Tyjae Spears, RB, #22, Las Vegas Raiders Prospect (Photo via Tulane University Athletic Department)

NFL Draft: Why Tyjae Spears Should be the Raiders’ New RB2

The Las Vegas Raiders need an insurance plan for the running back position this offseason. All-Pro running back Josh Jacobs and the team have yet to reach a new contract. Jacobs’ willingness to play under the franchise tag is questionable, and should the team part ways with him, they will need a new back. Zamir White saw limited carries in 2022, and Ameer Abdullah is also set to become an unrestricted free agent. Tulane’s Tyjae Spears can offer many options for the team moving forward.

Tyjae Spears’ Background

Spears hails from Ponchatoula, Louisiana. As a graduate of Ponchatoula High School, Tyjae scored 18 touchdowns in his senior season. As a result, he was rated as a three-star athlete before becoming a Green Wave. While at Tulane, he appeared in 33 games over four seasons. Moreover, as a ball carrier, he averaged an impressive 7.0 yards per carry. He scored 19 rushing touchdowns in his senior season and 2 receiving touchdowns. However, he saved his best for last in the team’s 2022 Bowl game against USC, where he had a career day.

So, what makes the 5-foot-11, 200-pound back special?

Tyjae Spears is an Explosive Runner

Regarding explosive threats out of the backfield, Tyjae Spears is among the best prospects.

Spears runs patiently to allow his blockers to set up his blocks while showcasing good contact balance. Then, the Louisiana native hits the whole with authority. A man of ‘smaller’ stature can sometimes get lost in the scrum. However, he consistently displays above-average athletic ability to enter the open field after utilizing great vision to find the correct lane.

But what separates the Tulane product from other runners is his competitive toughness and receiving ability.

Spears Has Yet to Hit His Full Potential

With Tulane being a smaller program, Tyjae Spears was sometimes handcuffed due to a blended gap/zone running scheme. In addition, he only accounted for 46 total receptions in four years at Tulane. To clarify, he wasn’t a target in the passing game, although he is more than capable of being a difference-maker as a receiver.

In addition to not being utilized as a receiver, the Green Waves star also was recovering from a torn ACL injury in 2020. While he was unaffected by it in his senior season, his numbers in previous seasons are not up to par with how talented a running back he can be. That said, he should have immense success at the NFL level.

Spears and Jacobs Could be a Great NFL Duo

Las Vegas Raiders’ running back Josh Jacobs is one of the NFL’s best. But, over the years, he has played through his fair share of injuries, and with a potential rookie quarterback starting next season – the Raiders will rely on the rushing attack more. So, for the team to add a player like Tyjae Spears would not only help keep Jacobs fresh, but it would add a home run threat out of the backfield that the organization has lacked for years.

In conclusion, the 21-year-old Tulane standout would be a wise selection for the Silver and Black in the mid-rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft.

*Top Photo: Tulane University Athletic Department

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1 thought on “NFL Draft: Why Tyjae Spears Should be the Raiders’ New RB2”

  1. Samir White is the number 2 eb. The reason why he didn’t get many Carrie’s is because Jacobs was having a great season.

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