The Arizona Cardinals will need to hit on the 2019 draft in order to be successful next year. Don’t count out the small school prospects to make their draft a hit.
With this year’s draft around the corner, we see all the big time schools and the big time players in the spotlight. But, sometimes those big school players take the spotlight that the smaller-school ones deserve. So, for this article, we look at those smaller school prospects that deserve some love.
The Arizona Cardinals, specifically, in the Steve Keim have historically given the smaller school the love they deserve. Therefore, don’t doubt that either of these players is wearing Cardinal Red come 2019.
Now, with all that being said, let’s look at some smaller names that can be impactful in the league.
Dax Raymond, TE, Utah State
A tight end out of Utah State, Raymond isn’t the strongest but can be effective in the next level as a receiving end. He has exceptionally soft hands, and despite being 6-4, can snag the ball from about anywhere and has the ability and physicality to absorb contact when pulling in the catch. He also has no problem sitting in between the zone and hauling in the catch. Simply put, he will be a first down machine and a safety blanket for the quarterback.
After running a 4.73 seconds 40-yard-dash, Raymond has good speed and performed well at the 10-yard-split at 1.65 seconds. That speed and acceleration allow him to easily shake man coverage when going downfield. After the catch, Raymond can best be described as a bull in a china shop due to his strength can mow defenders down when moving down the field. For his career, he averaged 6.2 yards after the catch.
While tight end isn’t a glaring need, Keim could improve the depth at the position. With room to grow, Dax can still be a starter and play as a more modern tight end due to his exceptional catching ability. While he needs to improve on his blocking, I still have a mid-third grade on him.