Philadelphia Eagles draft buzz: An exclusive sitdown with Carl Tucker

Carl Tucker (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Carl Tucker (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

After spending most of his college career at North Carolina, Carl Tucker transferred to Alabama for his final collegiate season. While he didn’t play much, outside of what he did on special teams, it was a tremendous opportunity for the potential Philadelphia Eagles prospect.

Learning from some of the best coaches and players in the country isn’t a bad way to prepare for taking the next step in one’s football career. Carl gave us an inside scoop on how his season at Alabama under head coach Nick Saban and company prepared him for the NFL:

“It definitely helped me in terms of just having a professional mindset. Of course, you want to have fun and have a good time but at the end of the day, you get recruited to win. We practiced and competed with each other with that mindset. Regardless of what is going on on the outside, it’s the same thing inside the facility.

Everything is just a well-oiled machine in Tuscaloosa. Just the way Coach Saban gets everybody prepared is crazy. He doesn’t take any team for granted. He would talk about our opponents like they were the best team in the country making sure.

He emphasized that they were very capable of beating us and outlined why they could beat us. How he kept us motivated and focused week in and week out is something that I don’t think any coach could do like him.”

The six-foot-two, 248-pound tight end/fullback hybrid could be a potential addition for the Philadelphia Eagles. He isn’t limited to one spot in the offense and might be one of the best lead blockers in this year’s draft. We talked to Carl about his playstyle and what he brings to an NFL team like the Philadelphia Eagles:

“What coaches and everybody knows me for is my physicality. I come off of the ball very fast and very hard. I block hard. What I feel like coaches don’t know about me is that I’m a great pass catcher as well. I have good speed on me. I have good hands. I’m a competitive catcher. I can do it all – anything that is asked of me”.

While Sirianni coached with the Indianapolis Colts, they did a great job of sneaking their tight ends into the open field. Oftentimes, Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox, and other tight ends would begin blocking and then release off of their blocks which is especially effective versus man coverage.

At that point, if a defensive player is manned up with the tight end, they might’ve already rushed the quarterback on a green dog blitz. Even versus zone coverage, the eyes of the defenders have likely been drawn in different directions leaving soft spots for tight ends to attack.

Tucker would be especially effective if utilized this way. With his blocking technique, he is sure to find his way onto a 53-man roster in the fall. Teams will likely see him lined up as a blocker the majority of the time. Defenses will catch onto this tendency but offenses can use Tucker releasing off of blocks as a receiver. Tucker is also effective as a pass protector so teams can also keep defenses off balance by running play-action and keeping him in to pass protect.

Philadelphia Eagles fans should take note of Tucker’s versatility.

While Tucker played tight end most of the time in college, he plans to enter the league as a fullback. As previously mentioned, he is an impressive lead blocker.

Now, while fullback seems to be a dying position in the NFL and while the Birds haven’t utilized a one since Andy Reid’s final season in Philly (2012), no one is ruling out the possibility of new head coach Nick Sirianni using one. It probably not likely, but it’s possible.

While Sirianni was in Indianapolis, the Colts used Ryan Hewitt at fullback in 2018. They brought in Roosevelt Nix in 2020 but cut him before the regular season.

Their offensive identity does include fullbacks. When you look back at his days in San Diego, the Chargers utilized Derek Watt, David Johnson, and Le’Ron McClain.

In Sirianni’s earliest days as an NFL coach, the Kansas City Chiefs utilized Mike Cox and McClain at the position. Everywhere Sirianni has been, he has seen the offenses work both with and without a fullback.

Based on recent history and the nature of the NFL today, don’t expect Siranni to employ a fullback. Even still, Tucker would be a strong fit for any team since he can be moved around as a tight end at the h-back and Y positions and play fullback if needed.

Hewitt moved around quite a bit during his NFL career and Tucker could follow in his footsteps, and as far as versatility goes, Tucker also has a passion for special teams:

“Special teams is very very very very very very very important. It’s especially important for players like me. I’ve been doing special teams since I was a freshman and playing the same positions. I was a shield on punts, a shield on kickoff returns, and a wing on field goals. I did the same thing at Alabama as well. I got plenty of experience on special teams.”

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Tucker’s versatility and physicality will certainly earn him a spot on an NFL roster but teams should also know that they’re getting an amazing locker room presence. Tucker brings energy and a great sense of humor to any NFL locker room. While he might not be the biggest name in this year’s draft, there are many coaches, including those of the Philadelphia Eagles that would love to have him on their roster.