Minnesota Gophers Tight End Brevyn Spann-Ford Standing Out at Senior Bowl Practice

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Gophers have one representative at the Senior Bowl this week, tight end from St. Cloud (MN), Brevyn Spann-Ford. One of the top defensive backs in the country, safety Tyler Nubin, declined his invite due to a postseason knee surgery, though he’s expected to be 100% for the combine.

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Spann-Ford received his Senior Bowl invite, despite a rather pedestrian final season at the University of Minnesota, a year in which he caught just 25 passes for 239 yards and 2 touchdowns.

As a junior, he caught 42 passes for 497 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Gopher offense was far from resembling an air-raid offense but Brevyn struggled to haul in the targets he did get, throughout the season.

Minnesota Gophers tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford grabbing attention at Senior Bowl

In other words, impressing at the Senior Bowl this week is crucial to deciding whether or not Brevyn Spann-Ford hears his name called during April’s draft. And so far, so good, according to some early reports coming out of Mobile.

On day 1, Spann-Ford ran the 2nd fastest of any tight end on the National roster at 16.32 MPH and he’s shown an ability to battle through contact and make contested catches throughout the week. Not only that, but teams see him as a tight end who can help with pass and run blocking, immediately upon entering the NFL, something not all of them can say.

As one of the better blocking tight ends in the 2024 NFL Draft, Brevyn Spann-Ford can help himself in Mobile by showing a bit more versatility as a pass-catcher, and he’s done that so far.

Throughout his career, Spann-Ford has been relied upon to help open rushing lanes for an offense that loves to hand the football off – but so far, through two days, he’s also shown promise as a receiver.

Brandon Olsen – Giants Country (SI)
tight end brevyn spann-ford reese's senior bowl 2024 minnesota gophers
Photo: Minnesota Gophers Football

What Spann-Ford lacks in collegiate production, he easily makes up for in size, raw athleticism and premiere tight end tools. When he arrived at the Senior Bowl, Brevyn measured at 6 ft, 6.5 inches, 267 pounds. His hands came in at 10 inches and his wingspan 6 ft, 7 inches.

Brevyn Spann-Ford looked good in individual and team drills as a pass catcher. In a reversal of fortune, Minnesota looked better than Michigan and Penn State, strictly at the tight end position. On the National Team roster, there are three tight ends, one from each of the three previously mentioned Big 10 schools.

Right away just seeing the three of them, Brevyn Spann-Ford’s size immediately stands out. Spann-Ford is built like a truck. He has NFL size big time and the thought of NFL strength and conditioning coaches getting at him to possibly help him get even more physically imposing is a really interesting prospect for a team looking for a tight end in this year’s draft.

Tyler Schickert – With The First Pick (Fansided)

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He’s everything an NFL scout is looking for, if he can prove an ability to catch the ball, block and get open. And this week may be the best opportunity he has during the pre-draft process to prove he will be able to do those things at the next level.