The former Stanford and ASU football prospect enters the 2019 NFL Draft with an uncertain future as an offensive lineman at the next level.
Out of high school, former Stanford and ASU offensive lineman Casey Tucker was an elite prospect. A four-star recruit and Under Armour All-American, Tucker started 27 games for the Cardinal and 12 for the Sun Devils.
Now, the Hamilton High School graduate has the chance to take his talents to the next level.
On Thursday, the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft will get underway in Nashville, Tennessee. A total of 254 young men will hear their names called in the NFL’s yearly selection of elite talent in the college game.
But for Tucker, the likelihood that his name will be uttered at the podium in Music City this weekend is low.
Strengths and Weaknesses as a Prospect
At 6-feet-6 inches tall and 308 pounds, Tucker is a strong lineman who is smart and has experience at both tackle positions.
But the former Sun Devil’s strengths as a pro prospect end there.
There are a number of weaknesses in Tucker’s game, including his footwork, quickness and lack of athleticism, which could hurt him against the slew of elite pass rushers that the NFL has to offer.
Combine those factors with a history of injuries throughout his college career, and Tucker’s chances of getting picked by one of the 32 teams by the end of the seventh round is quite minimal.
Pro Football Focus ranked each team’s offensive lines following Week 17 of the regular season.
The site found that the Arizona Cardinals had the weakest unit in the NFL, with the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders just ahead of the Cardinals in the rankings.
As an ASU alumni and Gilbert, Arizona native, could Tucker stay home and sign an undrafted free agent deal with his hometown team?
For an organization that is looking to reconstruct their entire offensive line, bringing in an under-the-radar prospect like Tucker could add depth to what was a woeful core last season.
However, given his likely status as an undrafted free agent, Tucker’s destinations are practically limitless.
There’s no such thing as having too much depth at a particular position. This is especially true in football, where rosters are huge and injuries are frequent.
Plus, teams like the Cardinals and Vikings, who own weak offensive lines, will target potential starters in the earlier rounds. So, depth pieces like Tucker won’t be a priority for those teams until the later rounds or free agency.
Tucker will most likely not start for an NFL team in Week 1, so it will be a team that is simply willing to take a chance and use a roster spot that will likely grab him.