Our rookie scouting reports combine film and analytics to provide the best possible predictions for player performance. With the 2023 NFL Draft less than a month away, let’s take a look at the scouting report for Tulsa RB Deneric Prince.
Deneric Prince NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Running Back
- School: Tulsa
- Year: Redshirt Senior
Prince was a three-star recruit out of Manvel High School in Manvel, Texas. His path to declaring for the NFL draft was a bit of an unconventional one.
Prince spent his first two years of college at Texas A&M. As a freshman, he only played in one game, qualifying for redshirt status. In his second year at A&M, Prince didn’t see the field at all.
Clearly not part of the offense, Prince transferred to Tulsa for his third year — his redshirt sophomore season. While he was never the unquestioned starter, he was very much part of the running back rotation.
Prince started 12 of his 26 games played for Tulsa. In those games, he carried the ball 314 times for 1,728 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also added one more touchdown through the air.
Prince’s 5.5 yards-per-carry average is above the norm, but at the college level, it’s is nothing special. He also adds nothing in the passing game.
During his three years at Tulsa, Prince caught a total of 17 passes. His highest single-season target share was 2.9% in 2022.
Based on his college production, it’s quite clear Prince does not have a future as a receiving back. If he is able to carve out a meaningful role on an NFL roster, it would be as a two-down grinder.
The concern with Prince is the bulk of his college production was him torching South Florida and an FCS school. In his three games against USF, Prince ran for 439 yards. That accounted for 25.4% of his entire collegiate rushing total. If you add in his 151 yards against UC Davis, 34% of Prince’s total rushing yards came in just four games.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Deneric Prince
Strengths: Big-bodied power back who is best running downhill. Patient, waits for blocks to develop, and displays short-area quickness. Runs with good lean, keeps his feet moving, and works to pick up as much yardage as possible.
Breaks a lot of tackles, picks up yardage off initial contact, and falls forward when tackled. Runs with authority. Extends his hands to make the catch away from his frame and snatches the ball out of the air. Quickly picks up and stays with blocking assignments.
Weaknesses: Plays to one speed, struggles trying to get around the corner, and cannot cut back against the grain. Marginal pass-catching production.
Overall: Prince is a big-bodied back with solid athleticism and underrated pass-catching ability. He’ll be perfect for short-yardage or goal-line situations on Sundays, and his blocking, as well as pass catching, give him the upper hand on making a roster.
Deneric Prince Combine Measurements and Results
- Height: 5’11 5/8″
- Weight: 216 pounds
- Arm Length: 31 1/4″
- Hand Size: 9 1/4″
- Bench Press: N/A
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.41
Tulsa RB Deneric Prince Current Draft Projection
On Tony Pauline’s Big Board, Prince ranked 164th overall and is projected to be drafted in the fifth round. With a 3.42 grade, he is Pauline’s RB18 in this class.
Given the shift in the NFL away from three-down backs, there’s definitely a path for Prince to play meaningful NFL snaps, even as a Day 3 pick.
Many of the most prominent running backs currently near or atop team depth charts are getting up there in age. The guys from the 2015-2017 classes are all nearing the end of their careers. The NFL needs a youth injection at the position, and they very well may get it.
With that said, if Prince is around the 18th running back selected, he will undoubtedly face an uphill battle. The majority of Day 3 RBs will never matter. However, a couple of them are usually able to break through each season.
Last year, we saw Dameon Pierce, Tyler Allgeier, and Isiah Pacheco all earn lead-back roles. In the 2021 draft class, Rhamondre Stevenson, Kenneth Gainwell, and Elijah Mitchell have emerged.
While the preceding classes didn’t really have anyone of note, the past two years show it is indeed possible.
Prince also did a great job improving his draft stock by lighting up the Combine. His 4.41 40-time at 216 pounds gave him the highest speed score in this running back class.
If Prince can earn a change-of-pace role as the RB2 or RB3 on an NFL team, that would be a success. Regardless, he’s an incredible athlete, and NFL teams like taking chances on guys with athletic gifts that can’t be taught.
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.