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Tyjae Spears scouting report

2023 NFL Draft: Tyjae Spears Scouting Report

The path to the 2023 NFL draft has been challenging for former Tulane running back Tyjae Spears. Matt Forte left an indelible mark on the Tulane Green Wave program, and Spears looks to be the next great back in that lineage. But this wasn’t always the case for the talented prospect. With the NFL draft quickly approaching, it’s time for my first scouting report of the season — on Tyjae Spears.

Tyjae Spears scouting report
Photo Credit: Tulane Athletics

Tyjae Spears Background

Spears arrived at Tulane in 2019 and was promptly behind several backs on the depth chart as a freshman. He was seldom used that first year, seeing action in only four games, with just under 200 yards rushing. His sophomore season was going to be better. Spears was named the starter and got off to a fast start rushing for 274 yards and two touchdowns in the first three games. Then disaster struck.

Spears suffered a torn ACL in the third week of the season and was forced to miss the remainder of the season, cashing in on his redshirt. An ACL injury isn’t good, no matter your position, but it can spell disaster for a running back. But, to Spears’ credit, he battled back and was the Green Wave’s starting running back again in 2021, playing in 12 games and rushing for over 800 yards and nine touchdowns.

It was Spears’ senior season when the breakout finally came. The Tulane football program experienced unprecedented success in the 2022 season, spearheaded by a great season from their skilled back. Spears burst onto the college football scene in a big way, rushing for over 1500 yards, averaging nearly 7 yards per carry, and scoring a whopping 19 touchdowns, adding 22 receptions for 250+ yards and two more touchdowns.

Stats are great, but football isn’t played on paper. Box-score scouting is how you get yourself into trouble. What traits does Spears have that allowed him to put up such gaudy stats this season? Let’s dive into the Tyjae Spears scouting report!

Tyjae Spears Scouting Report


  • Extremely explosive
  • Better agility than scores indicate
  • Surprisingly good receiver
  • Nice vision and contact balance
  • Scheme versatile


  • Small frame
  • Less-than-ideal contribution in passing game
  • Injury history

Tyjae Spears NFL Draft Outlook

In other years, we might be talking about Tyjae Spears as the top running back in the class. That’s how good his scouting report indicates he can be. Unfortunately for Spears, he’s up against one of the strongest running back classes in recent memory, with the likes of Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Zach Charbonnet.

Spears is an explosive back whose skill set indicates that he can be scheme versatile. His small stature may preclude him from being used in power schemes, but his vision, shiftiness, and explosion should lend well to either zone or gap-running schemes.

Though he didn’t see a lot of action in the passing game, he did show a surprising amount of ability in that department. Spears is sure-handed – likely due at least in part to massive 10” hands – and is a force to be reckoned with in the open field. He likely won’t contribute much to a team in blocking, but he should provide a quarterback with a nice safety valve out of the backfield and can be lined up outside, too.

The biggest knock on Spears outside of size will be his injury history. Though he’s only had one significant injury in his college career, it’s about as big a one for a running back as possible. ACL injuries tend to hamper the shelf-life of an already depressed longevity position. The medical checks will be significant for Spears. Spears was able to play and exceed expectations on that knee during the 2022 season, so I don’t expect any major surprises come med check time. However, it is something most teams will note.

Overall, Spears is a great prospect who, thanks to a tough class, will likely be pushed down the board and drafted lower than his talent may warrant. He’s still a top-100 player in the 2023 NFL draft and should hear his name called no later than the middle of the third round. However, we’d likely be talking about Spears as an early second-type player in other years. Some team will surely get an outstanding running back prospect.

2023 NFL Draft Final Position Rankings: Defensive Tackles

With the offensive side of the ball out of the way, we kick off our look at the defense with our final position rankings for the 2023 NFL draft defensive tackles class.

Before the season started, this group looked to be a really good class; but a few guys have had injuries, went back to school or haven’t played up to expectations. But there has also been some surprises, as well. It is still a strong group — probably the best in at least three years. Picking a top 10 was difficult.

As always, I will be listing players at their expected NFL positions. Be sure to check out my previous mid-season rankings of the defensive tackles, and if you want to check out the draft database that I help update almost daily, you can find it at risendraft.

UGA's Jalen Carter leads the 2023 NFL draft class of defensive tackles
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2023 NFL Draft Defensive Tackles: The Top 5

  1. Jalen Carter, Georgia: Despite his somewhat average size, Carter is a freak athletically and strength wise. He is 314 pounds, but he plays with the strength and explosiveness of a man 40 pounds heavier. He is athletic enough he could even take snaps on the edge. He hasn’t been 100% healthy this season, so his numbers have suffered. His impact still remains a top five pick, even despite some off the field concerns popping up.
  2. Bryan Bresee, Clemson: Bresee is almost as talented as Carter, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy since 2020. He has played 14 games in 2021 and 2022 combined. The former Tiger also had a family tragedy that effected him in 2022. Because of all that, his development is further behind than you would think. He is big, athletic, and strong. His hand usage and pass rush moves are underdeveloped.
  3. Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin: Benton played mostly nose tackle at Wisconsin, but he will make his hay as a 3-4 tech. He has the size, at 6’4, 309 pounds, and long 34″ arms to be a top defensive lineman. His play against the run has been okay, but could be better. The former Badger has flashed as a pass rusher with 49 pressures and eight sacks the last two seasons. He has trouble with double teams, which is why NT probably isn’t his best spot. If he can work on his hand usage, he could be really good.
  4. Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern: Adebawore, or AA as he is known by people who don’t want to type out his name, really came on post-season; especially at the Senior Bowl. The former Wildcat played out of position at Northwestern, where they played him as a defensive end. He was moved inside to defensive tackle at the Senior Bowl, and just wrecked shop all week in practice. He proved how much of a freak he is at the combine, running a 4.49 at 282 pounds.
  5. Gervon Dexter, Florida: Dexter has been a bit of a tease. He really flashed his potential in 2021. Big things were expected of him in 2022. However, he did not play up to his potential. He has the size (6’6, 310 pounds) and athleticism (4.88 40-yard dash) to be a really good player. He will be a bit of a project, but if he hits watch out!

2023 NFL Draft Defensive Tackles: Best of the Rest

6. Zacch Pickens, South Carolina: Pickens is another big man, at 6’4, 291 pounds and 34″ arms. He displays impressive strength on the field, and is a good athlete. He had his best season this year. While he still has room for growth, Pickens is finally starting to turn potential into production. He still needs to continue to work on his play against the run and on turning those pressures into sacks.

7. Keion White, Georgia Tech: White had a similar situation to AA, in that Georgia Tech played him like a stand-up edge rusher, and while you could see his athleticism there, his body type and skill set says he’s a defensive lineman. At 6’5 285 and the frame to add another 10 pounds, he has been a bit of a late bloomer starting out as a tight end. He has amazing bend for someone so big. He can play up and down the line.

8. Jaquelin Roy, LSU: Roy is another big-name recruit who seems to have taken time to develop. He could be still classified as a slight disappointment. The former Tiger has shown flashes, but consistency has evaded him so far. Roy has just five career sacks, but 78 pressures, and only became a starter this past season. He has been a solid run defender since he stepped on campus, though. At 6’3, 305 pounds and running a 5.16, the talent is there. It just might take him a year or two.

9. Tuli Tuipolotu, USC: He is the brother of Marlon Tuipolotu. He has been a bit of a pass rushing menace the last two seasons. 75 pressures and 19 sacks in that time span. He is not just a one-trick pony. The former Trojan is also a good run defender. He also has the athleticism to play up and down the line. Tuipolotu showed up at the combine at 266, but played closer to 290 and was bit stiff on film. He missed 16 tackles this season — if he can clean that up he can really improve.

10. Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh: Kancey has been terrorizing offenses the past two seasons. He is a very hard man to block because of his size (6’1 281) and athleticism (4.67 speed). He has generated 85 pressures and 17 sacks in that time. The former Panther is undersized, and it shows up on film at times. But, if a team uses him the right way he could have a big impact in the passing game.

2023 NFL Draft: Early Look At Potential Packers — Offense

Photo Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images

In this article we are taking an early look at potential Packers 2023 NFL draft prospects. In this first part, we look at offensive players. It’s important to remember there is a lot more information to be gathered in the process, especially since the Packers rely on athletic testing heavily. These will be players to familiarize yourselves with who could be on Green Bay’s draft board come late April.

Since it is highly unlikely that the Packers will pick in the top five of the 2023 NFL draft, I will not be including players who are expected to go that high, like Jalen Carter or Will Anderson. I will also be judging based off players that fit what the Packers look for with the information we have. So, for example, no Dawand Jones, as he’s not a great fit for a zone offense.

Now, let’s get to it!


With a bunch of quarterbacks heading back or entering the transfer portal, the class has lost a lot of its depth. The Packers tend to like quarterbacks who are decent athletes, at least 6’2″, and have a solid build. I don’t see the Packers drafting a QB in the first, but I will still list them just in case. Crazier things have happened!

Texas running back Bijan Robinson could be a target for the Packers in the 2023 NFL draft
Credit: John E. Moore III/Getty Images

This is a pretty solid, and deep, class. The Packers like their running backs to be 5’9+ and at least 200 pounds. They also tend to prefer solid, all-around athletes. Being able to contribute in the passing game is a huge plus.

  • Bijan Robinson, Texas
  • Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
  • Zach Evans, Mississippi
  • Kenny McIntosh, Georgia
  • Tank Bigsby, Auburn
  • Roschon Johnson, Texas
  • Sean Tucker, Syracuse
  • Eric Gray, Oklahoma
  • Chase Brown, Illinois
  • Kendre Miller, TCU
  • Tyjae Spears, Tulane
  • Zach Charbonnet, UCLA
  • Blake Corum, Michigan
  • Travis Dye, USC
  • Kendall Milton, Georgia
  • Lew Nichols III, Central Michigan
Credit: Michael Hickey/Getty images

The tight end class is not a great group outside of the top five, but it’s an ok group. The Packers don’t have hardcore requirements for their tight ends. Usually 6’3+, 245+, and at least an average athlete.

  • Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
  • Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State
  • Darnell Washington, Georgia
  • Dalton Kincaid, Utah
  • Zach Kuntz, Old Dominion
  • Josh Whyle, Cincinnati
  • Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan
  • Blake Whiteheart, Wake Forest
  • Will Mallory, Miami
  • Cameron Latu, Alabama
  • Sam LaPorta, Iowa
  • Luke Musgrave, Oregon State
  • Brevyn Spann-Ford, Minnesota
Creidt Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The wide receiver class is a super deep group, but it’s not great at the top. There are a number of guys who fit the Packers size preference. This has been talked about a lot. They like them 6’1+, 190+ and good athletes. Usually 4.55 or faster and with good agility scores. Also willing blockers.

  • Quentin Johnston, TCU
  • AT Perry, Wake Forest
  • Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia
  • Rashee Rice, SMU
  • Andrei Iosivas, Princeton
  • Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss
  • Michael Wilson, Stanford
  • Cedric Tillman, Tennessee
  • Rome Odunze, Washington
  • Jacob Copeland, Maryland
  • Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
  • Puka Nacua, BYU
  • Jalen Wayne, South Alabama
  • Justin Shorter, Florida
  • Michael Jefferson, Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Jared Wayne, Pitts
  • Trey Palmer, Nebraska
  • Zakhari Franklin, UTSA
Credit William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Despite Olu Fashanu returning to Penn State, it is still a pretty deep group. This is another position that the Packers prefer highly athletic players. Usually 6’4+ 305+ with at least 33″ arms.

  • Paris Johnson, Ohio State
  • Blake Freeland, BYU
  • Anton Harrison, Oklahoma
  • Broderick Jones, Georgia
  • Patrick Paul, Houston
  • Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
  • Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland
  • Javon Foster, Missouri
  • Tylan Grable, UCF
  • Delmar Glaze, Maryland
  • John Ojukwu, Boise State
  • Alfred Edwards, Utah State
  • Marcus Bryant, SMU
Interior OL:
Credit: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The center group is solid, and there is potential with the guard group if certain tackles move inside. This position is somewhat similar to tackles as far as the Packers’ preferences. Arm length is not as much of a requirement, and they will take guys who are under 6’4. Versatility is also a big plus.

  • Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
  • Nick Broeker, Ole Miss
  • Cody Mauch, NDSU
  • Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas
  • John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota
  • Jarrett Patterson, ND
  • Joe Tippman, Wisconsin
  • Nick Saldiveri, Old Dominion
  • Jaylon Thomas, SMU
  • McClendon Curtis, Chattanooga
  • Alex Palczewski, Illinois
  • Samuel jackson, UCF
  • Cooper Beebe, Kansas State
  • Jordan McFadden, Clemson
  • Alex Forsyth, Oregon
  • Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan
  • Alan Ali, TCU
  • Sincere Haynesworth, Tulane
  • Matthew Lee, UCF
  • Ryan Hayes, Michigan
  • Michael Jurgens, Wake Forest
  • Matthew Bedford, Indiana
  • Matthew Jones, OSU
  • Donovan Jennings, USF
  • Cedrice Paillant, Marshall
  • Jacob Likes, Memphis
  • Rusty Staats, Western Kentucky
  • Ilm Manning, Hawaii

For more on the Packers, check out my latest piece detailing the struggles on defense and what the team should do about them. You can also find the database that I update almost daily over at our good friends RiseNDraft.

Gators QB Anthony Richardson Declares For 2023 NFL Draft

Florida Gators redshirt sophomore quarterback Anthony Richardson has declared for the NFL draft. Richardson was a first-year starter for the Gators this season, but has played in 22 games in total.

Florida QB Anthony Richardson has declared for the NFL draft
Photo by Mike Ehrmann via Getty Images

Anthony Richardson started in all 12 games this past season. The Gators went 6-6, including 3-5 in the SEC. Richardson went 176/327, a 53.8% rate, and had 2549 yards passing, for 7.8 yards per attempt. He had 17 passing touchdowns and nine interceptions. Richardson also added 103 rushes for 654 yards — an average of 6.3 yards per rush — and had nine touchdowns on the ground.

Anthony Richardson had a 79.8 PFF grade on the season and had many high points, but he also had a lot of inconsistencies that may give NFL draft scouts some pause. There were four games in which Richardson graded below a 65 on PFF’s scale, including two in the 40’s.

However, he also had four games that graded above an 80. If he can eliminate his low end performances, he can be a much better overall quarterback.

Anthony Richardson’s NFL Draft Prospects

The NFL draft tends to love quarterbacks. They also tend to love prospects with extreme physical gifts. Anthony Richardson is both of these things. Richardson is currently looking as though he could be anywhere from a mid first-round pick to an early second-round pick. Richardson could rise in the draft due to his physical traits and an abundance of teams in need of quarterbacks.

Currently, Damian Parson of The Draft Network projects Anthony Richardson as the 9th overall pick in the draft. It is definitely a hot take, and Parson has him as the third quarterback off the board. NFL Mock Draft Database’s 2023 Consensus Big Board, a compilation of industry big boards and mock drafts, currently has Anthony Richardson as the 32nd overall player. They also have him as QB4.

Gators Ventrell Miller Accepts Senior Bowl Invite

Florida Gators senior linebacker Ventrell Miller has accepted an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Miller, a sixth year senior, had a resurgent year coming back from injury this past season. Miller still dealt with injuries, including a fractured foot.

The defensive leader for the Gators, Miller was third on the team in total tackles with 74, including 34 solo and 8.5 for loss. For his career, Miller racked up 238 career tackles, 124 of which were solo, over the five seasons he played. The Gators have not had a bowl game announced, and Miller has not said if he will play in it or not, though he will most likely not.

Miller is out of eligibility and will set his sights on the NFL Draft. The beginning of that process starts in Mobile.

Ventrell Miller Needs a Strong Senior Bowl

Miller will look to impress scouts at the week long event that takes place in Mobile, Alabama. Practices begin Tuesday, January 31, 2023. The game takes place on February 4, 2023 at 1:30pm EST.

The linebacker group is an interesting group as currently constructed, with more invites to come. Joining Miller is Auburn linebackers Owen Pappoe and Eku Leota, Texas Longhorn DeMarvion Overshown and Iowa State Cyclone Will McDonald IV. The group also has Dick Butkus Award finalist and Washington State Cougar Daiyan Henley. Smaller school players joining them are Tulane’s Dorian Williams, Jackson State’s Aubrey Miller Jr., and Appalachian State’s Nick Hampton.

Ventrell Miller will need an impressive Senior Bowl to move up in the draft. Miller won’t be an elite tester at the combine. The best way for him to improve his draft stock is to show what he can do on the field at the Senior Bowl, both in the game and in practices. He will be expected to be impressive in meetings during the week as well, which is an important part of the week for participants. Miller must use his football intelligence and experience to stand out. If he can do that, he can rise up draft boards.