Tyjae Spears, Tulane (5’9”, 205)
What Scouts Say:
He tore his ACL in 2020, and recovered fully to maintain his abilities and success as a ball carrier. Strong Senior Bowl performance. He carries high-end explosiveness, he’s a dynamic athlete. Creative and elusive, great contact balance, elite instincts after the catch and in space. Not an ideal frame for an NFL back, with no breakaway speed. Average pass blocker, but does profile as someone with the ability to be on the field for all 3 downs.
What We Saw:
Tyjae Spears was the darling of the Senior Bowl in 2023, and is absolutely one of the hottest prospects as we approach the combine. His Cotton Bowl performance against USC boosted him up, but the Senior Bowl confirmed it, as he broke the 200lb threshold that for some reason matters. As a whole, Spears is a candidate to be a strong contributor to an offense with decent draft capital and can run both gap and zone techniques with power, elusiveness, and the ability to break tackles. Spears also might be one of the most electric backs in the class when it comes to creativity in space, and even without top-end speed he still breaks off long runs with his ability to create angles and go off-script to get more yards. He’s an interesting prospect and will most likely end up in a committee, but he has the juice and skill to be the 1A in that committee and should be in play for any dynasty roster in the 2nd round of rookie drafts.
Spears has what I would say is an untraditional running style. He’s got a drunken master style where his movement is very herky-jerky where it’s intentional but it looks like pure chaos when he’s attempting to make defenders miss. It does work out more than when it doesn’t, which is reassuring but there are some plays where it looks like the video game is broken and the model went AWOL. Most of the runs were plodders or breaks. Decent hands that he can use often if required. Decent frame and athletic profile. Might be a later round irl guy. Screams JROB to me, which is great news for fantasy.
Michael Carter/James Robinson