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2023 NFL Draft prospect profile - Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse

Why isn’t Sean Tucker getting more attention?

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The running back position has been very devalued in the modern NFL. It doesn’t help the top of the running back class in the 2023 NFL Draft that this is also a very deep class. There will be talented runners who have starting upside selected throughout the draft. That only reinforces the idea that running backs are “a dime a dozen”.

The New York Giants seem to be set at the running back position, at least for 2023, but it’s entirely possible that this deep class will provide them undeniable value at some point.

For instance, Syracuse running back Sean Tucker has been getting very little attention at the national level. But turning on any Syracuse game reveals him to be very well-rounded and the engine that powered the Orange’s offense. Could draft day see him take a quick trip downstate to NYC?

Prospect: Sean Tucker (34)
Games Watched: vs. Purdue (2022), vs. Clemson (2022), vs. Notre Dame (2022), vs. Florida State (2022)


Height: 5-foot 9 14 inches
Weight: 207 pounds
Arm length: 30 inches
Hand size: 9 12 inches

Career Stats

Games Played: 33

Carries: 589
Yards (YPC): 3,182 (5.4 per carry)
Receptions: 64
Yards (YPC): 622 (9.7 per catch)
Total Touchdowns (rushing/receiving): 31 (27 rushing, 4 receiving)

2022 Stats

Games Played: 12

Carries: 206
Yards (YPC): 1,060 (5.1 per carry)
Receptions: 36
Yards (YPC): 254 (7.1 per catch)
Total Touchdowns (rushing/receiving): 13 (11 rushing, 2 receiving)

Quick Summary

Best: Athleticism, vision, contact balance, receiving, versatility, competitive toughness
Worst: Size, catch consistency
Projection: A starting running back or primary rotational back with scheme diversity.

Game Tape

Full Report

Sean Tucker is a compact, athletic, and versatile running back prospect from Syracuse University.

Tucker has adequate size for the position at the NFL level at 5-foot-10, 210 pounds. He has solid thickness in his upper and lower body, and has shown the ability to handle a large volume of touches over the last two seasons.

Tucker was a true three-down back for Syracuse and has impressive versatility. He played out of a wide variety of roles, schemes, and alignments. He ran out of the “I” formation, shotgun, and “full house” formations, and out of man-gap, inside, and outside zone schemes. He was asked to be a runner, pass catcher, pass protector, and lead blocker. Tucker was also motioned or split out to a true wide receiver – and used as a downfield threat as well as a check-down option.

Tucker runs with great tempo behind the line of scrimmage, doing a good job of being patient and allowing his blocks to develop before accelerating. He has excellent vision as a ball carrier and is a very instinctive runner. He does a good job of identifying quickly-closing rushing lanes as well anticipating defenders at the second and third levels. Tucker’s vision and instincts give him a good feel for when to take what the defense gives him and when to go off-script and try to create a big play out of nothing.

Tucker is a very good athlete with great quickness, agility, contact balance, acceleration, and long speed. He is easily able to vary his speed throughout his run, cutting suddenly and exploding in a new direction. His acceleration allows him to break defenders’ angles and gain the edge on off-tackle runs. He has enough speed to turn a glimmer of daylight into a big play.

He has solid contact balance and is a surprisingly physical runner. He doesn’t hesitate to challenge interior gaps and has good enough balance and play strength to run through arm tackles or bounce off shoulder checks.

Tucker is a capable receiver out of the backfield and split out wide. While he wasn’t asked to run a particularly diverse route tree, he showed savvy in how he ran his routes. He is also a willing blocker, both in pass protection and as a lead blocker.

There are few true weaknesses in Tucker’s game. He is a natural “hands” catcher who is capable of making tough catches, but can also be inconsistent. He is occasionally prone to focus drops as he tries to turn upfield before he has the ball secured. Similarly, he is a willing pass protector and understands his role in blocking schemes, but he might be better in scat protection early in his career. Tucker doesn’t consistently attack defenders in pass protection and can be more of a nuisance than a roadblock as a blocker.

Finally, while Tucker is a surprisingly physical runner who can pick up yards after contact, he doesn’t quite have the power to be a true short-yardage back. He doesn’t push the pile and he can be brought down easily enough by a good form tackle – though getting a straight shot on him to do so is easier said than done.

Overall Grade: 7.5


Sean Tucker projects as a starting running back at the NFL level – or at least a primary back in an active rotation.

He has a very well-rounded skill set and can do pretty much everything a modern offense requires from a runner. He is consistent enough to keep an offense on schedule, has the vision, agility, and explosiveness to be a big-play threat, and can be a legitimate weapon in the passing game.

Tucker will still need coaching up in a few areas. In particular, he needs to be more aggressive in pass protection, coming up to attack defenders rather than waiting for them to come to him. He also needs to be more consistent as a receiver, though some of his inconsistency can be chalked up to Syracuse’s quarterback play.

Tucker should be a factor early in his career, and he has the versatility to play for almost any team in any offensive scheme. Running backs don’t have the positional value they used to, and Tucker isn’t the most physically imposing or athletically exciting running back in his draft class. Those two factors could make him slide down teams’ draft boards. If that does happen, a team could get a very good value in the middle rounds.