2019 NFL Draft Profile: Utah State TE Dax Raymond
How does the Aggies’ pass-catching star stack up in an unusually tight end-rich NFL Draft class?
Contact/Follow @Logantj & @MWCwire
Back-to-back All-Mountain West honorable mentions from the league’s coaches indicate an exciting ceiling for Utah State’s redshirt junior tight end, but a lack of usage in USU’s high-flying offense and some durability concerns will likely impact Raymond’s overall draft grade.
Measurables (via Mockdraftable)
Raymond didn’t get the attention he deserved in the Aggies’ potent offense last season, tallying just 27 receptions — but he did prove a reliable first-down option to keep drives alive, hauling in 19 receptions for first downs and accounting for nine third down conversions.
A team selecting Raymond will do so for his potential as a matchup nightmare. Despite missing two games with broken hand, Raymond ranked third in receptions and fourth in receiving yards among MW tight ends in 2018, earning nearly half of his total yardage after the catch. Raymond’s 255-lb frame allows him to fight for contested passes over the middle and smoothly turn upfield toward open space. Raymond is a solid route-runner (particularly on posts and corners), working best in the Aggie offense as a slot/backfield option with a natural ability to catch both in space and in traffic.
He’ll need work to win one-on-one matchups as a blocker, and injury concerns do exist after a season-ending back surgery in 2016. He’ll also turn 25 during his rookie season, making him the oldest TE receiving a draftable grade in the current draft class.
There’s also the matter of pure production — for all his natural ability as a receiver who can gain yards after the catch, his numbers leave something to be desired. Raymond received just two red-zone targets in 2018 and notched three total touchdowns in his college career. His game tape shows NFL potential, but the lack of college production will likely scare teams off until later rounds.
Raymond has all the route-running and blocking tools to be successful, but will require patience as he polishes his game at the NFL level — as an older rookie in his class, teams will wait on him until later rounds and draft him as a depth player with big upside.
Grade: Late 4th-Early 5th
Logan’s ultra-specific prediction: Dallas snags Dax in the 4th with pick 136