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RB Tyjae Spears: NFL Draft scouting report

We break down Tulane RB Tyjae Spears with a scouting report heading into the 2023 NFL Draft.

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NCAA Football: Tulane at Cincinnati Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane running back Tyjae Spears was taken by the Tennessee Titans with the No. 81 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. With speculation surrounding the future of Derrick Henry in Nashville, the Titans get a rookie back in the third.

Tulane Green Wave playmaker Tyjae Spears is headed to the pros after turning it on later in his college football career. He took on a huge role in the offense during his final season and will look to make that translate to the NFL level.

Spears rushed for 1,581 yards with 229 attempts on 6.9 yards per carry, and he scored 19 rushing touchdowns on the season. In the passing game, he caught 22 balls for 256 yards with a couple receiving touchdowns.

Tyjae Spears: Scouting Report

Spears put together a productive college career with a high number of yards per carry, and everything he can do was on full display in his final season. He can change direction quickly, which is one of his top traits as NFL teams evaluate him. Spears’ cutting ability should not go unnoticed at the next level.

In addition to some knee-injury history, there are some cons to Spears’ scouting report. He isn’t the greatest pass catcher at the position, though he made the most of his opportunities in the passing game in college. Spears also needs work on running with more power to finish runs.

Mock Draft landing spots

CBS’ Ryan Palmer has Tyjae Spears landing with the Buccaneers in the third round. The Athletic keeps the third round selection, but sees the Texans grabbing him. The mock draft has him headed to the New Orleans Saints in the third.

Fantasy football implications

Spears can definitely be a starter in the NFL, and that could come early depending on where he ultimately lands on draft day. Running backs typically don’t have a significant issue with getting things rolling in Year 1, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see Spears becoming a fantasy football contributor early in his career.

The Bucs’ depth chart is led by second-year RB Rachaad White. Spears could make an interesting pair alongside White in Tampa or alongside Jamaal Williams and Alvin Kamara in NOLA — the latter of which would allow him to stay nearby as a local fan favorite.

The Texans are rebuilding their offensive identity right now, and Spears could be getting in at the right time to have a full chance to prove himself and his worth on that depth chart. As a consensus third-rounder, we can expect to see him get some good touches as early as Year 1 if he stays healthy and could be a later-season fantasy contributor.