Chris Gragg

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Chris Gragg
Chris Gragg in a Buffalo Bills jersey
Gragg in 2015 with the Buffalo Bills
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1990-06-30) June 30, 1990 (age 30)
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:244 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school:Warren (Warren, Arkansas)
College:Arkansas
NFL Draft:2013 / Round: 7 / Pick: 222
Career history
As player:
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As coach:
Career NFL statistics as of 2017
Receptions:24
Receiving yards:251
Receiving touchdowns:2
Player stats at NFL.com

Christopher Le'Edward Gragg (born June 30, 1990) is a former professional American football tight end who played three seasons for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). Over 32 career games, Gragg totaled 24 career receptions with two touchdowns. Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Gragg played college football for the Arkansas Razorbacks and was selected by the Bills in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Having played as a wide receiver for Warren High School, Gragg was converted to a tight end by the coaching staff at the University of Arkansas. In his sophomore and junior seasons, the team made appearances in Bowl Championship Series games and defeated the Kansas State Wildcats in the 2012 Cotton Bowl Classic. A knee injury caused Gragg to miss eight games his senior season as the Razorbacks finished with a losing record. Invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine, an evaluative competition among prospective NFL players, Gragg topped several statistics among the tight ends in attendance; in the following draft, the Bills chose him as the 222nd overall selection.

Gragg made his NFL debut for Buffalo on October 13, 2013, and played in nine regular-season games during the 2013 NFL season. He then played in 10 games in 2014 and 13 games in 2015 before missing the 2016 season due to injury. He signed with the New York Jets in 2017, but did not play any regular-season games for the team after a preseason injury. Gragg was listed as retired from the NFL in December 2019 and is currently an assistant coach for the Memphis Tigers football team.

Early life[edit]

Christopher Le'Edward Gragg was born on June 30, 1990, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas,[1] to Tenita and Kelvin Gragg, both of whom worked as educators.[1][2][3] Kelvin coached the Warren High School football team, and Chris served as the team's water boy until he was in junior high school.[4] Gragg played football as a wide receiver for Warren alongside future NFL players Jarius Wright and Greg Childs.[5] During his senior year, Gragg accumulated 420 receiving yards and caught 8 touchdowns.[a][1][7] Recruiting website Rivals.com evaluated him as a 2-star prospect on a 1–5 star scale and ranked Gragg as the 15th best player in Arkansas at his position, while Scout.com ranked him as the 148th best receiver in the nation.[8][9] In July 2007, Gragg committed to the University of Arkansas, as did three other players from Warren.[8][10]

Collegiate career[edit]

In his freshman season, Gragg played in all twelve of the Arkansas Razorbacks' games as the team finished with a 5–7 win–loss record.[1][11] During the second game of the season, against the Louisiana–Monroe Warhawks, Gragg caught a 25-yard pass from quarterback Casey Dick on fourth down and one to continue a drive that ended with the game-winning touchdown.[12] The catch was Gragg's only reception in 2008.[13] After he dislocated his ankle in a preseason practice, he was given a medical redshirt and did not play for the 2009 season.[1]

In 2010, Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino converted Gragg into a tight end, which made three slots at the position on the Razorbacks' depth chart.[14] When Arkansas faced the Georgia Bulldogs on September 18, Gragg caught a touchdown from a 57-yard pass for his first reception of the year.[15][16] The 2010 Arkansas Razorbacks ended the year with a 10–3 record, and were invited to play in the Sugar Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes, a game that Arkansas lost 31–26.[17] Gragg made one catch in the contest for 16 yards; he finished the year with 8 receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns.[13][18]

Prior to the 2011 season, a writer for Arkansas Business predicted that Gragg "[would] figure prominently into the offense if he improves his blocking": Gragg replaced D. J. Williams, the first-string tight end who graduated in 2010.[19][20] In the Razorbacks' eleventh game of the season, Gragg caught 8 passes for 119 yards, both single-game career highs, as the team defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs and moved to a 10–1 record.[21] After the game, the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) system ranked Arkansas as the third-best team in the nation, behind the Louisiana State University Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide, with the former scheduled as the Razorbacks' next opponent;[22] in the November 25 matchup between the Tigers and the Razorbacks, a part of the Arkansas–LSU football rivalry, Arkansas opened with a 14–0 lead and the Tigers regained the lead by halftime and won, 41–17.[23] Out of contention for the BCS National Championship Game,[b][26][27] Arkansas finished the year ranked sixth in the BCS standings and were invited to play in the 2012 Cotton Bowl Classic, where they defeated the Kansas State Wildcats 29–16: with the victory, Arkansas tied a team record for most wins in a season.[28][29] Over the season, Gragg caught 41 receptions, third most on the team, for 518 yards and two touchdowns.[30]

Gragg in 2012 with Arkansas.

In July 2012, Gragg was listed as a preseason nominee for the John Mackey Award, a recognition presented annually by the Nassau County Sports Commission to the best tight end in college football.[31] Though voted to the second-team of the Coaches Preseason All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) squad, an honorific roster composed of the second-best players in the SEC, ESPN writers Edward Aschoff and Chris Low ranked Gragg as the best tight end in the conference.[32][33] In Arkansas' season opener against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, Gragg accumulated 110 yards and two touchdowns over 7 catches, a performance for which he earned the John Mackey Tight End of the Week award.[34] On September 9, Gragg suffered a bone bruise in his knee against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights which caused him to miss the next three games; upon return, Gragg reaggravated the injury and missed the rest of the season's matches.[35][36][37] He finished his final season at Arkansas with 22 receptions for 289 yards and three touchdowns, while the team ended with a 4–8 record.[13][38] After his senior year, Gragg participated in the NFL Scouting Combine, where he ran the fastest 40-yard dash time, the third-fastest 3 cone drill, had the longest broad jump, and the highest vertical jump among tight ends in attendance.[39] In an overview of his Combine performance, a writer for the NFL praised his speed and "receiver-like hands", criticized him for a lack of agility and occasional dropped passes, and compared Gragg to tight end Daniel Fells.[40]

Professional career[edit]

Buffalo Bills[edit]

The Buffalo Bills selected Gragg in the seventh round with the 222nd overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, a slot they obtained from a trade with the St. Louis Rams.[41][42] When he was drafted, Gragg became the second tight end Buffalo had ever selected out of Arkansas, and the first Arkansas player to be selected by the Bills since 1973.[41] Gragg signed a contract with the Bills in May 2013.[42] In preseason practice, Gragg was one of five tight ends on the Buffalo team as he tried to earn one of the 53 positions available on the active roster;[43] in four preseason games, he totaled 5 receptions for 38 yards.[44] When the Bills cut their roster to 53 players, Gragg made the team; on an "A–F" scale, ESPN columnist Mike Rodak gave the Bills a "C" grade in tight end depth and said Gragg "would be in the bottom 10 percent of NFL starters at [the position]".[45] Gragg made his regular-season NFL debut on October 13 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and caught his first career reception and touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers four games later. When Buffalo faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 8, Gragg started in a game for the first time during the regular season.[44] By the end of 2013, Gragg had caught 5 receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown in nine career games played.[46] Collectively, the Bills finished last in the AFC East with a 6–10 record.[47]

Prior to the Bills' 2014 training camp, Rodak gave Gragg a "45%" chance to make Buffalo's 53-man roster: Rodak described him as "the most athletic tight end" with the Bills, but also wrote that "there might not be a spot for Gragg" with tight ends Tony Moeaki, Scott Chandler, and Lee Smith on the team as well.[48] He finished the preseason with 10 receptions for 66 yards, and made the regular-season roster.[2] In the fourth quarter of the Bills' regular-season October 5 matchup against the Detroit Lions, Gragg caught a touchdown pass that, with an added two-point conversion, tied the game; Buffalo won the contest, 17–14, and moved to a 3–2 record.[49][50] When he attempted to catch a low-thrown pass in the second half of a game against the New York Jets on November 24, Gragg injured his right knee, which caused him to miss the remainder of the Bills' season.[51] During 2014, over the ten games in which he played, Gragg accumulated 7 receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown as Buffalo finished with a 9–7 record, second in the AFC East behind the New England Patriots.[46][52] Gragg underwent knee surgery in January 2015, which Gragg stated "limited" him during the offseason.[53]

In the 2015 preseason, Gragg finished with 8 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown;[54] during the 2015 regular season, Gragg set career highs in games played, with 13, receptions, with 12, and receiving yards, with 150, as the Bills finished 8–8 and missed the playoffs.[46][55] His 150 receiving yards and 12 receptions were second most among Bills tight ends.[56] In an August 2016 preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts, Gragg blocked a punt on the Colts' second drive, which resulted in a safety, and scored a touchdown on a 19-yard pass from EJ Manuel on the next drive;[57] in a summary of the game, Zac Jackson, a writer for Profootballtalk.com, said Gragg "[had] been a valuable utility man for the Bills over the last three seasons", and that he "[seemed] on his way to playing a similar role" for Buffalo that season.[58] On August 26, 2016, Gragg suffered a torn ACL in a preseason game against the Washington Redskins that sidelined him for the entire 2016 season.[59][60] He became a free agent in March 2017,[61] after which, according to Gragg, he visited with the Jacksonville Jaguars on March 15, but did not sign with the team.[59]

New York Jets[edit]

On July 28, 2017, Gragg signed with the Jets; to make room for Gragg, the Jets waived wide receiver K. D. Cannon.[62] In a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Gragg suffered an ankle injury after a 20-yard catch; he was placed on the Jets' injured reserve list on September 1, 2017.[63] In four preseason games with the Jets, Gragg totaled 6 receptions for 64 yards and no touchdowns.[64] He did not play in any regular-season games for the Jets.[64] While playing in the NFL, Gragg stood at 6 feet 3 inches (191 cm) and weighed 244 pounds (111 kg).[65]

Post-NFL career and personal life[edit]

In March 2019, Gragg worked out for the San Francisco 49ers, though he did not sign with the team.[66] On his Twitter account, Gragg indicated that he was retired from the NFL as of December 2019.[67] As of April 2020, Gragg is a graduate assistant coach for wide receivers with the Memphis Tigers football team.[68]

Gragg has a brother, Will, who played college football for Arkansas and for the University of Pittsburgh Panthers as a tight end.[69] Chris graduated with a degree in sports management from the University of Arkansas.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Otis Kirk of Rivals.com credits Gragg with only 409 receiving yards in his senior year.[6]
  2. ^ The BCS system averaged team positions in the Harris Interactive College Football Poll, the Coaches' Poll, and six computer rankings to list teams by their combined average position.[24] At the end of the regular season, the top two teams in the BCS poll played in the National Championship Game.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Chris Gragg". University of Arkansas. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Chris Gragg 2014 Game Logs". National Football League. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Stokes, Phyllis (March 12, 2014). "Gragg Surprises SEARK Students, Stresses Education". Pine Bluff Commercial. Stephens Media Group. Archived from the original on August 10, 2014. (subscription required)
  4. ^ Grahm, Tim (August 1, 2013). "Chris Gragg's Rookie Journal: Chapter 2". The Buffalo News. Berkshire Hathaway. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013.
  5. ^ Neiswanger, Robbie (August 13, 2010). "Room For One More? Gragg Counting On Big Role in Offense". Arkansas News. Stephens Media. Archived from the original on August 16, 2010.
  6. ^ Kirk, Otis (December 12, 2007). "Recruit Reaction: Chris Gragg". Rivals.com. Archived from the original on June 30, 2020. (subscription required)
  7. ^ Henry, Clay (February 6, 2008). "Arkansas Grid Class Bios". Scout.com. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Chris Gragg". Rivals.com. Archived from the original on April 21, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  9. ^ "Chris Gragg". Scouts.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  10. ^ "2008: Arkansas Football Commitment List (26)". Rivals.com. Archived from the original on November 30, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  11. ^ "Arkansas Razorbacks Schedule– 2008". ESPN. Archived from the original on September 4, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  12. ^ Abrams, Alex (September 7, 2008). "No Shock In The Rock". Scout.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013.
  13. ^ a b c "Chris Gragg". ESPN. Archived from the original on December 15, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  14. ^ King, Harry (September 11, 2010). "Gragg Could be Sleeper". Arkansas News. Stephens Media. Archived from the original on September 17, 2010.
  15. ^ "Ryan Mallett's TD Pass to Greg Childs in Final Minute Seals Win for Arkansas". ESPN. Associated Press. September 18, 2010. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012.
  16. ^ "Chris Gragg 2010 Game Logs". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  17. ^ "Terrelle Pryor Piles Up 336 Total Yards as Buckeyes Hold On". ESPN. Associated Press. January 4, 2011. Archived from the original on January 6, 2012.
  18. ^ "Chris Gragg Career Game Log". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  19. ^ "High on these Hogs". Arkansas Business. Arkansas Business Publishing Group. July 11, 2011. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. (subscription required)
  20. ^ Higgins, Ron (November 3, 2011). "Believe it: Gamecocks do Sport 7–1 Record". The Commercial Appeal. E. W. Scripps Company. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. (subscription required)
  21. ^ Voigt, Kurt (November 19, 2011). "Wilson Shines as Arkansas Downs Miss. St. 44–17". Associated Press. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. (subscription required)
  22. ^ "BCS an All-SEC Affair – LSU, Alabama, Arkansas Top Poll". The Commercial Appeal. E. W. Scripps Company. November 21, 2011. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. (subscription required)
  23. ^ Higgins, Ron (November 26, 2011). "(1) LSU 41, (3) Arkansas 17 / Down in Bayou – Hogs Jump to 14–0 Lead before LSU Charges Back, Dominates to Win SEC Western Division". The Commercial Appeal. E. W. Scripps Company. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. (subscription required)
  24. ^ "BCS standings". Bowl Championship Series. January 21, 2010. Archived from the original on January 25, 2010.
  25. ^ D'Angelo, Tom (November 10, 2013). "Florida State's Hold on No. 2 Spot in BCS Standings Strengthens Thanks to Oregon's Loss". The Palm Beach Post. Cox Enterprises. Archived from the original on November 19, 2013.
  26. ^ "2011 Arkansas Razorbacks Game Log". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  27. ^ Martel, Brett (November 25, 2011). "Stakes Raised in LSU–Arkansas Rivalry". The Charleston Gazette. The Daily Gazette Company. Associated Press. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. (subscription required)
  28. ^ "BCS Standings – December 4, 2011". ESPN. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  29. ^ "Arkansas Matches School-record 11 Wins with Victory in Cotton Bowl". ESPN. Associated Press. January 6, 2012. Archived from the original on August 14, 2012.
  30. ^ "2011 Arkansas Razorbacks Stats". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  31. ^ "Gragg Named to Mackey Award Watch List". Arkansas Business. Arkansas Business Publishing Group. University of Arkansas. July 10, 2012. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014.
  32. ^ "Hogs Make Preseason SEC List". Rivals.com. July 12, 2012. Archived from the original on August 11, 2014.
  33. ^ Aschoff, Edward; Low, Chris (July 11, 2012). "Ranking the SEC Tight Ends". ESPN. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013.
  34. ^ Bahn, Chris (September 5, 2012). "Razorbacks Tight End Chris Gragg Earns Weekly Mackey Award Honor". Arkansas Business. Arkansas Business Publishing Group. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014.
  35. ^ Neiswanger, Robbie (October 17, 2012). "Four Downs: Gragg Back At Practice; Wheel Route Success". Arkansas News. Stephens Media. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013.
  36. ^ Neiswanger, Robbie (October 29, 2012). "Gragg, Davis Out For Tulsa Game". Arkansas News. Stephens Media. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013.
  37. ^ "Inside Slant". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Reuters. November 21, 2012. p. 2. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014.
  38. ^ "Arkansas Razorbacks Schedule – 2012". ESPN. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  39. ^ "NFL Combine Results". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  40. ^ "Prosects: TE Chris Gragg". National Football League. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  41. ^ a b "Chris Gragg". BuffaloBills.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  42. ^ a b Crabtree, Curtis (May 9, 2013). "Bills Sign Seventh-round TE Chris Gragg". Profootballtalk.com. NBC Sports. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013.
  43. ^ Grahm, Tim (July 29, 2013). "Chris Gragg's Rookie Journal: Chapter 1". The Buffalo News. Berkshire Hathaway. Archived from the original on August 5, 2014.
  44. ^ a b "Chris Gragg 2013 Game Logs". National Football League. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  45. ^ Rodak, Mike (September 6, 2013). "Grading the Bills' 53: Tight Ends". ESPN. Archived from the original on December 6, 2013.
  46. ^ a b c "Chris Gragg". National Football League. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  47. ^ Gaughan, Mark (December 29, 2013). "Patriots Make Bills Pay for Unforced Errors". The Buffalo News. Berkshire Hathaway. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014.
  48. ^ Rodak, Mike (June 18, 2014). "Bills Bubble Watch: Chris Gragg". ESPN. Archived from the original on June 27, 2014.
  49. ^ White, R. J. (October 5, 2014). "Chris Gragg snags touchdown in Week 5 win". CBSSports. Archived from the original on October 9, 2014.
  50. ^ "Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions – October 5th, 2014". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  51. ^ See:
  52. ^ "2014 NFL Standings, Team and Offensive Statistics". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  53. ^ Brown, Chris (August 7, 2015). "TE Gragg Making Progress with Blocking". Buffalo Bills. Archived from the original on December 16, 2015.
  54. ^ "Chris Gragg 2015 Game Logs". National Football League. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  55. ^ "2015 NFL Standings & Team Stats". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  56. ^ "2015 Buffalo Bills Statistics & Players". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  57. ^ "Chris Gragg Makes Impact with Blocked Punt, TD Reception". Buffalo Bills. August 14, 2016.
  58. ^ Jackson, Zac (August 13, 2016). "Chris Gragg Stars as Bills Jump out to Early Lead". Profootballtalk.com. NBC Sports. Archived from the original on October 18, 2016.
  59. ^ a b Johnson, Jay (March 16, 2017). "2017 NFL Free Agency: Bills TE Chris Gragg Visits the Jaguars". USA Today. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on March 17, 2017.
  60. ^ Rodak, Mike (August 28, 2016). "DeAngelo Hall Defends Hit during Twitter Exchange with Bills' Chris Gragg". ESPN. Archived from the original on July 30, 2017.
  61. ^ "Chris Gragg". Fox Sports. Archived from the original on September 8, 2017. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  62. ^ Greenberg, Ethan (July 28, 2017). "Jets Sign TE Chris Gragg". New York Jets. Archived from the original on July 30, 2017.
  63. ^ Lange, Randy (September 1, 2017). "Jets Release 10, Place 4 on Reserve Lists". New York Jets. Archived from the original on September 2, 2017.
  64. ^ a b "Chris Gragg 2017 Game Logs". National Football League. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  65. ^ "Chris Gragg". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  66. ^ Madson, Kyle (March 22, 2019). "Report: TE Chris Gragg Works out for 49ers". USA Today. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019.
  67. ^ "Chris Gragg". Twitter.com. Internet Archive. December 31, 2019. Archived from the original on December 31, 2019.
  68. ^ "2020 Football Coaching Staff – University of Memphis". University of Memphis. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  69. ^ "Will Gragg". College Football Reference. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved July 28, 2020.

External links[edit]