East/West Shrine Game Participant WR Ron’quavion Tarver:
Tarver had an impressive day at the East/West Game despite not finding the endzone. His hands were reliable, encountering only two incomplete passes, of which neither were drops on his end. He was a solid set-up man for the West team, making plays to get the squad into scoring position on their way to a 21-17 victory over the East.
Tarver certainly helped his draft stock with this performance, yet it’s not likely he finds himself being selected any earlier than the 6th Round at best. He needs to sharpen his route running capabilities and it doesn’t help that there is a bevy of receiving talent all throughout this draft class. Looking at it from a glass-half-full perspective, Tarver helped his stock rise from undrafted/7th rounder to 6th/7th rounder. An incremental yet positive move in the right direction.
Senior Bowl Participant TE Dax Raymond:
Raymond showed reason for excitement and reason for apprehension during Senior Bowl practice week. Let’s start with the bad then get to the good and end on a high note.
The major gripe scouts have with Raymond is his lackluster blocking abilities. Sure the NFL is a pass-first league nowadays, but tight ends are still needed for much more than catch and run.
It’s surely not a certainty that his poor blocking abilities will prevent him from a top 100 draft pick, as his athleticism and catching can makeup for what he lacks.
TE Dax Raymond vs. DB Sheldrick Redwine— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 24, 2019
Advantage: Raymond pic.twitter.com/blLUMOK8Oo
Before Senior Bowl week, Raymond was ranked anywhere from #15 to #20 on most scouting sites’ TE prospect rankings. After the week however, he’s rising quite high. Most have him anywhere from #9 to #12. He’s got great route-running skills and can keep pace with most speedy Safeties. He projects as a TE that can go anywhere from the 3rd or 4th round to the 6th or 7th round. There’s myriad good talent at tight end in this draft class, so Raymond has competition.
Both players improved their draft stock, Tarver especially. Mostly because Tarver didn’t have any glaring weakness like Raymond does with his blocking. Both players are trending in the right direction and it will be interesting to see what teams take fliers on their talents in the later rounds. Many NFL squads are looking for a solid TE who can catch and run, and many are looking for a sharp WR with good catching abilities to add depth. Hopefully these guys can receive come NFL Combine invites (that goes for Quin Ficklin, too) so they can get their drafts stocks up even higher.
The Combine takes place February 26th through March 4th. The NFL Draft takes place April 25th through 27th.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TARVER AND RAYMOND’S DRAFT STOCK? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!