Moving along with part 67 of our 90-part series — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete — which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.
Let’s take a look at freshly acquired tight end:
Height: 6’ 5”
Weight: 255 lbs
College: Utah Stats
Draft: UDFA in 2019 (Bears)
N/A — Injury
Expires in 2021
$610,000 salary cap number (.3% of total cap)
$0 Dead money
$610,000 Savings if cut
Likelihood of making the roster
50/50. I believe the Pittsburgh Steelers probably wouldn’t have made room for Raymond if they hadn't seen something in him. I think that immediately slots him above Kevin Rader in the tight end hierarchy, and places him in a position to battle with Zach Gentry for the final spot. It may sound ludicrous to pick someone who's only been on this roster for a week to make this team, but in this case I'm picking Raymond to beat out the incumbent.
I don’t expect much production from a third tight end but Raymond may prove to be a valuable contributor on special teams. He could be a front line guy on kick return, an interior guy on punt, and can set the edge on the field goal unit. I think he may even catch a pass or two throughout the year.
16 Games played
11 Receiving yards
3 Special teams tackles
I like the Steelers tight end corps a lot heading into 2020. You have the big bodied basketball type, receiver in Eric Ebron, the all-around physical guy in Vance McDonald, and you can have a Mr. everything in a Dax Raymond. Perhaps Ben Roethlisberger might target his tight ends more than ever before in 2020.
Perhaps Raymond could be the only tight end brought back in 2021 if things go sideways as Ebron has a very cuttable contract and Vance is on a team option. Suffice to say the Steelers tight ends will be a position to watch and debate on for well over the next year.
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Ulysees Gilbert III
Anthony McFarland Jr.