Orange Fizz


Where Will Sean Tucker Be Drafted?

We’re in the home stretch of basketball season, and the Orange men’s lacrosse team has come on strong, jumping into the top-25 after three wins. If you’re looking ahead, the NFL Draft is only 70 days away. The past couple NFL drafts have gone rather well for the ‘Cuse, and even undrafted players like Kingsley Johnathan have made impacts around the league. In 2023, SU has a few surefire picks, mainly its All-American running back.

Tucker had a down year compared to his spectacular 2021, where he set the SU single-season rushing record. Let’s be honest, 1,496 rushing yards is really tough to top, especially when teams are keying in on the line of scrimmage and 34 in Orange. The redshirt-sophomore was banged up in multiple games this season, to the point where he was a complete non-factor at times this year. But the talent is still there, and Tucker still has an NFL future ahead of him.

With the Super Bowl wrapped up, mock drafts are flying left and right. You won’t see any first round grades on the Owings Mills, Maryland, native, but let’s check out where different draft websites have him listed.

PFF: #5

Pro Football Focus has Tucker as a Day 2 pick, and lists him as a “North-South runner,” which fits the bill for a track guy who ran sprints over the offseason. Analysts are very impressed with his build, noting that he is “as shredded at 205 pounds” as they come, there’s also some left to be desired for the PFF crew.

While Tucker’s size-speed combination may be the most impressive in the draft class, there aren’t too many strengths to write home about outside of that. He’s a linear runner who often lacks the creativity to improvise when the point of attack is jammed up. While Tucker has shown he can handle a heavy workload, with 506 touches over the past two seasons, NFL teams are only going to want to feature him on the ground. Tucker has dropped 10 of his 73 catchable passes in his career. That’s untenable to feature in the passing game outside of screens. 


It’s a shame SU didn’t make more of an effort to throw the guy the ball, but it’s hard when you’re toting the rock on first and second down… #5

Tucker grades out as fifth for, but there’s not a whole lot of separation in between SU’s lead back and the top of the class. Just two grade points separate Tucker (85.4) and the second-ranked back, Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs (87.4). DraftBuzz appreciates Tucker’s knack for finding holes:

Flashes initial burst and good lateral quickness to sidestep defenders or bounce runs outside with very good foot quickness. Displays very good feel as an inside and outside runner with above average vision to make sharp cuts – good patience· and footwork to pick through defenses.

However, the knocks on Tucker come from his hesitancy at the line of scrimmage, and smaller stature. The first can probably be attributed to a below-average offensive line, and it’s not like he’s going to grow any more. Plenty of short backs have been successful in the league.

Sports Illustrated: #9

Sports Illustrated places some surprising names ahead of Tucker, such as Georgia’s Kenny McIntosh and Kentucky’s Chris Rodriguez. However, they still project him as a Day 2 pick, going in the third or fourth round.

He is blessed with top-notch speed, a thick-built lower body and his powerful, thick thighs enable him to break through arm tackles, which makes for great yards after contact contributions. Known as a full-blown workaholic who puts his head down and grinds daily, Tucker owns abnormal stamina. With his combination of vision, burst and strength, he could very well be a high impact player at the next level, as a lead back who touches the ball 15-20 times-plus per game.

Sports Illustrated

Although each site has different rating criteria, they all come to the same conclusion: Sean Tucker is going in the second day of the NFL Draft, and he’ll certainly have a chance to showcase his skillset. Look at Isiah Pacheco, a seventh-round pick who was the starting running back as a rookie on the Super Bowl champion Chiefs. All Tucker needs is a chance, just like when he was the fourth-string back on the Hill three years ago.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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