The LA Rams have waived one running back, making things a bit tight for the 2022 season, at least in terms of training camp depth. While the move was not surprising, as Xavier Jones was attempting to return from a devastating Achilles Tendon injury, the transaction did position the remaining rushers a bit on the mighty mouse side of the superhero spectrum.
That is until you start examining the other Rams roster transaction that was announced at the same time. The net effect is one RB out, one RB in. The numbers work. But now we are almost obligated to investigate further. And so we will do that right now.
LA Rams Transactions:
• Waived/Injured RB Xavier Jones
• Signed RB Trey Ragas
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) July 29, 2022
So who is Trey Ragas? Well, if you wanted the LA Rams to go big and powerful in their backfield, congratulations! You will love this addition. The Rams have a solid-built rusher. Power back? Some argue that he is not that, and in some ways, he is not.
But Ragas is a huge north-south running back who runs at one speed and typically in one direction. He is now listed at 5-foot-10 and 214-pounds but had weighed 222-pounds in the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine. Best of all, he gains yards. Tough yards. The stuff between the tackles type of yards.
And he has that knack of remaining in the shadow of his blockers long enough to get to daylight.
He was an undrafted rookie signing by the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021. He was a solid performer in the preseason, rushing 20 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He was on the practice squad for the Raiders throughout the 2021 NFL season and signed once to compete against the Kansas City Chiefs. He played nine offensive snaps, rushed once for nine yards, and caught two of two passes for six yards.
But with the Raiders’ new coaching staff, and a very deep running back group, Ragas was deemed expendable.
That is good news for the Rams. But it was bad news for Ragas when the team brought in Josh McDaniels, who grabbed a trio of news running backs. That led to his expected release in May 2022.
Trey Regas with the nice gain on the zone lead. Simpson and Jones-Smith opening up the lane for Regas. pic.twitter.com/dpI3doj2sY
— Marcus Johnson (@TheMarcJohnNFL) August 15, 2021
The Raiders fans’ reactions to his release in May 2022 were not happy to see him go. Many regretted the fact that the Raiders would not allow him to compete for a roster spot this year. He was certainly solid enough in the preseason in 2021.
While it’s not an ideal situation for any player to be signed to the team during training camp, there may be several reasons to keep Ragas on your radar, even with his signing during training camp. Like Asim “AJ” Rose, he is a bigger back, one of the biggest runners on the team now. Also like Rose, Ragas is healthy, and should not be limited to any sort of load management protocol.
What Ragas does so well is run north to south, busting between the tackles and making guys miss or punishing those that do not. He is an untested Malcolm Brown/Sony Mitchell type of runner, a guy who can rush for about 7-10 snaps and soften up the defense for the smaller speedier guys.
Somewhere between Rose and Ragas, the LA Rams should earmark a roster spot. My money is on Ragas, as he is the more compact runner who is still powerful enough to last all season.