Tyler broke his leg in his senior season of high school and ended up redshirting in 2007. He saw limited action in 2008 as a redshirt freshman, recording 36 carries for 198 yards (5.5) and one touchdown as a reserve.
He was expected to be a key part of the running back rotation in 2009 as a sophomore, but suffered a toe injury and played in only one game.
Tyler returned in 2010 and had his best season as a junior, starting eight games and recording a team-high 913 yards on 171 rushes (5.3) and nine touchdowns, adding 17 catches for 127 yards (7.5) and one touchdown.
He battled a shoulder injury as a senior (seven starts in 10 games), finishing second on the team with 568 yards on 122 rushes (4.7) and four touchdowns, adding 11 catches for 108 yards (9.8).
Tyler is a downhill athlete who runs behind his pads with balance and fluidity, but lacks the explosiveness and big-play ability needed for the next level. He entered a crowded backfield at USC and almost transitioned to linebacker, which is a credit to his natural size and body strength as he fights for as many yards as he can get.
Tyler is a solid athlete with the frame, vision, toughness and determination to play in the NFL, but his durability concerns and inconsistent ability to give his team steady production will knock him down draft boards. Tyler looks like a late-round/free agent running back who will need to stay healthy if he has any hopes of playing professionally.
Strengths: Balanced runner with low pad level and tough to bring down. He has the power to pick up positive yardage after initial contact. Tyler has better feet than expected to keep defenders off balance in the open field. He is a decisive, north/south runner with good leg drive and physicality, never quitting on plays.
Tyler runs with determination, lowering his shoulder and finishing plays. He has good vision and does a nice job seeing the holes and running to daylight. Tyler showed an improved feel for the position over his career. He is a hardnosed, downhill runner with very good toughness and often playing through injuries.
He is a solid pass catcher out of the backfield and gives good effort in pass protection - has good bloodlines as the son of a former NFL running back (Wendell Tyler).
Weaknesses: Average speed and acceleration, needing a few steps to get going. He shows too much body stiffness in his movements and lacks great change of direction ability. Doesn't break as many tackles as his size would indicate and he won't make many guys miss in tight areas.
He makes too many mental mistakes and needs to improve his ball security and awareness in pass protection. Struggled to live up to the hype out of high school with inconsistent production over his career. Significant durability concerns with several minor and major injuries over his career, including a separated left shoulder as a senior.
Tyler has some minor character issues after he was suspended for the season opener in 2011 for inappropriate comments, something not expected from a senior.
NFL Comparison: Anthony Allen, Baltimore Ravens."
-- Dane Brugler
Displays natural footwork for his size when picking his way through traffic. Is patient inside and does a nice job allowing blocks to set up and finding creases. However, is tighter in the hips and lacks a real lateral quickness/suddenness to his game. More of a linear runner who too often is forced to slow his feet and gear down in order to change directions. Goes down too easily on contact for his size.
Isn’t a back who can create on his own and is more of a weaver once he gets up to full speed than a cutter. Exposes too much of his frame through the line of scrimmage, taking away from his balance and allowing him to be tripped up routinely through the hole.
Possesses an above average feel for the pass game, sells the screen well, snaps his head around and rumbles toward daylight. Also, looks natural down the field, isn’t a guy who can separate vs. man, but adjusts to the ball well and can pluck off his frame. Has the size/power to hold his own in blitz pick-up, but will struggle to slide his feet laterally through contact.
Had two alleged off campus incidents this offseason involving alcohol and women; character could be an issue.
Impression: A big back with limited athleticism and suddenness; doesn’t seem to warrant a pick in my view."
However, his positive traits are outnumbered by negatives, not the least of which are concerns regarding his character and maturity.
Has never been a featured back, is not fluid, possesses average run instincts, goes down too easily for a 230-pound back and leaves yards on the field.
At this point, his talent does not warrant the potential headaches he brings."
When healthy is a physical north-south runner with good vision who doesn’t go down easily; lacks the burst, though, to be much of a big-play threat;
Durability is a big issue after he missed much of spring practice this year with a hamstring injury and a concussion; also played in only one game in 2009 because of toe injury which required surgery, missed 3 games in 2008 with sprained hip and suffered a broken leg in high school;
Conditioning and dedication have also been brought into question on occasion and was involved in two off-field this incidents this spring in which he allegedly spat on a female student and another in which he reportedly inappropriately touched another female; was also suspended for season opener for ill-advised twitter comments;
Son of former UCLA RB Wendell Tyler who had a successful NFL career with the Rams and 49ers."
Will lower his shoulder when approaching contact... Good feet within the hole, chops his feet well and has some wiggle to him to shake the first defender... Does a great job of heading up field, doesn't dance too much...
Has NFL bloodlines, father is former Rams/49ers running back Wendell Tyler... Has the ability to contribute on every down if he puts it all together... Good vision, finds the hole well...
Patient runner who doesn't outrun his blockers... Displays good hands out of the backfield, wasn't utilized much as a receiver, but appears to have the ability to be a factor in the passing game.
Negatives -- Former top recruit who completely underwhelmed while at USC, never had a 1,000 yard season and struggled to hold the starting tailback job throughout his career...
Lost most of his carries at the end of his senior season in favor of Curtis McNeal...Has big character concerns, was suspended a game this season for making a joke in public about being paid by USC... Long strider and a one speed runner, doesn't have an extra gear, always seems to run at the same pace... Poor open field runner...
Struggled with injuries throughout his career at USC, broke his leg in high school... Dislocated his left shoulder this past October in a game against California... A rugged runner who isn't very smooth... Will be a 24 year old rookie...
Statistics may be a bit misleading considering he played behind perhaps the best offensive line in the country the past two years."