into the passing lane.
Good recovery here at center against Rutgers in 2021.
Lateral agility is not a strong suit of Anderson whatsoever, but he’s a very smart player who communicates extremely well on the inside and handles stunts and twists very well. Good job of getting hands on the twist and gaining control of the rep quickly to keep a clean pocket for the strike downfield.
The versatility and experience as a starter in the Power 5 at Maryland is certainly intriguing about Anderson. It’s a big reason why I did some work on him ahead of the East-West Shrine Bowl and had him in “others to consider” portions of my mock drafts throughout the pre-draft process, including my final mock draft.
He has a big body that is well proportioned and can line up all over. He’s much better in pass protection right now than as a run blocker, which makes things a bit confusing as to why the Steelers selected him given the run-heavy approach they’re leaning toward.
That said, he has the size, the length and the body type to take a step forward in the run game under offensive line coach Pat Meyer. He flashed some solid run-blocking reps at Maryland, but he needs refinement with his feet and pad level. A seventh-round pick near the end of the draft, he’s a solid flier, one who profiles as a serviceable interior swing lineman moving forward.
Depot Draft Grade: 6.2 (End of Roster/Practice Squad)
Games Watched: Ohio State (2022), Purdue (2022), Michigan (2022), Rutgers (2021)