As long as running backs provide a degree of utility in the NFL, they can stick around long enough to earn an opportunity on offense. Time and time again, we’ve seen lower-rated running backs emerge on the NFL stage. Now, dozens of teams search for their RB gems each year. Does Louisiana running back Trey Ragas have what it takes to be a steal at the running back position in the 2021 NFL Draft? Here’s a look at his profile.
Trey Ragas NFL Draft Profile
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 230 pounds
- Position: Running Back
- School: Louisiana
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
Tony Pauline’s Trey Ragas Scouting Report
Positives: Rotational starter the past three seasons who finished with a career-best 1,410 rushing yards as a sophomore. Nice-sized back with the ability to make defenders miss. Patient, possesses a stutter step, and bounces around defenders to create yardage.
Waits for blocks to develop, effectively follows them everywhere on the field, and keeps his feet moving. Rarely brought down by a single defender and picks up a lot of yardage off initial contact. Extends his hands and snatches the ball out of the air on the occasions he’s used as a pass catcher.[sv slug=”drizly”]
Negatives: Not a smooth or fluid cutback runner and loses momentum trying to immediately change direction. Not very productive catching the ball the past two seasons. Plays to one speed.
Analysis: Ragas was a very productive ball carrier with excellent size, and he has enough skill to make it as a fifth running back on an NFL roster.
Trey Ragas Player Profile
Coming from Marrero, Louisiana, Trey Ragas lived in relatively close proximity to several prestigious football schools. In the heart of SEC country, with the LSU Tigers in-state, Ragas found himself in an opportunistic location in high school. Unfortunately, despite his tremendous production in his senior season — almost 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns — Ragas failed to generate widespread Power Five interest on the recruiting trail.
Ragas was rated as a mere two-star prospect in the 2016 recruiting class. He offered decent size at 5’10” and 201 pounds, but his athletic testing didn’t inspire teams. Ragas did manage to log a 31-inch vertical, but his early 4.91 40-yard dash time didn’t do him any favors.
Nevertheless, Ragas had a number of FBS offers to consider, among them Indiana, Kansas, Ole Miss, and Western Kentucky. Despite the limited Power Five interest, Ragas chose to remain in-state and committed to the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. There, he would become the imposing bruiser in a formidable running back tandem.
Trey Ragas’ career as a Louisiana running back
Coming off a red-hot senior campaign at Archbishop Shaw, Ragas was expected to quickly factor into Louisiana’s running back rotation. Unfortunately, Ragas’ plans to take the Sun Belt by storm would have to wait. He suffered an injury during fall camp as a freshman and ended up missing the 2016 season. Ragas redshirted as a result and returned in 2017 as a redshirt freshman.
The Ragin’ Cajuns added two-star recruit Elijah Mitchell in 2017, but when Elijah McGuire left for the NFL, Ragas was the one who replaced him at first. Ragas jumped into a substantial role as a redshirt freshman, putting up 142 carries for 813 yards and 9 scores. The next season, he expanded on that role, logging 207 carries for 1,181 yards and 9 more touchdowns, breaking the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career.
As Ragas’ career progressed, he maintained a steady role in Louisiana’s running back room. The added emergence of Elijah Mitchell allowed Ragas to be more efficient in a rotational role. In 2019, he amassed 131 carries for 758 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging a career-high 7.1 yards per carry.
Ragas closed out his collegiate career on a high note. He again produced at a solid clip in 2020, earning second-team All-Sun Belt honors as a result. Across his career, Ragas totaled 3,572 yards and 38 touchdowns on 596 attempts.
Trey Ragas’ best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Ragas’ production is strong, and it’s an indication of his skills. He is a dense, stout chain-mover. Although not the best athlete, Raga has good vision, toughness, and shows inspiring flashes of contact balance.
As we’ve seen in the NFL, running backs with good vision only need one or two other solid traits to potentially carve out a role. Ragas isn’t a proven receiver or an incredibly shifty player, but his awareness, physicality, and leg drive afford him some utility. Having said that, it’s unlikely that Ragas will be drafted to be a lead back, and he’s not a surefire lock to be drafted at all.
On top of his middling explosiveness and athleticism, Ragas is set to turn 25 years old this coming November. Given the fact that running backs have shorter shelf lives than other positional players, the fact that Ragas is already 25, with over 500 career carries under his belt, throws his long-term utility into question.
Nevertheless, as a sixth or seventh-round pick, Ragas might generate some interest. For teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, and the New York Jets, who likely crave more baseline utility and power in their rushing rooms, Ragas would be a solid addition.
He doesn’t have quite as much upside as his teammate Mitchell, but as we’ve seen, buy-low running backs are always good investments to make, either late in the draft, or in the undrafted free agent pool.
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