The 49ers officially place Shawntae Spencer on IR and at the same time picked up offensive lineman Kirk Barton (6’5, 310), who was released by the Dolphins on Thursday.
Barton, out of Ohio State, was a seventh-round pick of the Chicago Bears. Following is the draft info on Barton from nfl.com
The veteran anchor of the Buckeyes’ front wall, Barton was the team’s mainstay at right offensive tackle since his freshman campaign. Injuries limited the tackle the last few years, but when healthy he showed he is a powerful, explosive blocker who plays low in his pads and with great intensity. He works hard at sustaining his blocks and allowing plays to develop and has become a good pass blocker because of his balance and mobility.
Barton was considered one of the top linemen in the Midwest and one of the Top 100 nationally by Rivals.com as a senior at Perry High School. He played defensive tackle and tight end and simply overpowered opponents. He also lettered in basketball as a freshman and sophomore, but then concentrated on football his final two years.
In 2003, Barton enrolled at Ohio State, spending the year competing as an offensive tackle on the scout team until he suffered a left shoulder sprain that required surgery at mid-season. He was held out of 2004 spring drills while recovering from shoulder woes and then lined up at right tackle behind Tim Shafer for the first five games. The OSU ground game struggled with Shafer in the lineup, averaging 111.8 yards per game. When Barton took over those chores for the final seven contests, the Buckeyes averaged 169.43 yards per game on the ground.
Barton started eight of nine games at right tackle in 2005. He sat out the Michigan State, Indiana and Minnesota contests and played just one series vs. Illinois due a right knee anterior cruciate ligament tear. As a junior, he battled left foot plantar fasciitis all season, but started all 13 games, earning team Offensive Lineman of the Week honors four times. He registered 61 knockdowns with eight touchdown-resulting blocks. The offense thrived under his pass protection, as OSU quarterbacks averaged 214.7 yards per game passing and the team had 31 touchdown passes and just six interceptions.
Barton was named All-Big Ten Conference first-team in 2007. He allowed just one sack while registering 74 knockdowns with eight touchdown-resulting blocks. He made seven of those touchdown blocks on running plays, as the Buckeyes averaged 196.4 yards per game on the ground.
At the 2008 Senior Bowl practices, Barton suffered a right knee strain. An MRI revealed no structural damage, but he was forced to miss the game and underwent an arthroscopic procedure Jan. 24 that prevented him from participating in agility tests at the NFL Combine.
In 51 games at Ohio State, Barton started 42 contests at right tackle…Over his last two seasons he recorded 134 knockdowns with 16 touchdown-resulting blocks, allowing just three sacks on 670 pass plays.
Positives: Has good upper body thickness with solid arm muscles and thick thighs…Bit undersized, but has a frame that can carry more bulk…Smart player who shows good awareness and feel for movement up front and has enough knowledge of the defensive coverages to make offensive line calls…Can make adjustments and recognizes stunts and games that develop up front…Tough player who will work to stay after a block and plays until the whistle…Called by the coaches a gym rat who loves all aspects of football…Has a good concept for taking good angles to compensate for his lack of athletic ability…Flashes recovery ability, dropping his pads and extending his arms to get a piece of the defender…Keeps his head on a swivel and is an efficient space blocker who is quick to locate his targets…Plays with a mauler’s mentality, but needs to develop a stronger hand punch…Much more agile in his pass set than on pulls and traps…Since he recovered from 2006 foot woes, he showed much better mirror agility and kick slide taking on edge rushers…Has the vision to recognize stunts and twists, getting into position to counter those moves…Uses his frame well to seal on the edge, using his long reach to stave off the pass rusher…Has an effective arm-bar motion to lock up and sustain vs. the bull rush…More effective taking on powerful defenders than quicker ones, as he likes to combat his man, demonstrating great tenacity in his game…Generates strong movement firing low off the snap…Strikes with arms fully extended, getting solid power behind his thrusts into the defender’s chest…Keeps a good relationship with the edge rushers, mirroring their moves to wall off and seal…Made solid improvements in his pass blocking technique, showing a wider leg base and better hand placement as a senior…Jolts the pass rusher back with his powerful hand swipes and works hard to keep his hands inside the defender.
Negatives: Has had several issues with his right knee and also had left foot plantar faciitis, making his durability a concern…Needs better lower body muscle definition, especially in his calves…More of a waist bender and lacks explosion coming off the snap because of it…Gets too tall in his stance and narrows his base, causing him to spend a lot of unnecessary time on the ground (defenders have good success upending him)…Shows stiffness in his hips and lacks good balance on the move, negating a possibility of making him a pulling guard…Occasionally flashes knee-bend, but is more of a waist-bender and a short-stepper who lacks quick, light feet…Flashes some nastiness, but needs to work on finishing blocks more consistently…Lacks good short-area quickness and feet to switch off and make good angle blocks…Performs better on double-teams than he does in one-on-one battles…Has marginal ability to sustain blocks, as he engages opponents with his helmet and hands in the defenders’ chests, at times, working into position, but waist-bends and slides off too soon…Occasionally latches on to defenders and moves his feet to run-block, but is usually too high here…Gathers himself with his head down when run-blocking and doesn’t always fire off the ball…Has marginal ability to pull or trap…An adequate athlete, at best, who doesn’t cover ground real well…Will lead through the hole with his head down and miss the target, at times…Gets to the second level too slowly and linebackers often get over the top of him…Has only adequate ability as a pass-blocker and he catches bull rushes too often, resulting in him getting knocked back…Will hold when he’s beaten around the edge and shows just adequate hand usage and punch…Often catches and gets his hands outside his opponent’s frame, rarely engaging and latching on to the defender inside and must generate a stronger hand punch…Possesses marginal foot quickness, as he is a hard, short-stepper whose feet don’t move very quickly.
Compares To: MIKE GANDY-Arizona…Barton is a lunch pail type who quietly goes about his job. He is effective at sustaining and widening the rush lanes and works well on combo blocks with his guards. He is more of a waist bender, which makes him look sluggish on pulls and traps, but he shows better quickness in his pass set to neutralize edge rushers. He needs to develop a stronger hand punch and has some slight durability concerns.