No. 89 Buffalo Bills
|Date of birth:June 30, 1990|
|Place of birth: Pine Bluff, Arkansas|
|High school: Warren (AR)|
|NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 7 / Pick: 222|
|Debuted in 2013 for the Buffalo Bills|
|Roster status: Active|
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2013
Chris Gragg (born June 30, 1990) is an American football tight end for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Bills in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of the University of Arkansas. As of the end of the 2013 NFL season, Gragg has accumulated 5 receptions for 53 yards over his NFL career. His first career touchdown came against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 10, 2013.
After he graduated Warren High School, where he played football as a wide receiver, Gragg committed to the University of Arkansas along with three other Warren players. At Arkansas, he converted into a tight end. Gragg, along with the Razorbacks, made two appearances in Bowl Championship Series games, and won the 2012 Cotton Bowl against the Kansas State Wildcats. A knee injury caused him to miss eight games in his senior season; later, at the NFL Scouting Combine, he performed well among tight ends. With a pick they had from a trade with St. Louis, the Bills drafted Gragg. He made Buffalo's regular season roster, and has played in nine career NFL games.
Chris Gragg was born on June 30, 1990, to Kelvin and Tenita Gragg. Chris’s father Kelvin coached for the Warren High School football team, and Chris served as the team‘s water boy until he was in junior high school. For Warren, Gragg played football as a wide receiver alongside future NFL players Jarius Wright and Greg Childs. During his senior year, Gragg accumulated 409 receiving yards and caught 8 touchdowns. Recruiting website Rivals.com evaluated him as a 2-star prospect in a 1–5 scale and ranked Gragg as the 15th best player in Arkansas at his position; Scout.com ranked him as the 148-best receiver in the nation. In July 2007, Gragg committed to the University of Arkansas, as did three other players from Warren.
In his freshman season, Gragg played in all 12 of the team’s games, and the Arkansas Razorbacks finished with a 5–7 win–loss record. 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. The catch was Gragg’s only reception in 2008. After he dislocated his ankle in a preseason practice, he was given a medical redshirt and did not play for the 2009 season.
In 2010, Arkansas converted Gragg into a tight end, which made him the third tight end on the Razorback’s depth chart. Garrick McGee, the team’s offensive coordinator, observed that "he’s a really big receiver in a tight end body", and expected opponents to have "matchup problem[s]" against Gragg. Facing the Georgia Bulldogs, he caught a touchdown on a 57-yard pass for his first reception of the year. 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 after defensive end Solomon Thomas intercepted Ryan Mallett in the final minute of the game. Gragg finished the season with 8 receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
During his junior season, Gragg and the Razorbacks defeated the Kansas State Wildcats to win the 2012 Cotton Bowl. A knee injury suffered during his senior season caused him to miss eight games. He finished his final season at Arkansas with 22 receptions for 289 yards and 3 touchdowns, while the team finished with a 4–8 record. After his senior year, Gragg participated in the NFL Scouting Combine, where he ran the fastest 40-yard dash time, the fastest 3 cone drill, had the longest broad and the highest vertical jump of all attending tight ends. NFL.com praised his speed and "receiver-like hands", but criticized him for lacking agility and occasional drops. The site compared Gragg to tight end Daniel Fells.
The Buffalo Bills selected Gragg with the 222 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, a slot they obtained from a trade with the St. Louis Rams. 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.
Gragg was the first rookie out of the 2013 Bills' draft class to sign a contract. In preseason practice, Gragg was one of five tight ends on the Buffalo team as he tried to earn a position on the 53-man roster, 53 being the maximum number of players a team can have on its active roster at the start of the regular season. While training at St. John Fisher College, Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone praised Gragg on his knowledge of the Bills' playbook and his vertical speed. In four preseason games, he totaled 5 receptions for 38 yards. When the Bills cut their roster to 53 players, Gragg made the team; ESPN columnist Mike Rodak gave the Bills a "C" grade in depth, and said, if he started, Gragg "would be in bottom 10 percent of NFL starters at tight end". He made his NFL debut against the Cincinnati Bengals on October 13, and had his first career reception and touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers four games later. As of the end of the 2013 season, Gragg has 5 receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown in nine career games played.
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- Grahm, Tim (August 1, 2013). "Chris Gragg's Rookie Journal: Chapter 2". The Buffalo News (Berkshire Hathaway).
- 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.
- Kirk, Otis (December 12, 2007). "Recruit Reaction: Chris Gragg". (subscription required)
- "Chris Gragg". Rivals.com. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
- "Chris Gragg". Scouts.com. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
- "Arkansas Razorbacks Schedule– 2008". ESPN. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
- Abrams, Alex (September 7, 2008). "No Shock In The Rock". Scout.com.
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- King, Harry (September 11, 2010). "Gragg could be sleeper". Arkansas News (Stephens Media). Archived from the original on September 17, 2010.
- "Terrelle Pryor piles up 336 total yards as Buckeyes hold on". ESPN. Associated Press. January 4, 2011.
- "Arkansas matches school-record 11 wins with victory in Cotton Bowl". ESPN. Associated Press. January 6, 2012.
- Brown, Chris (May 9, 2013). "Bills sign seventh-round TE Chris Gragg". Buffalo Bills.
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- "Chris Gragg". BuffaloBills.com. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
- Crabtree, Curtis (May 9, 2013). "Bills sign seventh-round TE Chris Gragg". Profootballtalk.com. NBC Sports.
- Grahm, Tim. "Chris Gragg's Rookie Journal: Chapter 1". The Buffalo News (Berkshire Hathaway).
- "Chris Gragg game logs". National Football League. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
- Rodak, Mike (September 6, 2013). "Grading the Bills' 53: Tight ends". ESPN.
- "Chris Gragg". National Football League. Retrieved December 1, 2013.