In what could be a loaded draft class at tight end, South Dakota State’s Tucker Kraft has a chance to emerge as a star. How will Kraft’s scouting report evolve between now and April? We’ll track his progress — and any missteps — right here, on his player hub. Consider it a one-stop shop for keeping tabs on Kraft during the draft process.
2022 season updates
Sept. 3 (Iowa 7, South Dakota State 3)
Kraft had a big stage for his opener, playing on the road against a Big Ten opponent. Unfortunately, he hobbled off with an injury in the first quarter—suffered on his lone catch—and did not return.
Source: Officially a right ankle injury for #SouthDakotaState TE Tucker Kraft. He’s in a boot and rehabbing, but it is considered a short-term injury and shouldn’t miss more than a few games.
One of the top TE prospects in CFB, Kraft was injured early vs. Iowa on Saturday.
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) September 5, 2022
Key upcoming games
Sept. 24 at Missouri State
Oct. 1 vs. western-illinois
Oct. 8 vs. south dakota
Dane Brugler’s preseason ranking: No. 35 overall
Positional ranking: 3
What you need to know
Growing up in a small town in South Dakota, Kraft was an All-State running back in football and a forward in basketball, but he was hidden from FBS programs and accepted an offer to play for FCS-level South Dakota State. Kraft moved to tight end, redshirted in 2019 and missed part of the 2020 season because of injuries. He became a full-time starter as a sophomore and had his breakout season last year with 65 catches for 780 receiving yards and six touchdowns — enough to earn him All-America honors. — Dane Brugler
Preseason scouting report
Kraft plays with outstanding athleticism before and after the catch, and he has a feel for taking underneath throws and turning them into big gains. In South Dakota State’s run-heavy offense, Kraft split his snaps between the slot and inline and showed outstanding compete skills as a run blocker. However, the results were mixed when he stayed home to pass block.
NFL teams watched plenty of South Dakota State’s offense last season to check out running back Pierre Strong and quarterback Chris Oladokun (both of whom were drafted this past April). But most evaluators came away convinced that the best prospect from that offense was Kraft. Numerous FBS programs must have thought the same because they tried to lure the tight end with lucrative NIL opportunities to play in a major conference. —Brugler
(Picture: Tommy Martino/Associated Press)