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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: RB Trey Ragas

  • The Draft Network
  • February 1, 2021
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Louisiana running back Trey Ragas leaves the Ragin’ Cajuns program as a highly consistent cog in the team’s rushing attack. Ragas is a dense bowling ball of a back and, after redshirting in 2016, has posted at least nine total touchdowns and 750-plus rushing yards per season. Ragas is a straight-line runner who projects best between the tackles. There, his leg drive and pad level will afford him the opportunity to get under the pads of tacklers and create opportunities to fall forward. Ragas’ projection is muddled by below-average passing down skills, making him a prime candidate to serve as either the short-yardage specialist or as an early-down back in a gap/power-heavy scheme working into the teeth of the point of attack. He will enter the NFL with 596 total carries in 49 career games—his usage is high but not obscene relative to the featured backs that emerge and enter the process as juniors without having the luxury of splitting carries. Ragas does not appear to have a hallmark trait that will force teams to prioritize him early in the draft, but he has the core traits to find a niche role and, on the right roster when paired with the right opportunity, be a rotational back. 

Ideal Role: Short yardage specialist.

Scheme Fit: Gap/power run scheme.


Written by: Kyle Crabbs

Games watched: Iowa State (2020), Georgia Southern (2020), Coastal Carolina (2020), Texas State (2020)

Best Game Studied: Texas State (2020) 

Worst Game Studied: Iowa State (2020)

Vision: Ragas is a straight-line runner who will press assigned gaps and take yardage as it becomes available to him. His anticipation and elusiveness on the second level are limited and he’ll take body blows popping through the hole due to no adjustments as he works through the point of attack.  

Footwork: Ragas is a shorter back and offers condensed footwork, he does well to avoid overstriding early in his press and affords himself the opportunity to cut back inside if he’s pressing to the tackle. His lateral cuts and course alterations are shallow and lack explosiveness, making him somewhat lethargic when needing to come off script thanks to color flashing in the hole. 

Contact Balance: Low leverage and solid weight distribution through the trunk allow him to absorb heavy body blows. He’s not going to spring off contact and his restart ability will limit added yardage, but he’s taken heavy cracks with his pads and maintained his footing before falling forward for an extra yard.  

Durability: Ragas has the build of a punishing runner and was afforded the luxury of serving in a two- or three-man rushing stable at Louisiana with Elijah Mitchell and Raymond Calais. As a result, he’s got nearly 50 games played and fewer than 600 total carries (and fewer than 650 total touches from scrimmage). His punishing running style is built to last and, so long as his workload isn’t suddenly amplified, he should continue to serve a role as a short-yardage back and stay healthy through an NFL-length season. 

Explosiveness: He should be considered a one-speed runner and he will need a perfect storm to create chunk gains at the NFL level. Holes will disappear on him as he looks to press the line and he will not have the twitch necessarily to put the gas pedal down and zip through creases as they develop. He won’t win open-field foot races with any consistency; making him limited here in both short spaces and long distances. 

Versatility: Ragas doesn’t offer a ton of scheme versatility and his projection to zone concepts isn’t overly high given that he’s largely a rigid cutter. As a result, leaving him in gap/power with single gap landmarks feels like the best usage of his skills. 

Elusiveness: Even on shallow lateral cuts, Ragas does not appear to show the needed wiggle to create added yardage on his own when projected forward. He’ll take contact and bounce off before falling forward, but his ability to shake or juke filling linebackers is predicated more on the quality of the challenge and not his ability to create. 

Ball Security: Ragas is held in high regard for his ability to protect the football, he logged a December 2020 fumble against UTSA but he’s the kind of back you’d look to feed the ball into traffic. His low build and reduced pad level as a runner allows him to protect from defenders ripping at the ball in traffic. 

Passing Down Skills: He’s caught double-digit passes just once in his four seasons of play and was largely relegated to reps as a check-down target. With his lack of juice and twitch, soft coverage will close on his positioning quickly and box him in to limit gains. Ragas has shown capable hands but appears unlikely to consistently beat man coverage. 

Discipline: He’s going to hit every gap you ask him to. He may not see potential avenues to work backside and pick up bonus yardage, either, so this disciplined approach comes for better and for worse. 

Prospect Comparison: Lorenzo Taliaferro (2014 NFL Draft, Baltimore Ravens) 


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Kyle Crabbs: 65/100

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