40 time: 4.73
Late 2nd-Early 4th Round
Overview: If you didn't the buzzing sound out of Mobile and Senior Bowl week, keep your ears open for Ruckert to make noise in the pre-draft process. Ruckert is a New York native who had his pick of program as a top-50 recruit. He turned down offers from Stanford, Notre Dame, Georgia and Alabama among others in favor of playing for the Buckeyes.
The presence of other receiving major threats like Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, K.J. Hill, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba have kept him from owning the stat sheet throughout his career, but he hasprovided a reliable short to intermediate passing target. Ruckert shines in his blocking though, and his tenacious approach played a big role in earning a Senior Bowl invite.
Of his 54 career catches for the Buckeyes, 12 were touchdowns, and his best statistical effort was 2021 at Indiana -- five receptions, 45 yards, two TDs.
Strengths: Ruckert has the proportional build and good bulk across his frame to contribute as a rookie. Aggressive run blocker who drives his legs and plays with a tenacious approach. Violent finisher when he gets his hands on defensive backs. Fairly accurate second level blocker in terms of hand placement and timing. Capable athlete in space. Gets in and out of his route breaks with good control. Engine and mentality as a blocker will make coaches fall in love. Has the size and toughness for a special teams role. Sturdy after the catch and knows how to use his size to create extra yardage.
Weaknesses: Where Ruckert isn't ready to compete is footraces to bust the seam in a zone. He Lets his hands lead the way rather than his feet as a blocker and it leads to falling off blocks too quickly. Average strider who won't be able to outrun linebackers up the seam. Bends way more often at the waist rather than the knees. Has body catching tendencies that will make winning at the catch point more difficult for him. Focus and strength to finish contested catches is underwhelming.
Pro Comp: Foster Moreau, Raiders - Sometimes overlooked by the presence of Darren Waller, Moreau has been able to carve out an admirable pro career so far as a more traditional tight end. Ruckert has a lot of the same assets as a tough run blocker with a great motor. He'll need to improve his hands when contestedto be a trusted asset in the passing game, but the arrow is pointing up on him as a player.