2021 NFL Draft: Spencer Brown the latest freak athlete at OT

Spencer Brown, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
Spencer Brown, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) /

Northern Iowa tackle Spencer Brown will be a freak among OTs in the 2021 NFL Draft class.

The 2020 NFL Draft was absolutely loaded with freak athletes at the offensive tackle position.

When Andrew Thomas — the first tackle off the board — was considered just an average athlete by comparison to his peers at the top of this most recent draft class? You know it’s a tremendous group.

Tristan Wirfs out of Iowa was moving around like a big tight end as he dominated the 2020 scouting combine. Louisville’s Mekhi Becton was like a mythical character running a 5.1 in the 40-yard dash at 6-foot-7, 364 pounds.

Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Boise State’s Ezra Cleveland — the list goes on and on. The 2020 NFL Draft was stellar at the offensive tackle position when it comes to the athleticism these young players showed, and the 2021 NFL Draft class will have some freaks of its own.

One of those freaks is going to be Northern Iowa’s Spencer Brown, a massive 6-foot-9, 322-pound offensive tackle prospect with 35-inch arms and the athleticism of a big tight end.

Unfortunately, Brown isn’t going to be able to prove why scouts are so high on him heading into the 2020 college football season because of the COVID-19 pandemic and FCS postponing fall sports.

According to a recent piece from Bruce Feldman, Brown has declined offers from Power 5 programs to come play for them this season.

He has decided to stay loyal to the program that found him when he was playing 8-man ball as a high school kid in Iowa.

Even though he’s not going to be playing this season, there’s plenty of tape out there on Brown and plenty of demand in the NFL for strong tackle play. As a right tackle with so much height and length, it’s hard not to be reminded of former Notre Dame tackle and 49ers first-round pick Mike McGlinchey, though McGlinchey wasn’t considered a sub-5.0 40 type of prospect.

Brown, even with his absolute vines for 35-inch arms, bench presses 500 pounds (a UNI school record for an offensive lineman) and puts it all together on tape.

The 2021 NFL Draft is going to be bizarre for the fact that this is maybe one of the strongest crops of FCS talent to come up in quite some time, but none of those players considered potential top prospects will have a chance to play.

North Dakota State’s Trey Lance is considered a potential top 5-10 selection. His left tackle — Dillon Radunz — is also considered a potential top-50 player.

Then you have Brown, whose physical and athletic abilities will get him picked in the top 100 almost by default.

NFL teams are going to have to trust their projections for him especially with a solid weight gain. Coming into the UNI program, he was apparently just 215 pounds at 6-foot-8. Now as a senior, he’s weighing 322 pounds at 6-foot-9 with barely any fat on his body and moving extremely well still.

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NFL offensive line coaches have to be salivating at the chance to get their hands on this kind of prospect, and perhaps the fact that there will be no FCS ball in the fall will help some team steal him a round or so later than they should.