Bijan Robinson is the star of this year’s NFL Draft. However, his shine might be taking away the spotlight from some other running back prospects who – if they had the opportunity to be another draft – would be considered top-shelf talents in their own right.
Sean Tucker took the hearts of many dynasty gamers when he for over 1,400 yards during his sophomore season at Syracuse. Since then, it’s been a ride that has been riddled with splash plays and home-run hitters. Now it’s time to see where he will go once he crosses that stage at the NFL Draft.
Tucker wasn’t considered a top-tier prospect in the 2020 recruiting class. 247Sports had him ranked the 58th-best running back and the 27th-best player out of the state of Maryland. He was rated as a three-star prospect coming out of high school. At the National Combine in 2019, he measured at 5-foot-10 and weighed 157 pounds.
Courtesy of 247Sports.
He finished his high school career at Calvert Hall College High School which is a private school located in Baltimore, Maryland. In his junior season, he averaged 129.6 rushing yards per game and 7.2 yards per carry. Then in his senior year, he capped off his career by rushing for 1,204 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also played on the other side of the ball at cornerback.
Tucker was also a track star in high school, winning the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association indoor title for the 55-meter dash two years in a row, and was a champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter as a junior. His personal record in the 55-meter dash clocked in at 6.41 seconds.
Courtesy of Sports Reference.
Tucker started his collegiate career on a 1-10 Syracuse team that averaged 265.3 yards in total offense per game. He led the team with 626 rushing yards and four touchdowns while owning a 25.35 percent share of the team’s entire output in 2020. The freshman posted three 100-yard games against Georgia Tech, Liberty, and Notre Dame.
In 2021, during his sophomore season, we saw Tucker take over, rushing for 1,496 yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging 124.67 yards per game. He posted nine 100-yard performances. We saw his efficiency numbers increase as the sophomore running back averaged 4.11 yards after contact per attempt and 6.1 yards per carry. This ignited his devy value and made him one of the top prospects in college football.
The only thing he needed to do was carry over his production to his junior season. He was productive but in a different way. As a junior, finished his career rushing for 1,060 yards and 11 touchdowns. We also saw him increase his usage in the passing game by catching 36 balls for 254 yards and two touchdowns.
Not only did he receive 28 more targets compared to the previous year but he also ran 297 routes on the season. This is on a passing offense that could only muster 232 passing yards per game which were a 79-yard per game increase compared to 2021. His 2.0 average depth of target indicates that he was targeted often downfield. We also saw him spend more time (15.9 percent of snaps) in the slot.
The increased usage in the passing game was led due to the offense being more efficient in the passing game. Also, when you see your star running back average 13.3 yards after the catch per reception the previous year, it should make you want to get them more involved in the passing game.
- Listed at 5-foot-10 and 210 pounds.
- A decisive runner with a cerebral approach to the line of scrimmage.
- Reads the momentum of his blocks and the opposing defense well.
- Nasty dead leg.
- Covers a lot of ground moving laterally.
- Amazing footwork.
- He’s a home-run threat who can score from anywhere on the field.
- Has speed and burst for days.
- Has exceeded over 20 MPH on multiple runs.
- Proficient in catching the ball out of the backfield.
- Wheel route machine.
- Has a thick lower body along with a compound frame
- Not much experience pass blocking
- Can get pushed back by the bull rush.
- Dropped ten of his 94 career targets.
Courtesy of Mock Draft Database.
It’s the mock draft season which means every website is doing its best to pump out its weekly mock draft that is working off of very limited information. There aren’t many mock drafts that are going past the second round, therefore it’s hard to get a large enough sample size to use mock drafts as a half-hazardous metric for projecting long-term dynasty values.
One thing you can see by analyzing Tucker’s production profile, athleticism, and overall body of work on the field, is that the odds are looking good that he develops into a day-two pick. The first round is out of the question unless he blows up the combine and the scouts and media go nuts over him.
There is a chance that he doesn’t get drafted until the third day of the draft. Considering his player profile, the odds of this happening aren’t likely. Something would have to go wrong between now and the NFL Draft.
Right now, it looks like he’s going to get drafted somewhere between the second and third rounds of this year’s draft. With this class being deep with talent at the running back position there’s a chance many NFL teams could wait longer since the drop-off in talent will happen later in the draft compared to other years. However, even in the deepest of classes, the top backs get selected on the first and second days of the draft and Tucker is one of the top backs in this year’s class.
There’s nothing clear-cut with rookie draft ADP at this point, but just by gauging the mock drafts presented on social media and other outlets, it’s easy to see the market is trying to figure out how to value him. You will catch mock drafts where he falls to the early part of the second round of a superflex rookie mock draft and then another where he gets selected in the top half of the first round.
Values are going to be very ambiguous in January. We see it every year at this time. With his projected draft capital combined with his player profile, it’s hard to imagine him falling out of the first round of rookie drafts. It can happen if he somehow falls in the NFL Draft, but with the information, we have on Tucker he’s a first-round rookie draft prospect.
For his long-term value in the dynasty, we are looking at a running back who will hold his value for a few years. Even if his career starts slow, he will hold his value for around two seasons before dynasty gamers start to make drastic decisions about him. Like all young running back prospects, if he flashes his talent during his rookie season, then his stock will go through the roof. It might be easier for running backs in this year’s class considering the entire landscape at the running back position is very ambiguous.
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