Many NFL Draft followers have heard of the big name tight ends that you might see go in the first or second round, but one name that many won’t be familiar with is Utah State’s Dax Raymond.
Name: Dax Raymond
School: Utah State
Position: Tight End
WT: 250 lbs
Raymond played three seasons for Matt Wells, who will be the new head coach for the Texas Tech Red Raiders in 2019. The tall tight end decided to forego playing another year with a season of eligibility left after sitting out 2016 for Utah State but he technically leaves college as a member of the senior class.
Raymond played in 27 games over a span of three years and his production won’t wow you but he played pretty consistently over the last two seasons. He did wow many at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, however, and that has caused his stock to rise a little are we near spring.
Dax Raymond has the size you look for in a tight end and uses that frame when sealing off defenders with his blocking abilities. Like many tight ends who will slip to the second round or beyond, Raymond isn’t the greatest blocker from the in-line position but he does well enough to get the job done.
Raymond is someone who will need to work on blocking technique as he can get his hands around a defender which will cause a few yellow hankies to be thrown his way, but he has the potential to be a very good blocker and the Cowboys usually stress that ability from their tight ends.
Dax is another prospect that can line up in multiple spots on the field. Mostly playing the traditional in-line position but can be a threat in the slot or lining up at the h-back spot. He shows good route running ability as he can beat linebackers with ease and cause some matchup nightmares for smaller safeties at the next level.
Raymond will need to work on running more crisp routes but he does the job of creating a window for the quarterback to get him the ball.
One of the better traits for Dax Raymond is his hands. He has shown the ability to snatch the ball high over his head or even down by his shoelaces. A huge catch radius will do wonders for any quarterback in the league. This could be especially true for Dak Prescott as he tends to have trouble with pinpoint accuracy but does a good job of getting the ball to an area rather than perfectly placed.
Not only can the former Utah State Aggie catch the ball anywhere near him but does well tracking the ball over his shoulder as he did during the Senior Bowl practice week. If Raymond had played in a larger conference, he would be one of the top guys coming out based the on ability he has put on film.
Despite potentially being a mid-Draft selection, Raymond should be viewed as player who can contribute right away. He has shown the ability to go up and get the ball, can likely be seen as a good red zone target, and could become a chain-moving staple in the offense for a team like the Cowboys who are in need of playmakers at the position.
Raymond is likely projected as a top 100 talent in this year’s class despite lower contributions than what some might expect and he will likely be dinged for coming from a smaller school.
If the Cowboys aren’t able to get a player like Caleb Wilson, Kaden Smith, or Dawson Knox, then a guy just a tier below like Dax Raymond might fall in their lap as a late second or third round target for Dallas.
Should the Cowboys gamble that a tight end might make it to the middle rounds or should they make sure they get one they like with one of their first few picks? Share your thoughts with Patrick on Twitter @DraftCowboys.