Route Running -Utilization has exposed him to flex routes working primarily up the hashes. Effective release thanks to size and can play through challenges at the contact window. Breaks carry plenty of momentum for his stature. Would like to see sharper snap on hard angles.
Power at POA -Soft hands, does well in both over the shoulder situations and when addressing the ball square to extend and softly catch away from his body. Has a notable catch radius and will contend to bring in throws other targets may not have reach for.
Hands -Predominantly a receiving option. Has been offered reps in H-back role in the backfield and folded across the set as a blocker with more success. Isn't going to inspire from an in-line position, at least not for the time being. Ceiling for growth as a do-it-all TE.
Competitive Toughness -Big body, has little problem sitting down between zones to cradle a throw and take hit. Soft hands come in handy and doesn't allow contact to jar loose the football. Boxes out on slants when his passer forces him to sit.
Versatility -Has good but not elite speed. Will run away from man coverage if able to shake his defender when drawing LBs. Has flashed in TE screen game (Air Force) and offers a nice blend of size and agility in high traffic situations.
Flexibility -Doesn't bring any notable influence in the ground game. Hands don't land with effective placement and is essentially catching defenders from the point of attack. Lacks lower body framing to slide and stay in front of his man.
Contested Catch Ability -Is a moose after the catch, love his toughness there. Is currently limited in his skills in the box but limitations come from lack of polish and technique, not from any glaring deficiencies in strength or lower body power.
Balance -Free mover below the waist, has dynamic range through the base to ensure he can play with feet extended beyond his hips to play with speed and smooth COD skills. Can disassociate the hips and shoulders to carry speed while tracking the ball over shoulder.
Run After Catch Ability -Balance is on either end of the spectrum, depending on his role. Free, natural mover in space and after contact as a ball carrier. Will get uprooted and pushed around as a blocker but because he doesn't deliver blows with accuracy to reset the LOS.
Football Intelligence -Doesn't have a lot of nuance yet with his routes to optimize vs. man coverage, so room for growth is present in all phases of his play. That said, he's a functional route runner early on and should get better with higher level coaching.
BEST TRAIT - RAC Ability
WORST TRAIT - Power at POA
BEST FILM - Air Force (2018)
WORST FILM - Michigan State (2018)
RED FLAGS - 2018 broken hand
Dax Raymond is yet another modern NFL tight end prospect who will be aided by the style of play in today's game. Raymond has strong chops as a receiver and will effectively navigate the middle of the field against LBs in coverage. Raymond doesn't have elite functional athleticism but he's a smooth mover who has little issue snapping off his routes. Raymond projects as a potential starter in time to a team that can utilize him in space as a flex target with high frequency.
Round Grade - Third Round