According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Steelers have signed former Chicago Bears TE Dax Raymond. His signing coincided with the release of TE Christian Scotland-Williamson.
Dax Raymond signed with the Bears in 2019 as an undrafted free agent. He had a promising preseason until he injured himself in the final game. He was placed on IR and eventually waived by the Bears in late April.
With both Ebron and McDonald on the roster, there are some questions as to what Raymond brings to the team. With a large 6”5’ 245lbs frame the Utah State product is a mismatch on the field. However, what he showed in the preseason and in college is not exactly amazing. In his Junior year at Utah, Raymond caught 27 catches for only 345 yards and 2 TDs.
Raymond’s most valuable asset as a tight end is his blocking ability. Although he was inconsistent while blocking, when he blocked well, he could block the best players on the defensive side of the ball. He also excelled at run blocking while at Utah, something the Steelers struggled with last year.
It is obvious that Dax Raymond will not be starting or even competing with Eric Ebron or Vance McDonald, but he won’t be just another camp body either. Raymond will be competing with former 5th round pick Zach Gentry and UDFA Kevin Rader. Gentry disappointed last season, and Rader has never played a snap in the NFL. The Steelers are looking to improve on their Tight end room in the case that either Ebron or McDonald gets injured. If he plays well like he did last preseason with the Bears, he should overtake Gentry as the number 3 tight end.
Dax Draymond may not play a snap in 2020, but he will be a relief to Steelers fans with solid hands and excellent run blocking. If either Ebron or McDonald was to go down, I would be confident in the abilities of Dax Raymond.