Sean Tucker NFL Draft Overview
Position: Running Back
2023 NFL Draft: Sean Tucker Scouting Report
Sean Tucker led the Orange in all rushing categories since 2020. Instead of returning for his senior season, Tucker declared for the 2023 NFL Draft. In a running back class loaded with talent, where does Tucker shake out?
Tucker burst onto the scene as a true freshman on an otherwise atrocious Syracuse offense. While the team finished 1-9, Tucker boasted a 4.6 yards per carry average behind one of the worst offensive lines in college football. He entered his sophomore season as the clear bell-cow ball carrier. Due to his high usage and improved team, he posted over 1,750 scrimmage yards and 12 touchdowns. In his junior and final college season, he took a slight step back with a casual 1,061 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Even in a “down” season his yards per carry were well above average at 5.2.
Concurrently to his football career, Tucker ran track at Syracuse as well. He ran indoors in the off-season during his freshman year in order to stay in better shape for football. He ran the Virginia Tech invitational and placed 15th, not too shabby for a football player just trying to get some exercise. His notable accolades include being a 2021 All-American, 2021 All-ACC, and 2022 second-team All-ACC.
- Consistently falls forward despite smaller size;
- Early breakout age as a true freshman;
- Fearless between the tackles;
- Can catch, was not asked to in college;
- Long speed in the wide open field;
- Solid vision and anticipation early in the play;
- Starts and stops quickly;
- Does not fumble. Three in over 500 carries.
- Despite track speed, runs slow while processing play;
- Not prototypical workhorse size for the NFL;
- Somehow loses vision ability after five yards. Runs into receiver’s backs;
- Pass blocks by diving at ankles;
- Starts and stops quickly, but only in one direction.
NFL Comparison: Rashard Mendenhall
Projection: Rounds 3-4
Bottom Line on Sean Tucker
If it were 1989, Sean Tucker is a first-round pick. His combination of speed and contact balance consistently turn one-yard gains into five-yard gains and five-yard gains into 12-yard gains. On account of it being 2023, Tucker could be anywhere from the 50th overall pick to the 120th. He led all ACC running backs in yards after contact in 2021, and would likely have continued this in 2022 if he was not getting hit by three defenders before reaching the line of scrimmage.
Tucker is on the inside track (no pun intended) to be a huge riser during the combine. Most casual fans will sort prospects by 40 time, and his background in the 55 meter is the perfect preparation for this event. NFL scouts will have to sift through the running back market and Tucker has the raw athleticism coaches will love. His biggest knock is that scouts can see him thinking while he runs. It’s almost like he needs to run with blinders on to really take off with his speed. If he can put together the confidence to open up his stride and take off, he could be Tony Pollard but actually breaks tackles.
Seems like curvilinear week at the RSP…RB Sean Tucker taking the curve with legit speed.
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) January 10, 2023
Every dad in America loves to say “you can’t teach speed”. Coaches can teach a little bit of vision. The pass blocking can be fixed. He can eat a couple Jersey Mike’s sandwiches and gain ten pounds. But the ability to round the outside, look at a corner and flip to fifth gear and leave him in the dust is a gift from somewhere. Prospects either have it or they don’t, and Tucker has it.
Main Photo: Winslow Townson – USA Today Sports