For the first time in five years, no Tulane NFL Draft prospect was selected in last year’s draft, but can this cycle’s group get the school back on the board? Let’s take a look at the Tulane scouting report for eight of their prospects for this year’s draft.
Tulane 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Dorian Williams, LB
Strengths: Athletic three-down linebacker who showed tremendous progress in his game last season. Explosive, fires upfield defending the run, and is outstanding in pursuit. Remains disciplined with coverage assignments, gets depth on pass drops, and easily runs downfield with tight ends.
Fast to the sidelines, covers a lot of area on the field, and sells out on the blitz. Breaks down well and uses his hands to protect himself. Possesses an explosive closing burst bearing down on the play.
Weaknesses: Has a thin frame and gets easily blocked from the action. Seems to need a free shot to the ball.
Overall: Despite being dismissed by scouts entering the season, Williams is a prospect I’ve had graded as draftable the past three seasons. He’s a classic weakside LB in a 4-3 who can cover running backs or tight ends on passing downs or make the tackle in pursuit against the run. He comes with an upside, and his game has shown consistent progress the past three seasons.
Want more information on Williams? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Dorian Williams, LB, Tulane | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Duece Watts, WR
Strengths: Athletic receiver with next-level measurables who flashes ability. Has nice length, long arms, and big hands. Follows the QB across the field, lays out or extends to come away with the difficult grab, and uses his frame to shield away defenders.
Tracks the pass in the air, competes to come away with the catch, then keeps the play in bounds to pick up positive yardage. Comes back to the ball out of routes, extends his hands, and snatches the ball away from his frame. Displays quick, strong hands. Solid route runner who separates from defenders out of breaks.
Weaknesses: Never turned in outstanding production for Tulane. Plays to one speed despite his 40 time. Does not always come away with the difficult reception.
Overall: Watts possesses the physical skills and measurables to be a No. 2 wideout on paper, and he shows that ability occasionally. However, he’s been very streaky in college and never elevated his game. Watts comes with tremendous upside and could surprise people if he puts it all together in camp. Or he’ll end up a player who bounces from franchise to franchise and never sees the field.
Joey Claybrook, OL
Strengths: Hard-working offensive lineman who gets the most from his ability. Blocks with proper lean, stays square, and keeps his feet moving. Effectively uses his hands, keeps his head on a swivel, and anchors in pass protection. Works well with teammates, picks up stunts or twists, and makes good use of angles in pass protection. Quickly gets to the second level and seals linebackers from the action.
Weaknesses: Lacks lateral range off the edge and is most effective in a small area. Struggles finishing blocks.
Overall: Claybrook was a solid three-year starter at Tulane and is a tall offensive lineman with growth potential and long arms. He’s marginally athletic and doesn’t possess an upside, but he does things well enough to get consideration on a practice squad next fall.
Larry Brooks, DB
Strengths: Tough, physical defensive back who is best playing downhill. Plays heads-up football, displays a burst of speed, and always works to get involved in the action. Quickly diagnoses plays, takes proper angles to the action, and wraps up tackling.
Sells out defending the run, squaring into ball handlers, and wrapping up. Works well with cornerbacks to bracket receivers over the middle of the field and possesses good hands for the interception.
Weaknesses: Possesses average speed. Lacks range as well as speed to the sidelines.
Overall: Brooks is a hard-hitting safety who does a good job covering the pass between the numbers, yet he’s solely a strong or zone safety who cannot be asked to cover a large amount of area on the field.
Macon Clark, S
Strengths: Well-rounded safety who has been very productive the past three seasons. Instinctive, quick to read or diagnose, and fires upfield to make plays. Does not bite on ball fakes, quickly picks up coverage assignments, and stays downfield with receivers. Shows a burst to the ball out of his plant and is very effective diagnosing the action. Hard hitter who aggressively lays his shoulders into ball handlers and forces fumbles.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Weaknesses: Does not display good hands for the interception. Gets lost in coverage at times, faceguards opponents, and doesn’t track the ball in the air.
Overall: Clark possesses terrific size and speed and a physical nature. He must polish his game and may be best in a simplified defense, but Clark has enough ability to line up as a fourth safety/special-teams player.
Nick Anderson, LB
Strengths: Underrated linebacker prospect who has shown terrific development in his game the past three seasons. Athletic, explosive, and instinctive. Quickly locates the ball, flows well to the action, and works hard to get involved in plays.
Explodes upfield and sells out defending the run. Breaks down well, takes proper angles, and is very aggressive. Gets depth on pass drops, displays good change-of-direction ability and constantly flies around the action. Drives his shoulders into ball handlers and wraps up tackling.
Weaknesses: Short. Easily out-positioned by opponents and struggles getting off blocks. Does not possess flat-out pursuit speed even though he plays fast.
Overall: Anderson was a tackling machine for Tulane who also showed a lot of ability against the pass. He has size limitations but is an athletic LB who can play on the inside of a 3-4 alignment.
Tyjae Spears, RB
Strengths: Explosive, game-changing running back who is also effective catching the ball out of the backfield. Displays outstanding vision as well as running instincts, runs low to the ground and behind his pads, and keeps his feet moving.
Incredibly quick and will pick and choose spots on the inside. Makes defenders miss and avoids piles. Quickly cuts back against the grain, loses little momentum changing direction, and possesses a tremendous burst of speed.
Fast enough to turn the corner or beat defenders into the open field. Works, runs, and doesn’t go down without a fight. Outstanding receiver who adjusts to the errant throw or gets down to scoop up low passes. Displays outstanding route discipline.
Weaknesses: Not a big-bodied back who will pick up much yardage off initial contact. Won’t be able to handle a lot of carries at the next level.
Overall: Spears is a well-rounded RB with a three-down game, but he has size limitations. He’ll be a very productive third-down back on Sundays and can even be used as a situational starter or share the ball. I fully expect Spears to be productive as a rookie and have an outstanding NFL career.
Want more information on Spears? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Tyrick James, TE
Strengths: Moderately productive pass-catching college tight end who will also get looks at H-back and fullback. Remains disciplined with blocking assignments, displays good vision, and gives effort. Keeps his head on a swivel and is explosive at the point.
Quickly releases off the line into pass routes and adjusts to the errant throw, then makes the reception with his hands. Settles into the open spot in the middle of the field.
Weaknesses: Short with marginal growth potential. Not a true downfield threat. Struggles finishing blocks.
Overall: James was a solid all-around tight end at Tulane, yet lacks the pure physical skills to be a top prospect for the next level. He offers possibilities in a scheme that uses him off the line of scrimmage or puts him in motion before the snap of the ball.
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